New Policy Brief: Washington State Businesses Pay 58 Percent of State and Local Taxes

We're out with a new policy brief on business taxation, "Washington State Businesses Pay 58 Percent of State and Local Taxes." It gives an overview of how and how much Washington businesses are taxed, and compares us to the rest of the country.

Here are some highlights:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is dead. Reactions from Washington state.

Yesterday President Donald Trump officially abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, just as he'd promised during the campaign. The TPP, as it is known, was a pending deal between the U.S. and 11 other nations. You can read more, and listen to our podcast about it, here.

Policy Today podcast: New report on Gov. Inslee's proposed state budget

In today's podcast we do a deep dive into Gov. Jay Inslee's 2017-19 state budget proposal, the subject of our latest Special Report which you can read here.

The governor's budget plan includes $4.762 billion in new spending and $4.369 billion in new and increased taxes, including a new carbon tax and a new capital gains tax.

How Washington state ranks on federal aid

The Tax Foundation is out with a new ranking: "Which States Rely the Most on Federal Aid?" Washington state is #33, with 29.2 percent of its Fiscal Year 2014 state general revenue coming from the federal government.

The Foundation notes:

2017 Legislative Session Starts Today

The state Legislature begins its 2017 session today. This being an odd-numbered year, session is scheduled to last 105 days, with an April 23 adjournment date. Almost nobody believes lawmakers will finish their business by then, however, in which case the governor can call a special session (or a series of special sessions as the case may be).

Big issues on tap for this year include:

Lawmakers on K-12 funding panel issue competing recommendations

In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, every year on Feb. 2 residents await the sign of a groundhog - Punxsutawney Phil - to forecast the onset of spring. In the Washington state Legislature, lawmakers and other observers were awaiting a sign yesterday of how much members of the Joint Education Task Force could agree on solutions for full state funding of K-12 education (as required by the state Supreme Court's McCleary ruling) in 2017.

Common Ground podcast: David Postman, Gov. Inslee's Chief of Staff

Our last podcast of the year is in a pub, with special guest David Postman, Gov. Jay Inslee's chief of staff. We sit down over beers (and a Coke for Postman, who's on cold meds) at the delightful Hopvine Pub in Seattle to chat about Postman's career in journalism and now government, as well as what's in store for the upcoming legislative session.

Policy Today podcast: Expanded state environmental regulations threaten union jobs

Today's topic is the expanded state environmental regulations that, due to their arbitrary and excessive nature, threaten to send good-paying jobs - many of them union jobs - out of Washington state.

Policy Today podcast: Gov. Inslee's Budget Proposal

This week Gov. Jay Inslee proposed a state operating budget for 2017-19. It would increase spending by $8.2 billion over the previous biennium - including $3.9 billion more for K-12 education - and raise taxes by $4.4 billion. His tax proposal includes a new capital gains tax. We delve into the details in this podcast.

You can read our quick analysis of his budget proposal here.

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