New transportation reforms become law

We’re still waiting on some elements of the new transportation funding package to clear the Legislature (the transportation revenue bill has passed; the spending bill with the project list and the bonding bill have not).

In the meantime, Gov. Inslee yesterday signed some important bipartisan reform bills that should help reduce costs and speed up completion of transportation projects.

Reform bills signed by the governor today include:

Early Start Act signed by governor

This afternoon in Olympia, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Early Start Act (Second Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1491) into law. In a nutshell, it sets quality standards and outcomes for early education, provides support for educators, and expands access to early learning programs.

Washington's #1! spirits taxes, that is.

The Tax Foundation today issued its much-awaited ranking of state distilled spirits excise taxes. Washington easily leads the pack with a rate of $35.22 per gallon (Oregon's a distant second at $22.72 per gallon).

Read more here.

90 Seconds: No shutdown, but session's not over yet

In this episode: The 2015-17 state operating budget's been signed by Gov. Inslee, but key items remain on lawmakers' to-do list. A brief rundown of what's done and what remains to be done by the legislature and governor.

InFocus: Details, analysis on the new state budget

Kriss and Emily delve into the newly passed and signed 2015-17 state operating budget (NOTE: As of now, the Legislature has not yet approved delaying the full implementation of I-1351, the class size initiative). In this episode:

90 Seconds with the Washington Research Council: We have a budget

Legislators and the governor reached a budget deal that won broad bipartisan support. In this episode of 90 Seconds you'll get the key budget details. Useful links: Senate budget summary House budget summary

Getting closer to a budget deal?

The deadline for passing a state budget is only days away, and activity in Olympia is reaching a fever pitch. Here's the latest...


Only five days to go before the legislature and governor must agree on a state budget. Without a deal by June 30, we'll have a government shutdown, something nobody seems to want.

Policy Today: Status of the state budget

In this episode we talk about negotiations in the Legislature on the 2015-17 state operating budget. Included in our discussion: Our summary of the House Democrats' latest budget proposals. To subscribe to our podcasts, go here.

90 Seconds with the Washington Research Council: State budget update

We have a new podcast series: 90 Seconds With the Washington Research Council. Episodes will go up frequently. It covers key topics you can hear in under two minutes. It's budget crunch-time in Olympia. The governor and legislators have until the end of the month to pass a state budget and avoid a government shutdown.