George Mason University's Mercatus Center has a new report this week looking at state budget institutions.
The UW research team that is studying Seattle's minimum wage ordinance released a report earlier this week that provides baseline employer survey and worker interview information. (There will be more reports from the team as time goes on.)
Under the ordinance, the minimum wage in the city will gradually increase to $15 (how quickly depends on size of employer and whether certain benefits are offered). It went into effect on April 1, 2015, with a minimum wage of either $10 or $11.
Zillow has an interesting piece looking at how land-use regulation increases rents and lowers housing inventory. They found that
Over the past five years, rents in cities with the most-restrictive land use regulations grew almost three times as quickly as in cities with the least-restrictive regulations.
The chart below shows that Seattle has some of the most restrictive land-use regulations.
As I wrote yesterday, Gov. Inslee vetoed a provision of the supplemental 2015–17 operating budget that would have diverted funds from the public works assistance account (PWAA) in 2017–19. Consequently, the budget as signed by the governor does not balance over four years. I wanted to provide some more context today.
Today Gov. Inslee signed 2ESHB 2376 (the 2016 supplemental operating budget) and ESHB 2988 (which makes appropriations from the budget stabilization account for wildfire costs).
Yesterday Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced a new "Commercial Affordability Advisory Committee." It will consider how the city should address "the rising cost of commercial space for small businesses." As part of that,
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released an outlook for the U.S. fresh apple industry. It illustrates how important trade is for Washington's apple growers.
Interestingly, Washington apples account for 65 percent of the nation's production, but apple acreage in Washington is only 46 percent of that of the U.S.
Over the weekend, the Olympian editorialized against the four-year balanced budget requirement.
It’s typical that Washington’s Legislature strains to get its work done on time when there is divided government. It also strains mightily when economic downturns force cuts or tax increases. Both have been in play in recent years, accounting for a surge in special sessions.
New brief: 2016 Supplemental Operating Budget Doesn't Increase Taxes But Does Tap the Rainy Day Fund
Last week the Legislature passed a 2016 supplemental operating budget. We review the budget in a new policy brief. Briefly:
The state legislature adjourned March 29 after lawmakers agreed on a compromise supplemental operating budget. We discuss what's in the budget, plus the ever-present issue of K-12 education funding and the McCleary case.