How to fund Seattle's Office of Labor Standards?

For the last several months a discussion has been ongoing in Seattle about how to increase funding for the Office of Labor Standards (OLS). The OLS was established in 2015 to enforce standards related to city ordinances like the minimum wage and paid sick leave.

New report: McCleary Deadline Approaching, But How Long Will the Solution Last?

In a new report, we write about the McCleary decision, education funding enhancements the state has made in response, and what remains to be done. We also provide background on the state property tax system and school funding.


Trade is good

Trade is important for Washington’s economy. But, as Jon Talton writes in the Seattle Times, “Both Republicans and Democrats are turning against trade. It is especially pronounced in the presidential race.” Indeed, candidates Trump, Sanders, and Clinton have all come out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

May 11 – June 10 state revenue collections were $77.8 million greater than had been forecast

This morning the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council issued its monthly Economic and Revenue Update. Here is the key news on revenue:

Special-ed advocates chime in on K-12 funding

The Seattle Times reported Friday on a brief filed by special-education advocates in the ongoing McCleary case, which deals with state funding of K-12 public schools. They argue that the state's funding, and funding formula, for Washington's 125,000 special-ed students are inadequate:

Washington exchange enrollment appears to have leveled off

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange has released a report this week showing enrollment data from the most recent open enrollment period (which ran from Nov. 1, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2016). According to the report, 169,182 qualified (private) health plans (QHP) were purchased. Additionally, 1,522,342 were enrolled in Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) through the Exchange in March.

David Brunori slams Oregon proposal to tax gross receipts of corporations

Over at the Tax Analysts Blog, David Brunori has a nice post on the Oregon initiative to impose a new gross receipts tax on corporations (Gross Receipts Taxes Are, Well, Gross). contributor: "Washington Lawmakers Grandstanding Against Boeing Could Cripple State's Aerospace Industry"

Writing on yesterday, Travis H. Brown sets his sights on "politicians in Olympia [who] have repeatedly floated the notion of clawing back the aerospace tax incentives."

Home bidding wars heat up in Seattle area

The Seattle Times reported Saturday on what many homebuyers, sellers and real-estate professionals in the region have been experiencing over the past year or so: bidding wars in an "ultracompetitive local housing market." In fact, says the Times, "there are now more home-bidding wars than at any point this decade."

Common Ground podcast: State Rep. Roger Goodman on legislating through collaboration

As chair of the House Public Safety Committee, state Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland), has taken a collaborative approach to lawmaking, bringing people to the table to write legislation on a variety of issues including impaired driving and domestic violence. In this episode we explore his process which emphasizes problem-solving over partisanship.

Rep. Roger Goodman Washington Research Council Common Ground podcast