For a few days last week, it looked like this was going to be a sleepy year at the statehouse, the long-expected transportation debate aside — and then the state Supreme Court issued an order dictating that the Legislature debate taxes this session. Suddenly lawmakers are supposed to figure out how to come up with $5 billion to fully fund education by the 2017-18 school year. It means a long-deferred debate on taxes may finally take place, but in the next few days we’ll find out whether there will be organized resistance to the court mandate. And does anyone now think the session will really wrap in 60 days?
Indian Tribal Gas-Tax Suit on its Way Back, at a Most Inconvenient Time for Legislature’s Transportation Debate
It probably couldn’t have happened at a worse time for the Legislature’s upcoming gas-tax debate, but the state’s independent service station operators are back in the state’s capital city with a long-running lawsuit that challenges the cut of fuel-tax money the state gives to Indian tribes. They’re asking the state Supreme Court to decide whether state gas-tax money can be used to pay Indian tribes for signing ‘compacts’ many believe were not necessary. Tim Hamilton’s gas-station group calls it a sweetheart deal, and if the court hears the case, the issue will surface right about the time voters may be deciding whether to raise their own gas taxes.
A new poll shows voters statewide favor a coal terminal proposed for Longview 56-31, two-thirds oppose a gas-tax increase, and public confidence in the economy is on the decline. But maybe the most striking thing about the survey of voter mood statewide, released Friday by Gallatin Public Affairs and GS Strategy Group, is that for all the agitation over the last year for pro-environmental “progressive” policies, primarily from the greater Seattle area, the rest of the state just isn’t on the same page.
Inslee Administration Communicates via 140-Character Haiku – Holds ‘Twitter Town Hall’ on New Strategic PlanComplicated Topics Boiled Down and Abbreviated– One-Sentence Communication Might be Biggest Innovation of All
Gov. Inslee’s staff embraces the brave new world of Twitter for a forum on one of the most complicated ideas in ages, an ambitious goal-setting program for the state that takes performance-measurement down to the nitty-gritty level. And with a 140-character-limit, the discussion had every bit as much depth as you might expect. Inslee touts the plan as innovation, but maybe the most innovative idea of all is that such things can be discussed one sentence at a time, with a hashtag attached.