Republican lawmakers fight to keep workers’ rights as Governor Inslee seeks to destroy privacy laws.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee – Again – Breaks His Promises. “It should have been obvious by now to any political observer that, after his nearly four decades in the public square, Governor Jay Inslee doesn’t care about his friends, enemies or frenemies. His actions are all about Jay Inslee. If the COVID pandemic has shown us anything, it’s the fact the Jay Inslee is drunk with power and will do whatever necessary to maintain the dictatorial control he craves.” (Click to read full Shift Article)
The Seattle Times again came out against the Democrats’ state income tax on capital gains. Not only do the Times’ editors believe the tax is unconstitutional (as two lawsuits also contend), but the paper also contends it fails to live up to the Democrats’ argument that it makes the state’s taxes “fairer.” In the editorial, the Times writes, “The capital-gains tax doesn’t balance the tax code; it just adds another layer. With strong revenue projections and operating budgets already leaping — up to around $59 billion in 2021-23 from $32 billion just a decade ago — it’s difficult to justify a brand-new tax.” It’s not difficult for Democrats though – they are always willing and able to justify a new tax. (Seattle Times, Shift Newsmaker Interview, and Washington State Budget chart)
Lawmakers continue to criticize Governor Inslee’s facemask plans for businesses as unworkable and an infringement on the privacy rights of workers. Governor Inslee’s latest unilateral order requires employees to wear face masks (while customers can go without face coverings), unless the worker provides either documentation or signs a letter stating they are fully vaccinated. House Republican Leader JT Wilcox said in a statement, “Forcing employers to ask and record this personal medical decision violates employee privacy and is fundamentally wrong. Once again, the executive branch is making unilateral decisions and advancing poorly constructed COVID-related policies.” Senate Republican Leader John Braun of Centralia said, “It is another example of the same distrust and mismanagement seen from the executive branch for most of the past year — and a new way for government to control their lives.” (Centralia Chronicle)
Washington State drivers will still be charged for tolls even as the system is closed for an estimated two weeks later this month. The Washington State Department of Transportation announced that it is changing vendors of its Good to Go toll system and will need to close public access to the tolling site starting June 18th. The lucrative state contract to manage the tolls system will change hands from Electronic Transaction Consultants of Texas to Shimmick out of California. Just try to follow the bouncing money that influenced that decision. (Puget Sound Business Journal)
As Seattle’s ultra-liberal policies continue to enable the growth of homeless encampments throughout the city, a murder has taken place at an encampment in the Ravenna neighborhood. Multiple 911 calls were made early Monday, with reports of gunfire in a nearby park. When police arrived they found a 31-year-old man dead. The encampments in Ravenna and Cowen parks have been the source of many complaints from local residents over the years, as public drug use and related violence has disturbed the residential neighborhood. Seattle city councilmembers have held town meetings, but their lip service/public relations has of course not resulted in any improvements in the situation, just more encampments constructed in the neighborhood. Just a few weeks ago, shootings and fires resulted in the city cleaning up an encampment a couple miles north in Lake City. As liberal politicians have done with previous violence in homeless encampments, we can fully expect city officials to blame guns for the violence, as they seek to deflect criticism for their own failed and expensive policies which allow people to live in such misery. (Seattle Times, Ravenna-Cowen Community Alliance, KIRO News, and MyNorthwest)
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan believes the Seattle Public Schools should take money away from educating students and use it to provide services to those who are in an encampment on school district property. Asked about the ongoing encampment on Broadview – Thomson K-8 school property in North Seattle, the lame duck mayor said, “I think that if they (the school district) follow what we’ve been able to do in many places using city properties and city resources, that you can do very compassionate-based outreach and you can also move any encampment that has a particular public health or safety risk.” In other words, Jenny is out of here in a few months, and the rest of you can just lump it until then. (PublicCola)
The Northshore Christian Academy in Everett has gone nearly a full academic year of full-time in-person instruction without transmitting a single case of COVID-19. While public school students across the state were forced by Jay Inslee and the teachers’ unions to receive subpar education through distance learning for almost all of the last year, the 950 (and growing) students at the private school safely received a near-normal education. The school’s Assistant Superintendent Jordan Gage said, “we believe that the best learning happens in person, that relationships are the foundation for any great education. We felt the best way to accomplish our mission was to be in person five days a week, and we knew that was going against the grain.” The school’s staff screened students every morning and the administration worked with teachers to make sure they had all they needed to keep students safe. And there were no unions involved at Northshore Christian, so the focus was on the students, not the adults, in the school. (Puget Sound Business Journal and Northshore Christian Academy)
The Inslee Administration has finally lifted one of its random and unscientific rules against farm operators, after strenuous protest by members of the agriculture community. On Friday, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries and the Department of Health lifted their ridiculous rules that fully vaccinated farm workers needed to wear a mask in living quarters and adhere to social distancing guidelines. These silly state requirements were the latest in a series of orders from the Inslee Administration which demonstrated our green governor and his staff have very little knowledge about how farms operate. The good news is that these orders were removed without the governor transporting maggot-infested apples into the region. (KIMA and KOMO News)
Testimony before the Washington State Redistricting Commission suggests Eastern Washington congressional districts may face serious changes. For decades, the 4th Congressional District has represented most of Central Washington ,while the 5th District included the Eastern borders of the state. Interest group demands – like not breaking up the Colville Confederated Tribes reservation in Ferry and Okanogan counties, and wanting to move Walla Walla into the same district as the Tri-Cities, are forcing the commission to consider the districts with more of a North/South alignment, instead of its current East/West configuration. (Spokesman-Review, Colville Reservation map and Washington State Congressional District map)
Governor Inslee’s overreach in veto authority could result in Democrat Attorney General Bob Ferguson facing off against the governor in court. If Democrat legislators follow through with their threat to bring a lawsuit against their party’s governor for his veto of language in his expensive climate bills (HB 1091 and SB 5126) which linked them to passage of a future transportation funding package, then they will be represented by the attorney general’s office, while the governor will be represented by his own staff counsel. Some Olympia insiders are saying this will be Ag Ferguson’s opportunity to distance himself from the fading governor (who the AG is not pleased with since Inslee decided to run for a third term). On the bright side for Ferguson, the lawsuit will allow him to keep some of his attorneys busy now that he is no longer filing multiple lawsuits against the President. The bad news for Washington State taxpayers is that they will funding the expensive cost for attorneys on both sides of the case. (Washington State House Democrat Caucus statement and Washington Legislature Bill Summary)
This week’s Newsmaker Interview is with Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party Caleb Heimlich. With the end of the 2021 legislative session (which Heimlich labeled as “brutal”), we thought it would be interesting to obtain the thoughts of the person who is responsible for leading the effort to turn the radical and expensive laws passed by the Democrats into opportunities for Republican candidates. Chairman Heimlich shares the state party’s plans for 2022, as they work for a repeat of 1994 and 2010, when voters overwhelmingly rejected the misguided and unpopular policies of arrogant legislative Democrats and elected Republicans in record numbers. Heimlich also describes how he chose to “lead by example” in condemning the political violence which took place on January 6th and the “hypocrisy” of Democrat officials who remain fixated about the acts committed by fringe Trump followers, but have remained silent about the numerous acts of violence committed by their own supporters. (Click to read full Newsmaker Interview)
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