Bright Light award: King County Veterans programs

Those who have served in our armed forces can face unique challenges in reintegrating into civilian life. The rest of us have a unique challenge as well: a duty to support our veterans and lift them up. In King County, some under-the-radar programs are ready to assist veterans in establishing successful post-service lives. The overarching […]

Bright Light award: Drew Stokesbary

It’s heartening, as a recovering politician, to see younger people stepping up to run for office. The conservative side of the aisle in Olympia has benefited in recent years by some really impressive under-40 officeholders who give us confidence about the future. Rep. Drew Stokesbary (R-Auburn) certainly fits that bill. The young conservative, just re-elected […]

Bright Light award: Warner & Woods of the Wenatchee World

Interest in better public policy outcomes demands an interest in quality journalism. In a world where people increasingly get their news from ideological silos, community-based news, original reporting, and clutter-clearing commentary are more important than ever. North Central Washington is fortunate to have the Wenatchee World, which truly is a community asset. Owned and published […]

Bright Light award: Lincoln County commissioners

Pursuing common sense in government can be surprisingly controversial. This year’s contretemps in rural Lincoln County is a prime example. County commissioners there took a stand for open negotiations, and were immediately hit with union blowback. If you polled taxpayers on whether they should be allowed to observe negotiations between government officials and employee unions, […]

Bright Light award: Steve Litzow

“Leader” is a designation that gets tossed around a lot. Perhaps we should save it for the times we really, really mean it. Certainly, for praising outgoing state Sen. Steve Litzow, it’s appropriate. On the big issues of the day, Litzow was right at the center of the action. Especially on K-12, early learning and […]

Bright Light award: Judy East

“Every community needs a Judy East,” her nominator told me. “She is the type of person that makes communities stronger, and helps the people in them become better at what they do.” Judy East is a long-time volunteer in her school community, where she’s held many leadership positions. A busy mom of two children, East […]

Important case strikes a blow against government secrecy

The people have a right to know what government is doing in their name and how it spends their money. Like other rights, it’s one that must frequently be asserted or it begins to erode. Your right to view government records is inconvenient for public officials when they would prefer to keep their work in […]

Inslee’s tax increases really are massive

Three topline reactions to Gov. Jay Inslee’s massive tax increase proposal: The actual tax hike is much larger than what’s being presented. Most of the news coverage presented it as a $4.4 billion tax increase. Since not all of the tax increases would be phased in immediately, that $4.4 billion increase would apply to the […]

Law requiring state pay raises be “feasible financially” is toothless

Gov. Jay Inslee and his budget team spent much of 2016 negotiating pay raises with 38 unions representing state employees. The result was pay increases that average 6%, at a time when the state is scrambling for every penny to meet the McCleary order on K-12 funding. The timing of these negotiations between the governor […]

“Local control” will be one of 2017’s Olympia buzzwords

You’re going to be hearing a lot about local control from the state teachers union, the WEA, in the months ahead. The local control issue is not about the local school board and apple pie and the homecoming dance. It’s about the same thing it always is: money and control. When the Legislature convenes in […]