Budget

Hobbesian Choices

The chairs of the House and of the Senate budget committees both introduced their budget proposals this week. The committees will vote on them soon, though none of us can say exactly when at this point. Typically the bills are introduced and passed in about 3 days. The minority party…


Updates to Basic Ed Financing

The Senate released their budget yesterday. The House releases its today. I’ll opine later on the differences. Both are mostly no-new-revenue budgets. The Senate packages up closing some tax loopholes. The House comes out later this morning so I can’t comment on it now. Both bodies have passed a version…



February Revenue Collections Report

We got more bad news on the economy last week – another $63 million decline in the collections data. This was the month of Dec 10 – Jan 10, a very important period in our retail sales data.  Our total decline for the 2nd quarter of fiscal year 2009 (Oct,…


The News Tribune covers Basic Ed plan

Peter Callaghan wrote about our tremendous hearing in the House yesterday. We had 120 people testify, of whom only 13 were opposed. The most amusing juxtaposition was when a panel of 4 superintendents delivered a letter from all 35 school district superintendents in the Puget Sound region endorsing the bill…


Taxable Retail Sales

Cindi Holmstrom, the Director of the Department of Revenue, sent me this chart and the associated comments last week. It’s a sobering indicator of economic conditions. Taxable retail sales provide a strong indication of the economic conditions in the state of Washington. The chart below illustrates the decline in retail…



Worth Reading

Michael Lewis (Liar’s Poker…) has a great op-ed in the New York Times this week about the total lack of adult supervision in the other Washington and the culture that makes getting along with Wall Street more important than actually regulating them. It’s awful to think that this kind of…


2009 Legislative Agenda

This year will be particularly difficult due to the national economic disaster. Unlike the federal government, Washington is required to have a balanced budget. Our budget situation is dire, and will require dramatic measures. I try to be organized about how I approach a legislative session, particularly one as difficult…


Initial Thoughts on the Budget

At the time I write this the national economy is in free-fall, with banks and other businesses failing right and left. The car companies may be next. So far the two biggest employers in WA — Boeing and Microsoft — are still in good shape, but there are concerns if…