Happening in Olympia
The campaign working to reinstate affirmative action in Washington state is struggling to balance the books, holding more than $1.3 million in debt. They owe funds to individuals and companies who collected the signatures to qualify the initiative for success. “They literally haven’t paid a penny,” said Carolyn Ostic, a coordinator who hired crews last fall to gather signatures for the affirmative-action campaign, known as Initiative 1000. “They keep promising money, but nothing’s happening.” (Seattle Times)
“The thing that worries me the most is, right at the end of the economic cycle, we’re going up by 20 percent,” said House Minority Leader JT Wilcox (R-Yelm). “And you know what the bow wave does…When you start accelerating your budget by 20 percent, it doesn’t pull back to 10 percent the next year. Twenty percent becomes the benchmark.” With revenues up by $8.5 billion from two years ago, House Republicans say there is no need for new revenue. Never the less, Democrats insist that our state needs an income tax. (Washington State Wire)
The Washington Policy Center’s Jason Mercier says it’s time to call a capital gains tax what it is – an income tax. He points out that Democrats in Olympia are doing everything they can to not call it what it really is – since Washington voters have rejected the idea multiple times. “…they want to close the so-called ‘loophole’ on capital gains via an ‘excise tax.’ If you don’t know what an ‘excise tax’ on capital gains is, you are not alone. Such a tax does not exist anywhere in the country,” Mercier wrote. (Seattle Times)
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said over the weekend that she wants to explore ways to prevent people who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs from having a gun. “If you have someone who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which the charging papers indicate, that person shouldn’t have had a weapon in their hands,” said Durkan, who appeared in a Lake City park Saturday with other local leaders. “We have to think of ways to prevent that from happening.” (Seattle Times)
Seattle’s tent cities were initially permitted to only remain in one location for two years, but now most tents have been replaced by tiny houses which are costly to move. The city is extending the time limit for three such villages while they figure out how to navigate their latest homelessness challenge. These villages were never intended to have such a permanent footprint, with many now hooked up to sewer, heat and even wi-fi. (The News Tribune)
City Manager Cliff Moore announced Yakima has finally found a new police chief, Matthew Murray. Murray, a lieutenant in charge of the Denver Police Department’s Community Relations department, will begin his new job May 1. “Matt stood out among the five police chief candidates who came to Yakima last week because of the vast amount of experience he has gained during his long career in law enforcement, the significant breadth of responsibilities he has had serving in a variety of leadership roles, and his understanding and embracing of 21st century policing principles,” Moore said. (Yakima Herald)
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