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Category: General Politics

April
4th

Sen. McAuliffe introduces income tax to help fund K-12 schools, cut sales tax by 1 percent

Some legislative ideas are dubbed dead on arrival and then there are the ones for which the funeral quite possibly preceded the birth.  We’ll just have to wait and see on Democratic Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe‘s $1.5 billion-a-year income tax plan introduced today. She would send it to voters as a referendum in November.

McAuliffe offered up her idea – Senate Bill 5900 – a week after Gov. Jay Inslee offered up a $1.2 billion revenue plan and one day after the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus offered up its two-year spending plan for 2013-15 that pretty much

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April
4th

Gov. Inslee is keeping campaign promise to not claim executive privilege on records requests

So far, so good: Gov. Jay Inslee is living up to a campaign promise not to claim “executive privilege” to shield government records from disclosure.

The Freedom Foundation, which sued former governor Chris Gregoire over her use of the claimed privilege to deny some 500 records requests, says it put in requests for a half-dozen sets of documents from Inslee which Gregoire had denied on grounds of executive privilege. The new Democratic governor’s staff provided all of them. Plus ,a foundation spokeswoman said, no new privilege claims have been asserted since Inslee took office in mid-January.

In a news release,

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March
26th

Scientist who denies human role in climate change runs into skeptical senators

 

A retired Western Washington University professor testified to a Republican-controlled state Senate committee  Tuesday that climate change stopped in 1998 and that human-caused greenhouse gases are not responsible for fluctuations in the Earth’s temperatures or melting polar ice caps.

The startling testimony from emeritus professor Don Easterbrook is at odds with an apparent consensus among climate scientists  and climate-science literature about human causes behind the the rise in global temperatures over the past century. His testimony  came one day after the Legislature sent Gov. Jay Inslee a bill that sets up a legislative work group to study Washington’s best

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March
25th

Retired WWU climate scientist to offer skeptical view on global warming at Senate work session Tuesday

Gov. Jay Inslee’s climate-change study bill passed the House Monday and is on its way to his desk for signing. Meanwhile, skeptics of the science Inslee relies upon may want to turn to the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday for some reassurance.

That’s when Dr. Don Easterbrook, retired geology professor emeritus from Western Washington University and a climate-change skeptic, is scheduled to give an hour-long presentation at the Capitol Campus. Easterbrook has done research into climate change around the world and authored a book, “Evidence-Based Science,” which disputes that

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March
23rd

U.S. Senate’s ‘symbolic’ vote on online taxes keeps cash-hopes alive in the Washington Legislature

The U.S. Senate voted 75-to-24 Friday to approve a budget amendment that doesn’t yet usher in a new era of taxing online retail sales in all states. But it did show that the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act has enough support to avoid a filibuster.

The National Conference of State Legislatures hailed the vote Friday night as a step toward states and local governments being able to collect some $23 billion in lost taxation. The state Department of Revenue estimated last year that Washington’s state and local governments could see a two-year windfall of up to $483

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March
22nd

Washington becoming low-tax state? One new report ranks state at No. 28 for tax burden, another puts it down at 36th

The Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation put out its new report on state and local taxes this week and it shows Washington is a below-average state for taxes. The Evergreen State landed No. 28 out of 50 states for high taxes, which means 22 states were lower and 27 were higher when state and local government taxes were compared to total incomes.

The national report pegged Washington’s state-local tax burden at about 9.3 percent of incomes in 2010.

Washington ranked even lower in a January report from the state Department of Revenue – linked here

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March
21st

UPDATE: Poll shows more voters opposed to abortion ‘parity’ act than in favor

Updated: In a warm-up to the April 1 Senate hearing on an important abortion rights bill, two anti-abortion groups released a poll Thursday showing the public is only dimly aware of the Reproductive Parity Act. And once details of the legislation are explained, a 50 percent majority is opposed.

The groups hired Elway Research for the proprietary poll. See Stuart Elway‘s results here. The survey of 412 voters during Feb. 28 to March 2 had an error margin of 5 percent. Key finding: the opposition led the proponents by a 50 percent to 42 percent margin when asked if they agreed: “All

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March
18th

Memorial for Booth Gardner to be March 30 at UPS Fieldhouse

Political consultant and family spokesman Ron Dotzauer has announced the date and location for former Gov. Booth Gardner‘s public memorial.  It is planned at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 30, at the Memorial Fieldhouse at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.

Gardner died Friday night at the age of 76 from complications related to Parkinson’s disease. A news obituary crafted by Jordan Schrader of The News Tribune is here.