State Supreme Court: I-1366 is unconstitutional

The state Supreme Court has ruled that Initiative 1366, which was approved by voters last year, is unconstitutional.

I-1366 would have reduced the state sales tax rate to 5.5 percent unless the Legislature referred a constitutional amendment to voters requiring two-thirds majority approval of tax increases.

Job openings, some worker shortages expected in aerospace industry

An article in today's Puget Sound Business Journal brought our attention to a new "Talent Pipeline Study for Aerospace" published by the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County. It's full of fascinating data on employment in the aerospace industry through 2023.

The AG on the Legislature's McCleary report (plus, the alternative budget outlook has been released)

Yesterday the Legislature filed its report to the state Supreme Court on its progress toward complying with the McCleary decision on education funding. (The report was approved last week.)

A new budget outlook, and a discussion of McCleary costs

The Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) met today to adopt a new budget outlook. There was a lot of discussion, with members getting into questions about how much the remaining McCleary pieces will cost and whether they should be accounted for in the four-year outlook. (Here are the meeting materials.)

As technology advances, people will need advanced skills

Opportunity Washington has a good post about how technology is changing work -- many jobs will increasingly be performed by robots and computers.

The technology is disruptive, upsetting long-standing operations and careers and the transition will be costly. But ultimately technologies that increase efficiency–cutting costs, boosting productivity and reliability–will win out. 

The 2016 Legislature's report on its McCleary progress

Yesterday the Joint Select Committee on Article IX Legislation met and approved its 2016 report to the state Supreme Court. Since 2012, this committee has been providing annual reports to the Court regarding the Legislature's progress toward complying with the McCleary decision.

The 2016 report argues that in enacting E2SSB 6195, 

Common Ground Podcast: State Rep. Judy Clibborn on Consensus-Building

State Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) was one of the key players in getting the 2015 transportation revenue package across the finish line. It was a long, contentious process, but in this week's episode she explains how persistence paid off. We discuss how the lessons she learned in transportation negotiations might be applied to other issues (like, perhaps, K-12 education funding?).

Common Ground podcast Rep. Judy Clibborn

Policy Today podcast: Morton Kondracke on "This Perilous Election - How Did We Get Here?"

Mort Kondracke, the legendary political journalist, columnist and commentator, joins us for a preview of his remarks at our upcoming 84th annual dinner May 19 in Bellevue. Mr.

Vetoes increase 2016 supplemental appropriations by $43.5 million

The state has released updated spending numbers for the 2016 supplemental operating budget, incorporating the governor's vetoes.

The vetoes increase near general fund-state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) spending by $43.5 million over the supplemental appropriations that were passed by the Legislature in March.

Boeing Company "Invested More than $13 Billion in Washington state in 2015"

Boeing announced Friday "that the company invested more than $13 billion in Washington in 2015, reflecting the value Washington taxpayers received from Boeing’s presence in the state." It also "reported $305 million in savings in 2015 via the Washington aerospace tax incentives."

According to Boeing, its $13 billion in investments include: