GO EAST YOUNG MAN: STATE BUDGET EXPERT MERCIER TAKING EXPERTISE AWAY.
MOUNTAIN STATES' GAIN IS WA'S LOSS
Jason Mercier – the Washington Policy Center’s Director of the Center for Government Reform – joined us for a special Newsmaker Interview. Mercier will soon become the Vice President of the recently formed Mountain States Policy Center, a regional think tank focused on Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and – occasionally – Eastern Washington. Undoubtedly the most quoted individual in Shift over the last few years, Mercier shares his departing thoughts after 23 years of being a policy analyst of the Washington State government and its budgets. Read more on Shift.
HEADLINE SAYS IT ALL: "WHAT’S THE POINT OF THE REGIONAL HOMELESSNESS AUTHORITY?"
Sometimes copy writers nail the headline, and such was the case over columnist Danny Westneat’s latest in the Seattle Times, which captures a liberal’s lament about big government gone bad – what’s the point, indeed? In Westneat’s own words, “The Regional Homelessness Authority needs a new leader, but it also is crying out for a major reset, from its culture down to its goals. It’s worth talking about whether it should just be disbanded.”
Local pundits had high hopes for the latest in homeless solutions offered by local liberals years ago, though Shift readers will note that the regional bureaucracy has never exactly lived up to its promise. Which begs the question that Westneat closes with that “when you’re paying $95 million, as Seattle is, yet still doing workarounds, how long before you ask: Is this worth it? Could we be helping more homeless people without the extra bureaucracy?” You can answer the question for yourself here… Seattle Times, Shift.
STUDENTS DEMAND HIGHER TUITION, COLDER UNIVERSITY
The weather did not cooperate with the small handful of University of Washington zealots who picked this weekend to launch an anti-warmth/pro-higher energy costs protest at the school, just in time for rain to return to the Puget Sound area and dampen their crowd. The Seattle Times reports their righteous discomfort: “(A)s the temperature dropped overnight and ushered in a chilled, gray morning, four University of Washington students awoke chained to the campus’s power plant. Sunday marked nearly 36 hours and counting that a small group of student activists have used their bodies to protest the university’s continued use of fossil fuels.”
The protest was launched because the University is not moving fast enough to ignore economics and sweep away the reality that the “campus, which has been relying on fossil fuel generation since the 1890s, produced nearly 90,000 metric tons of climate-warming greenhouse gases in 2021.” And that kind of infrastructure requirement does not disappear over one weekend. You can read more about the UW administration’s allegedly caving into some silly demands here… Seattle Times.
YAKIMA RAISES ITS HAND FOR AIRPORT
Shift has highlighted the zombie commission that is the one that was charged with finding a place for planes once SeaTac fills up sometime next decade, but which Governor Jay Inslee recently signed into irrelevance. But as the Yakima Herald captures, no one seems to be taking seriously the offer from the Palm Springs of Washington to locate some landing strips there, just a short high-speed train ride away from where people want to go.
As one local cheerleader put it, “The Yakima airport has been refining a strategy to meet the air transportation needs. Yakima continues to be the only community to volunteer to provide additional aviation capacity.” You can read more about your next (decade’s) airport destination here… Shift, Yakima Herald.
A FARMER’S VIEW OF JAY INSLEE
The recent legislative session left many Washington state constituencies dissatisfied with the results, from the lack of progress on improving public safety, to a refusal to face public school learning loss, or even any reduction taxes despite massive budget surpluses. However, perhaps no segment of Washington has been under as much attack from Olympia as the farming community, as captured in this blunt op-ed in the Spokesman-Review: “Washington’s family farmers have felt for some time that Gov. Jay Inslee and his administration, as well as some legislative leaders aligned with his goals, do not value them. This legislative session wrapped up with yet another clear message: We don’t care about the future of farming in this state.” You can read more of this scathing overview of the Democrats’ farm “work” here… Spokesman-Review.
INSIDE STORY - DEMOCRATS PLANNED TO LEGALIZE DRUGS
The further we get from the legislative session, the more inside stories start to seep out. The latest, from longtime Spokane political reporter Jim Camden, captures how Democrat leaders were overjoyed that the “looming end of Washington’s drug possession laws was a crisis that provided an opportunity for those who want to shift away from the ‘war on drugs’ policies of the past half decade.”
That’s right, at the same time that legislators were paying lip service (as Shift highlighted) to improving public safety, the goal was much different, as the legislation “offered a chance they didn’t want to waste, to substitute treatment and rehabilitation for incarceration. The conflict between those who wanted more treatment and those who wanted more enforcement is what kept a compromise from happening in the regular session.” More inside scoop here… Spokesman-Review, Shift.
OVERHEARD ON THE INTERWEBS...
MORE TAXPAYER MONEY WASTED BY HIS ‘NEGLECT’ – MORE NEWS BOB FERGUSON HOPED WAS BURIED ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON
ANOTHER CRIME FOR DEMOCRATS TO IGNORE
REMINDER: THIS IS WHAT GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE LOOKS LIKE
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