Republican lawmakers call for emergency legislative session in June

Republican leaders in the state Legislature say lawmakers need to meet next month to deal with emergency issues related to public health, Washington’s economic recovery and the state budget, all stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. “When the Legislature adjourned in mid-March the public-health crisis related to COVID-19 was still emerging. Now there’s an economic crisis […]

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If drag-queen bingo is such a problem, how can state handle sports betting?

If the House’s sports-wagering bill receives approval by the Senate before the 2020 session ends, the legislation (House Bill 2638) would front the state Gambling Commission $6 million to get going right away with “enforcement actions in the illicit market for sports wagering.” I take that to mean the agency intends to chase the bad […]

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The $30 million marbled murrelet tax

— December 6, 2019 Just when I thought 2019 couldn’t get worse for the hardworking taxpayers of Washington, the state Board of Natural Resources this week adopted DNR’s controversial plan to expand protection for the marbled murrelet. This little seabird spends about 95% of its life at sea, even feeding underwater. DNR’s plan to protect […]

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Inslee blows the call on taxpayer-subsidized security

Two years ago this week, Democrat and Republican lawmakers joined to pass one of the most important tax-fairness bills I’ve seen. SB 5977 would have reduced the B&O tax on all manufacturing to match the lower rate extended to aerospace in 2013. I say “would have” because days later Governor Inslee caved to political pressure […]

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Diverse enrollments conflict with claims about law targeted by I-1000

Republicans don’t control the Senate’s agenda, so what happens with Initiative 1000 is not our call. I do want to be prepared if it comes up for a vote before the session ends, so we’ve had people from both sides of the issue visit our caucus to explain their positions and answer questions. The April […]

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The mugging of the taxpayers

Governor Inslee recently engaged in an amazing bit of revisionist history about his role in negotiating a reduction in tax rates for Washington’s aerospace industry. Back in November 2013 he called the agreement “great news for every Washingtonian.” Now, maybe to appeal to the far-left Sanders-Sawant crowd, he compares the negotiations to being mugged. If […]

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The taxes are coming! The taxes are coming!

I’ve never seen state government in such good financial shape when the Legislature is needing to adopt a new two-year budget. The Senate and House shouldn’t have any problem coming up with a no-new-taxes budget that is good for mental-health services, and special-education services, which seem to be at the top of the list of […]

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Keep the bright line between ‘legislative’ and ‘campaign’

Senate Bill 5270 reminds me of the George Santayana quote about how people who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it. The bill, before the Rules committee, would crack open a campaign-funding door that has been closed since 1992, after a scandal that shook the Legislature to its ethical core. For that reason […]

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