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Tag: Reuven Carlyle


Rep. Carlyle says he wants lawmakers to hold ‘courageous’ discussion of tax breaks in new Finance Committee

House Democrats reconstituted a revenue committee this year, breaking the House Ways and Means Committee in half – leaving House Finance and House Appropriations. Rep. Reuven Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat, is chairing the Finance operation and says he wants to set the table for a broader discussion of the tax system and how special favors in the tax code could be repealed if they are not producing a clear public benefit.

With the Senate caught in turmoil and narrowly led by an anti-tax coalition of 23 Republicans and two Democrats, Carlyle knows the change for any big tax changes may be slim. He says he first wants the House to help find ways to pay for the nearly $1.3 billion or $1.4 billion that some lawmakers think is needed to answer the Supreme Court’s ruling about underfunded K-12 schools.

“The House wants to be thought leaders in terms of helping to design a responsible budget and funding it,” Carlyle said in an interview last week, noting that the Senate goes first on the budget this year. “Funding the budget is job one. Job 2 is to put ‘McCleary’ (the court’s K-12 school funding challenge) on the table. … We defined basic education and we have to fund it.’’

The third piece of Carlyle’s agenda is a more systematic and longer-term look at tax breaks in the code, which are worth billions of dollars a year (some are popular, like the one exempting food and prescription drugs from the sales tax; others that let high-tech companies get credits for research-and-development spending are less so).

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What does the late Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson have to do with the two-thirds majority and I-1185? Plenty, says sponsor Tim Eyman

It was something of a stretch even for a politician considered a master of political theater. But according to Tim Eyman, the recent reversal of opinion by The Herald of Everett on the two-thirds tax-vote initiative can be blamed on a guy who died almost 30 years ago.

Here’s how he gets there…The Herald has endorsed his past two-thirds vote initiatives…the Everett-based newspaper recently hired a new editorial page editor and has a new publisher…that editorial page editor is the son of the late Sen. Henry Jackson…it has now reversed its position on the latest version of the tax limit, Eyman’s Initiative 1185.

Therefore, “Scoop Jackson’s son (not surprisingly) comes out against making it tougher to raise taxes.”

I’m not sure why it isn’t a surprise since I’m not sure I ever heard the longtime U.S. senator express an opinion on the two-thirds tax issue before he died in 1983. Given that he held a complex set of opinions – liberal on issues of the environment and labor, conservative on defense and foreign affairs – it might even be hard to guess what his fiscal views might be today.

And Peter is hardly an ingenue, having been involved in various fields from screenplay writing to speech writing for decades, all without his dad’s advice.

For Eyman, however, that’s not enough to separate the two.

“Of course it’s now their editorial board and they can have any opinion they want without listening to both sides — it’s still a free country,” Eyman wrote. “But it’s quite doubtful that Scoop Jackson’s son previously supported I-1053 but now opposes I-1185. It’s more likely that one of the no voters on I-1053 simply has a louder megaphone this time.”

The odd reference to the legendary senator was too much for a Seattle House member who knew him well. Rep. Reuven Carlyle issued his own statement Thursday.

“There comes a time when public officials have a moral responsibility to stand up for civic dialogue. Today is one of those days and this is one of those times.

A young Rueven Carlyle with his mother and Sen. Henry Jackson and his mother

Tim Eyman’s unbelievable, nasty personal insult to Everett Herald Editorial page editor Peter Jackson, a treasured friend and son of one of our state’s legendary public officials in the late Scoop Jackson, went a step too far outside the dignity of Washington’s history of integrity in politics.
Merely because the Everett Herald objectively reconsidered its previous support for Mr. Eyman’s supermajority initiative, a patronizing personal attack on the paper, Mr. Jackson and the memory of Senator Jackson (whom I had the honor of serving as a page for in the United States Senate) was uncalled for. We are better than this as a state and Mr. Eyman demeans us all in demeaning Sen. Jackson’s memory.”

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Gov. Gregoire vetoes study of State Patrol radio upgrade

Gov. Chris Gregoire today signed the $9.8 billion transportation budget (the AP’s Jonathan Kaminsky has more here) but she vetoed a section that called for a study of the State Patrol’s radio upgrade.

A state lawmaker who inserted the section called it another sign government is “addicted to the crack cocaine” of “old-style, clunky, proprietary hardware.” Rep. Reuven Carlyle said the debate amounts to a ”religious war” between different schools of thought on technology.

More on that below, but first some background: The patrol is cutting down on its use of the radio spectrum to comply with a federal “narrowbanding” deadline of Jan.

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University presidents detail budget-cut impacts on higher ed

Presidents from Washington’s universities came to Olympia today to tell lawmakers that the state’s four-year colleges will face dire consequences if they don’t get more funding from somewhere.

Tuition-setting authority, private investment and differential tuition in different undergraduate programs were among the strategies college administrators urged the Legislature to adopt in a House Higher Education Committee work session this morning.

“Frankly both you and we are in a pickle,” said Ralph Munro, a Trustee from Western Washington University speaking to Legislators during the meeting. “We have cut and we have cut and we have cut; I don’t want to see us go any further.”

University officials came to Olympia to explain letters they sent lawmakers in February detailing what they would do under the governor’s proposed cuts to higher education and under other, more dramatic funding-reduction scenarios.

According to the documents, cuts to Washington’s four-year institutions at the levels proposed in Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget would lead universities to accept over 3,000 fewer in-state students, increase the time it takes students to graduate and cut over 1,000 jobs.

In her budget, the governor proposed reducing higher education funding by about $447 million and authorizing a 9-11 percent tuition increase per year, but, university administrators pointed out, those increases would not be enough to offset all the cuts.

University representatives said they supported proposals in the Legislature now to give tuition-setting authority to university boards of regents to prevent the flight of talented faculty and other declines in quality at their institutions.

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Sweeping bill would end virtually all tax breaks

A long-awaited bill that carves up the state tax code and gores just about every ox imaginable has been unveiled.

Hundreds of tax breaks would be phased out under Senate Bill 5857, introduced by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles with a tip of the hat to a fellow Seattle Democrat, Rep. Reuven Carlyle, for crafting the legislation.

Kohl-Welles said in a news release that eliminating most exemptions to the sales tax and ending special business-and-occupation tax rates would save about $8 billion over eight years. There is not yet an official estimate of the bill’s cost.

The bill is unlikely to

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Rep. Carlyle’s tuition-setting bill passes House Higher Education Committee

The House Higher Education Committee passed on a tuition-setting bill by Rep. Reuven Carlyle today, a first step in moving legislation that would change the funding model for higher education in the state.

Representatives from both parties voted 10-5 to pass Substitute House Bill 1795, which would give four-year colleges and universities full tuition setting authority for four years and set up a new middle class financial aid program.

“First and foremost, the legislature is faced with a crushing reality of rising tuition,” said Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat. “ It’s just a matter of can we do it with some real intelligence and fairness to students.”

The substitute bill, which Carlyle said he revised along with a working group of university students, faculty and administrators, would give public universities unlimited tuition-setting authority for four years but would require that any yearly tuition increases that go over a certain amount—9 percent for some universities and 11 percent for others—pay for financial aid for middle-income students.

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Rep. Carlyle proposes bill that would give universities tuition-setting authority

Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, is planning to introduce a bill today that would grant public universities in the state tuition setting authority for four years and set up a new scholarship fund for middle-income families.

In a blog post announcing the legislation, Carlyle said he had been working with Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, and Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, the chairmen of the House and Senate committees that deal with higher education, to draft a bill that would implement some of the recommendations from the Higher Education Funding Task Force Report, released in January.

Carlyle’s bill, which doesn’t have a

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How many votes did your state lawmaker miss?

You can find out below, courtesy of a count by Washington Votes. But the more interesting part of the report out today might be the excuses lawmakers gave for missing votes.

Some are pretty compelling: illnesses, surgeries, disabilities. Others, not so much. Read them below, too.

Living near Olympia didn’t help attendance records. Four of the six most frequently absent House members were from the South Sound. Led by Rep. Christopher Hurst of Enumclaw (163 missed votes), whose wife has been recovering from brain surgery, the list also includes Reps. Geoff Simpson of Covington (91), Cary Condotta of Wenatchee (80), Reuven Carlyle of Seattle (75), Jeannie Darneille of Tacoma (67) and Dennis Flannigan of Tacoma (67).

The most frequently absent senator was Sen. Bob McCaslin of Spokane Valley (491), who was hospitalized during session, followed by Sens. Darlene Fairley of Lake Forest Park (96), Janéa Holmquist of Moses Lake (85), Cheryl Pflug of Maple Valley (78) and Dale Brandland of Bellingham (69).

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