Senate Republicans' K-12 education funding plan is here

This morning, state Senate Republicans (aka the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus) released their plan for fully funding K-12 education and complying with the state Supreme Court McCleary ruling. They are calling it the "Education Equality Act."

You can read the overview and a more detailed list of components below. No legislation is posted yet. We'll provide you with more in-depth analysis soon.

InFocus Podcast: Washington businesses pay 58% of state & local taxes, plus more

On today's InFocus podcast we're covering the latest news, including our new Policy Brief on business taxation in Washington state. Washington businesses pay 58 percent of state and local taxes, and have some of the highest tax burdens in the country. We also talk about the latest state budget outlook, and problems many school districts are facing with Washington's land-use law, the Growth Management Act.

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 return of I-1351

As I wrote earlier, I-1351 is scheduled to become effective in 2019–21—within the four-year budget window. Plus, Gov. Inslee has proposed beginning to implement the initiative early, in 2017–19.

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.

A new budget outlook, and possible budget process changes

Yesterday the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council adopted a four-year budget outlook based on Gov. Inslee’s proposed 2017–19 operating budget. According to the outlook, his proposal would leave a near general fund–state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) unrestricted ending balance in 2019–21 of negative $2.041 billion (and total reserves would be negative $596 million).

Not preventing invasive species would be costly

Last week the Washington Invasive Species Council released an economic impact study of invasive species in Washington. The study provides “a snapshot of total economic impact within a single year if no prevention or management activities occurred.”

The three worst offenders are apple maggots, rush skeletonweed, and scotch broom.

Roundup of Seattle business climate issues

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

Side-by-side comparison of paid family leave bills

Two paid family leave bills have been introduced so far this session: SB 5032 (and the identical HB 1116) and SB 5149. Lens has a good story on the issue.

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.

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