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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When it comes to taxes and spending, is Inslee insatiable?

Governor Inslee had included tax increases in all six budgets he’d submitted to the Legislature during his time in office. I figured he was a lock to make it 7-for-7, in the proposal he’d be putting on the table for 2019. Even so, I was amazed by what the governor unveiled yesterday. He’d spend $54 […]

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Robust packages of Republican ideas

Way back on October 3, three of my fellow Republican senators publicly announced a package of ideas for improving how state government approaches mental-health treatment. On Wednesday, the Senate’s Democrat majority announced the creation of a policy subcommittee on behavioral health. On November 13, three of my fellow Republican senators publicly announced a package of […]

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Repeal of Seattle jobs tax makes a statewide ban simpler

The rapid demise of the Seattle jobs tax doesn’t change the need for the bill I’d drafted that would clearly prohibit a tax on jobs (or a “head tax”) unless the necessary taxing authority is explicitly granted by the Legislature. My bill is still needed because the Seattle City Council’s turnaround was not due to […]

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The appearance of impartiality, and chasing the golden geese

— April 26, 2018 Suppose some proud member of Cougar Nation tweeted a photo of a guy on stage at a WSU football rally the night before the Apple Cup game. Then someone recognized the person as being not only a Pac-12 referee, but part of the crew that would be officiating at the WSU-UW […]

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Toward an honest conversation about preventing suicide

— February 12, 2018 As someone who values our Second Amendment rights I am very cautious about bills that include the words “firearm rights” in the title. But a few weeks ago I helped pass a carefully negotiated bill that would allow people to voluntarily waive their firearm rights in the interests of preventing suicide […]

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