Common Ground podcast: State Rep. Brian Blake

We're pleased to welcome state Rep. Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen), who took time out of his busy schedule during the legislative session in Olympia to join our podcast. Rep. Blake represents the 19th Legislative District on Washington's southwest coast, a district whose counties have traditionally voted Democratic in presidential elections but last year largely went for Donald Trump.

Bill to avert levy cliff includes levy accountability provisions

Currently school districts are allowed to levy maintenance and operation (M&O) levies of up to 28 percent of their state and federal revenues. That maximum is scheduled to revert to 24 percent in 2018. This is the levy cliff.

How technology has improved produce

Specialty crops are an important part of Washington’s agricultural economy.

90 Seconds podcast: Four-year balanced budgeting

In this episode we offer a brief overview of the four-year balanced budget requirement passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor in 2012.

To read our Policy Brief on the requirement (from May 2012), click here.

To read our blog post (from April 2016) defending the four-year balanced budget requirement, click here.

The House’s education funding plan would cost much more than the Senate’s

The state released its fiscal note of SSB 5607 (the Senate-passed education funding bill) on Friday. It shows a substantial gap between the resources needed to fund the Senate and House plans.

Policy issues on the Seattle horizon

Earlier this week the Seattle City Council approved its 2017 work program (via Seattle City Council Insight). Although details are scant, the program provides some idea of the issues councilmembers want to work on this year. Much of the program is carried over from last year, but there are several new items of interest.

Policy Today podcast: Four plans in the Legislature for education funding

The biggest job for the Washington state Legislature this year is public school funding for grades K through 12. Right now there are four major plans before lawmakers, all responding to the state Supreme Court's McCleary ruling, which found that the state is not fully funding basic education. We discuss all four plans in this episode.

Read our Policy Brief offering a side-by-side comparison of the four plans here.

New brief: Comparing the Education Funding Proposals

There are now four major education funding plans circulating: Gov. Inslee's proposal, the House-passed ESHB 1843, the Senate-passed SSB 5607, and SB 5825 (a proposal from Sen. Mullet).

In a new policy brief, we provide a side-by-side comparison of the four plans. Briefly:

New report: Toward a More Effective Tax Appeals Process for Washington

In a new special report, we take a look at Washington's tax appeals process. Here's the executive summary:

Another education funding plan in the mix

There are now several options on the table as to how to comply with the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. Gov. Inslee’s proposal and the House-passed ESHB 1843 would increase education spending but stay within the current funding structure (see this policy brief for more). The Senate-passed SSB 5607 would also increase spending but would go to a per-pupil funding model (see this policy brief for more).

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