Current Affairs

New report says Washington leads the nation in evidence-based policymaking

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, a joint effort of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, recently named Washington state a leader in evidence-based policymaking.

Roundup of Seattle business climate issues

Several policies impacting Seattle’s business climate have been in the news recently.

Checks and balances are great -- until there are too many of them

San Bernardino, California has been in bankruptcy for four years now. According to a story in Governing Magazine, it's not because of debt or pensions (which tend to be the culprits in other city bankruptcies). Instead, the problem is

San Bernardino’s lengthy and convoluted charter, a document that gives so much authority to so many officials that it’s completely ineffective.

Watch Morton Kondracke's speech on the 2016 presidential campaign

Last month we were pleased to have renowned political journalist and commentator Morton Kondracke speak at our 84th annual dinner in Bellevue. His topic was "This Perilous Election: How Did We Get Here?" He offered a rather scathing - yet entertaining - critique of all three presidential candidates.

State Supreme Court decision in Envision Spokane case contrasts with that on I-1366

Back in 2013, we wrote about a local initiative in Spokane that would have established a community bill of rights. Under the initiative (from Envision Spokane), zoning changes would have required neighborhood voter approval, the Spokane River would have a legal right to exist and flourish, employees would have the protections of the Bill of Rights against their employers, and legal rights of corporations would be taken away (a response to the U.S.

A $662,000 subsidy for Franklin County?

More details are emerging in the ongoing Benton-Franklin joint offices saga. At first, the break-up of some of the counties' joint efforts was attributed to growth and communications issues.

More troubles in Benton-Franklin joint offices

A few weeks ago I wrote about how Benton and Franklin counties were planning to split up their joint public defender office. Apparently there's a much larger divorce in the works.

If legal, how would unions fit in with Uber's business model?

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to allow for-hire drivers to unionize, becoming the first city to do so. But Mayor Ed Murray has reservations, writing to the Council that

City costs of administering the collective bargaining process remain unknown and the Council has placed the burden of significant rulemaking on City staff.

Unionizing Uber?

This afternoon the Seattle City Council will vote on a proposal that would allow "taxicab, transportation network company, and for-hire vehicle drivers" to unionize. (Uber is an example of a transportation network company.)

The proposed ordinance states,

A new challenge to I-1366

As expected, a lawsuit has been filed in King County Superior Court questioning the constitutionality of I-1366. Voters approved the initiative earlier this month (51.5 percent to 48.5 percent).

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