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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The ‘Olympia Games’: Quantity doesn’t mean quality

I’m not a big watcher of the winter Olympic Games, which are upon us again, but I do know that most of the events are scored or judged in terms of more points and less time elapsed. Here at the winter Olympia Games, the Senate’s new majority hopes to score points by saying it has […]

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Sure, Inslee’s energy tax would change the climate. But which climate?

— Jan. 25, 2018 Governor Inslee jetted off this week to the Swiss Alps, to talk about the climate. It was interesting how he described the energy tax he wants to impose on the folks back home – what he called “America’s first carbon tax.” Inslee’s energy tax would undoubtedly change the climate. Meaning the […]

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Reason to worry about the balanced-budget law

One-party rule returned to Olympia this week after the November general election results were certified, giving Democrats control of the Senate for 2018. I hope this doesn’t mean the end for Washington’s unique 4-year balanced-budget law, adopted in 2012. We knew the law would protect taxpayers, but it’s also helpful to social-service organizations and other […]

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‘I just wanted to express myself’

This must have been the week for calls from people who were transferred to my Senate office by “robo-calls”. One wave of callers seemed to be prompted by a robo-call about money for state lands and public-recreation projects. The funding is in the proposed capital budget, which should be approved soon after we agree on […]

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House Democrats tip their hand on Hirst

With two days to go in the Legislature’s third overtime session, I thought we had a good shot at wrapping things up on a positive note. Senate and House negotiators had verbally agreed on a final capital budget, and House Democrats had received another offer that would permanently solve the situation caused by the Hirst […]

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