WRC Annual Dinner: May 23 in Bellevue

You're invited to join us at our Annual Dinner on Tuesday, May 23, at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue. Our guest speaker is Ian Toner, Chief Investment Officer of Verus Investments, whose topic will be "Working Without A Map? How Phase-Shift Changes in Politics, Markets, and Economies Might Impact Our Future."

Here are the details:

Washington Research Council Annual Dinner

Tuesday, May 23

Meydenbauer Convention Center - 11100 NE 6th St - Bellevue, WA

House-passed operating budget would spend $44.891 billion

On Friday, the House passed its 2017–19 operating budget proposal, in the form of a striking amendment to the Senate-passed budget (ESSB 5048). Floor amendments added $250,000 in near general fund–state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) spending, on top of amendments made in committee. Altogether, the House-passed budget would increase NGFS+ spending by $6.438 billion over 2015–17.

Policy Today podcast: What the new federal education law means for states, with AEI's Rick Hess

When then-President Obama signed the bipartisan "Every Student Succeeds Act" into law in late 2015, it marked a significant change in federal education policy. The previous law, President George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind," had grown increasingly controversial for what critics on both the left and right called excessive federal overreach into local education policy.

House budget would strike levy accountability provisions enacted earlier this year

Earlier this year, the House passed an education funding plan (HB 1843). The House-passed 2017–19 operating budget would not fund that bill; instead, it would fund HB 2185. HB 2185 has not been heard by committee.

New brief: Senate-Passed 2017–19 Operating Budget Would Increase Spending by $4.9 billion

In a new policy brief, we delve into the Senate-passed 2017-19 operating budget. Briefly:

New Special Report: Proposals For A State Capital Gains Tax

We're out today with a Special Report looking at proposals in the Legislature for a state capital gains tax. You can read it here.

Here are some highlights:

Appropriations Committee increases proposed spending by $28.6 million

On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee amended and passed the Chair's operating budget proposal. Amendments added $28.6 million in near general fund-state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) spending. Floor passage is expected tomorrow. 

Relief may be in sight for school districts with school-siting bill

This year's contender for the Little Legislation That Could, House Bill 1017, appears to finally be on its way to passage in the state Legislature.

Comparing the House and Senate budget proposals

The House 2017–19 budget proposal would increase spending by $6.408 billion over 2015–17. Of that, $933.9 million is carryforward, $2.251 billion is maintenance, and $3.223 billion is policy.

Policy Today podcast: A more fair tax-appeals process for Washington state

In today's episode we discuss Washington state's less-than-stellar system for tax appeals, and how it could be improved. We recently wrote a report on making the state tax-appeals process more fair -- which could include the creation of a state tax court. Bipartisan legislation to do just that has been introduced in the state Legislature this year.

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