budget woes http://www.kplu.org en Washington tax dollars go to dry cleaning, artwork http://www.kplu.org/post/washington-tax-dollars-go-dry-cleaning-artwork <p>A few days after Washington lawmakers approved a budget deal to lower state spending last year, small-government Rep. Gary Alexander got $40.60 worth of dry cleaning done.</p><p>Then he made sure taxpayers paid the bill.</p><p> Tue, 29 Jan 2013 17:47:58 +0000 The Associated Press 7668 at http://www.kplu.org Practicality of 'No new taxes' pledge debated in Olympia http://www.kplu.org/post/practicality-no-new-taxes-pledge-debated-olympia OLYMPIA, Wash. - In Olympia, a new revenue outlook shows a shortfall in the next state budget cycle. That is putting renewed attention on promises not to raise taxes.<p>Washington's Democratic governor-elect Jay Inslee made such a pledge during the recent campaign. So did many Republicans elected to the Legislature.<p>The chief budget writer for House Democrats, Ross Hunter, says he's working on a no-new-taxes spending blueprint for the next two years. Thu, 15 Nov 2012 00:24:18 +0000 Tom Banse 7131 at http://www.kplu.org Practicality of 'No new taxes' pledge debated in Olympia Town in turmoil: Pacific may go out of business http://www.kplu.org/post/town-turmoil-pacific-may-go-out-business <p></p><div>PACIFIC, Wash. — The south King County town of Pacific is more than a century old, but the city council considered a measure at the Monday meeting to disincorporate.</div><div> Tue, 30 Oct 2012 16:31:49 +0000 The Associated Press 6891 at http://www.kplu.org The Post Office will miss another multi-billion dollar payment http://www.kplu.org/post/post-office-will-miss-another-multi-billion-dollar-payment This Sunday, the U.S. Postal Service won't be able to pay its latest $5.6 billion dollar obligation. This will be its second default; on Aug. 1 it failed to come up with a $5.5 billion dollar payment. <a href="http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2012/pr12_0930rhbpayment.htm">The Service is warning of expected losses</a> this year unless something is done:<p><blockquote><p>"Comprehensive reform of the laws governing the Postal Service is urgently needed in order for the Postal Service to fully implement its five-year business plan and return to long-term financial stability. Fri, 28 Sep 2012 15:40:09 +0000 Korva Coleman 6519 at http://www.kplu.org The Post Office will miss another multi-billion dollar payment Seattle $1.1 billion short of funding pensions http://www.kplu.org/post/seattle-11-billion-short-funding-pensions <p></p><p>The Seattle City Council is facing a $1.1 billion shortfall in its pension fund, according to a report to the Government Performance and Finance Committee (first noted by the <a href="http://publicola.com/2012/08/01/city-pension-fund-1-1-billion-in-debt/?utm_source=RSS+Feed&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+publicola+%28PubliCola%29">politics and government blog Publicola</a>).</p><p> Wed, 01 Aug 2012 18:35:36 +0000 Jake Ellison 5833 at http://www.kplu.org Seattle $1.1 billion short of funding pensions Morale at Washington's biggest state agency plummets http://www.kplu.org/post/morale-washingtons-biggest-state-agency-plummets OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Great Recession has taken its toll on morale at Washington’s largest state agency. Employee satisfaction at the Department of Social and Health Services has plummeted over the past couple of years. That’s according to a new employee survey.<p>DSHS is not only a large agency, it deals with some of Washington’s most vulnerable populations: abused and neglected children, the mentally ill and the elderly.<p>So here’s the top line summary of how employees who do that sensitive work are feeling: “In the 11 years ... Tue, 08 May 2012 16:29:58 +0000 4957 at http://www.kplu.org Morale at Washington's biggest state agency plummets Lawsuit likely over roll-your-own smokes tax in Washington http://www.kplu.org/post/lawsuit-likely-over-roll-your-own-smokes-tax-washington <p>OLYMPIA, Wash. &ndash; The burgeoning roll-your-own cigarette industry in Washington is preparing to do legal battle against the state. Governor Chris Gregoire is expected to sign into law today a new tax on do-it-yourself smokes. That will likely trigger a lawsuit.</p><p> Wed, 02 May 2012 16:27:01 +0000 Austin Jenkins 4906 at http://www.kplu.org Lawsuit likely over roll-your-own smokes tax in Washington Wenatchee-area default results in new reform law http://www.kplu.org/post/wenatchee-area-default-results-new-reform-law OLYMPIA, Wash. – A follow-up now to a story we first brought you in December. It was about the default of an under-performing hockey and concert arena in Wenatchee, Washington. Governor Chris Gregoire recently signed into law a rescue plan for that project. But the new law also aims to prevent future municipal defaults.<p>Here’s the quick back story. On December 1st of last year, the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee went into default. Tue, 06 Mar 2012 23:02:54 +0000 Austin Jenkins 4352 at http://www.kplu.org Wenatchee-area default results in new reform law Legislature edges closer to budget solution for Washington http://www.kplu.org/post/legislature-edges-closer-budget-solution-washington <p>OLYMPIA, Wash. &mdash; Republicans and Democrats are merging closer on tax policy as they begin to formulate solutions on the state&#39;s budget shortfall.</p><p> Wed, 15 Feb 2012 22:43:07 +0000 The Associated Press 4166 at http://www.kplu.org Washington lawmakers push driving-related fee hikes http://www.kplu.org/post/washington-lawmakers-push-driving-related-fee-hikes <p>OLYMPIA, Wash. &mdash; Washington state lawmakers are pressing ahead with a series of mostly driving-related fee increases to raise money for road repairs and other transportation needs.</p><div><p>The fee increases, which include an 80 percent hike for driver&#39;s licenses, passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee Monday. They would raise an estimated $52 million next year and an average of $80 million each year over the next decade.</p><p> Tue, 07 Feb 2012 01:27:03 +0000 The Associated Press 4071 at http://www.kplu.org Cuts and new revenue state budget proposals set for Monday http://www.kplu.org/post/cuts-and-new-revenue-state-budget-proposals-set-monday <p>OLYMPIA, Wash. &ndash; Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is set to propose a mix of cuts and new revenues to close a $1.4 billion budget shortfall. The Democrat has scheduled a news conference Monday morning.</p><p> Sat, 19 Nov 2011 01:23:24 +0000 Austin Jenkins 3226 at http://www.kplu.org No cuts to services in proposed King County budget http://www.kplu.org/post/no-cuts-services-proposed-king-county-budget <p>There&#39;s relatively good news on <a href="http://www.kingcounty.gov/exec/PSB/Budget.aspx">King County&rsquo;s budget for 2012</a>: In a big change from recent years, Executive Dow Constantine is proposing no cuts to services.&nbsp;</p><p>Constantine says though it is &ldquo;surrounded by seas of red ink,&rdquo; King County is &ldquo;an island of relative stability&rdquo; after several years of budget cuts and streamlining.</p><p> Tue, 27 Sep 2011 00:09:33 +0000 Bellamy Pailthorp 2732 at http://www.kplu.org Washington revenue forecast drops $1.4 billion http://www.kplu.org/post/washington-revenue-forecast-drops-14-billion <p>OLYMPIA, Wash. &ndash; Washington&#39;s latest revenue forecast predicts a $1.4 billion drop in tax collections through June of 2013.</p><p> Thu, 15 Sep 2011 18:04:56 +0000 Austin Jenkins 2634 at http://www.kplu.org Floyd tells WSU 'We're not out of this fiscal crisis yet' http://www.kplu.org/post/floyd-tells-wsu-were-not-out-fiscal-crisis-yet <p><a href="http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kplu/local-kplu-984111.mp3">http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kplu/local-kplu-984111.mp3</a></p><p>Washington State University President Elson Floyd says the university will get out of the current fiscal crisis, but it is not there yet.</p><p> Tue, 30 Aug 2011 19:23:03 +0000 Glenn Mosley 2477 at http://www.kplu.org Seattle asking voters to approve a $60 car tab fee http://www.kplu.org/post/seattle-asking-voters-approve-60-car-tab-fee <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kplu/local-kplu-982167.mp3</p><p>Seattle voters will face a proposed car tab fee on the November ballot. The city council has unanimously agreed to ask for an additional $60 annually for the next 10 years to help pay for road and transit projects.&nbsp;</p><p>The news comes just a day after the King County Council added a temporary $20 car tab fee to maintain bus service.</p><p> Tue, 16 Aug 2011 22:56:11 +0000 Bellamy Pailthorp 2332 at http://www.kplu.org