The governor’s Office of Financial Management has estimated that the pay adjustments would cost the state’s general fund about $250 million over two years if extended to all employees, both union and nonunion, in agencies where the federation has workers. A salary survey by consultants for the state Office of Financial Management helps to back up opponents claims that workers’ pay is falling short.
The rise in temperatures along the West Coast over the past century is almost entirely due to natural forces — not human emissions of greenhouse gases, according to a major new study. But that doesn’t refute the idea that humans are contributing to global climate change, the authors say. The study found wind responsible for more than 80 percent of the warming from Northern California to the Northwest.
It appears that a possible Washington carbon emissions tax won’t have a major impact on the state’s economic growth through 2035. That’s a reversal from what the state said less than two weeks ago, when it predicted significantly less long-term growth if a tax were enacted. Officials say human error led to a false prediction of a potential tax’s long-term impacts
OFM announced Thursday it had upped the forecast of revenue for the current budget cycle (2013-2015) by $169 million over its June forecast. OFM also forecast a revenue bump of about $139 million for the 2015-17 biennium. That would mean projected general-fund revenue for the current cycle is $33.95 billion and about $36.7 billion for the next two-year budget cycle, which begins July 1, 2015.
At its meeting on Thursday, the State Investment Board adopted an investment belief initiated by outgoing Board Chair and state Treasurer James McIntire, which calls for full disclosure of climate change risks anticipated by the companies in which WSIB invests, along with full disclosure of what they are doing to manage these risks.
The agreement will raise most state agency workers’ pay by 3 percent next July and approximately 1.8 percent in 2016. About 2,800 workers in certain job classes – where pay inequities are found – would receive an additional 2.5 percent increase. Roughly a third of workers also receive step raises each year that are tied to increased experience.