The seemingly impossible task of reducing government red tape

Like kudzu – or, around here, Himalayan blackberry – it is the nature of the Regulatory State to expand, rapidly. It justifies itself by proliferating new regulations, and by expanding into new areas. One of the top concerns cited by businesses seeking to grow is the ever-rising number of rules and regulations to follow, and […]

People, small businesses under gov’t glare deserve to know their rights

Most of our interactions with government are like stopping by the local DOL office to renew your license: pretty mundane, and it’ll probably take longer than you’d like. If you or a business of yours has ever been the subject of an investigation or enforcement action, however, you know how stressful it can be to […]

Never-give-up income taxers hope Sup. Court grants their most cherished wish

Washington Democrats’ desire for a state income tax is relentless. The national party symbol is the donkey, but perhaps Rick Astley is a more suitable inspiration for local Dems – they’re never gonna give up on a state income tax. As long as Washington remains one of nine states without an income tax, state Democrats […]

Two years later, port strife still hurting Washington farms, businesses

We all value dependability, and not just in friends and Oldsmobiles. Buyers of Washington’s exports value local firms’ supply chain consistency, but that reputation took a hit during the port slowdown of 2014-15. Trucks and barges backed up, product rotted, and overseas customers had to look elsewhere for goods that before had been reliably supplied […]

“After-the-fact” fix emblematic of collective bargaining problems

Lobbyists for state employee unions testified in Olympia recently in favor of HB 1521 and HB 1434, two innocuous-sounding bills regarding employee benefits. But with some ambiguous hem-and-haw language in their testimony, the labor lobbyists glossed over a key fact: the benefits the two bills would grant were already bargained into being by their unions […]

State, SEIU dragged kicking and screaming toward change

One way to gauge how seriously a gubernatorial administration takes an issue is to observe how many meetings it devotes to the topic. By that measure, the Inslee administration took the Service Employees International Union’s worries about 2014’s famous Harris case very seriously. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Harris – that state-reimbursed homecare workers […]

Remove barriers to help counties not participating in the “Seattle boom”

Perhaps no legislator has done more to bring attention to our state’s rural economies than Rep. JT Wilcox (R-Yelm). On occasions when the spotlight is on the “Goliaths” of our economy, such as Boeing, Wilcox asks what the Legislature can do to give a boost to the Davids too, including in our rural areas. This […]

New administration, no Harry Reid: Time to make progress on nuke waste storage

Our state is justifiably proud of the contributions made to victory in World War II, notably Boeing’s massive airplane production and the important work done at Hanford. Unfortunately, we continue to pay a price for the latter. Great minds labored in secrecy at Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Hanford, driven by the need to develop […]

With free speech eroding, UW stood strong through Yiannopoulos controversy

We’ve seen it on campus after campus across the country, as controversial speakers (and even plenty that aren’t that controversial) are disinvited, shouted down, or threatened to stay away. We’ve seen it in aggressive protestors who see no irony in declaring a speech they disagree with “assault,” then turn around and call it “free speech” […]

Ending unnecessary licensing is about your right to make a living

Ours is a pretty divided nation these days, it’s hard to deny. That makes it all the more heartening to see issues where there is growing consensus in both parties. We’ve seen that in Republicans and Democrats alike rethinking our civil asset forfeiture laws (though the president has expressed some support for them). They’re questioning […]