Morning drive time won’t be the same without Bob Rivers

It feels like retirement season in the Seattle media scene. Dan Lewis at KOMO TV, Jean Enersen at KING TV, and Steve Scher at KUOW have all stepped away recently from their prominent roles, while the News Tribune’s great columnist Peter Callaghan has left us for Minnesota. Ten days ago, though, was the real stunner. […]

TVW too important to citizens to be at mercy of failing equipment

TVW’s ancient remote cameras are failing and can no longer be maintained or repaired. The 20-year-old equipment is no longer supported and replacement parts cannot be obtained. That’s a serious problem. In the just-concluded legislative session, the Senate appropriated money to purchase new equipment so government decision-making will continue to be accessible to citizens, but […]

President Obama needs to do the right thing

By Guest Columnist Chris Vance Certainly tactics like shutting down the government and threatening to have the US default on its debts are not practices that fit the definition of Smarter Government.  But the reality of the legislative process is that sometimes issues come along that are so vital they lead to special sessions in […]

A missed opportunity to join this century

There has been an ongoing debate in recent years about the appropriate percentage that state employees should contribute to their health care coverage provided by the state. I believe – as do many of our small business owners and newspaper editorial boards across the state – that state employees who choose to keep their traditional […]

State’s revenue forecast positive; Nealey cautions that economic recovery is still fragile

Press Release: Washington House Republicans The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council today released its quarterly revenue projections for the state and the news is positive. Since the previous June forecast, officials say closing revenue for the 2011-13 biennium is up $23 million. The forecast also projects an increase of $345 million for the […]

It’s important to understand Common Core

As a parent, I’ve always had high expectations for my children. Marilyn and I have been involved in our local public schools for over 20 years, since Madeleine started kindergarten at Newport Heights Elementary School in Bellevue. As Attorney General, I visited over 70 schools across Washington, talking to teachers, parents and students about what works — or doesn’t […]

State government should focus on core functions

Governor Gregoire and the legislature responded to the Great Recession in many ways, and one of the smarter ones was in 2011 to take a harder look at whether private businesses could save the state money by taking on some of the tasks being done by government. Now, two years down the road, it’s disappointing […]

Does it matter where good ideas come from?

Political activists love symbols and shorthand that they can use to signal to the like-minded that they are supposed to despise something. The left has tried to do that to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group of legislators from around the country that promotes model laws that its members agree on. They have […]

Political games ahead of substance

The Legislature is now in its second special session of the year, and while the differences between the two chambers are serious, people are rightly frustrated that it is taking so long for them to reach agreement and finish their work. Our hope is always that, in situations like this, not just our elected leaders […]

The launch of Smarter Government Washington

Thanks for being here with me on Day 1! Today is launch day for Smarter Government Washington, a new, collaborative website I’ve started. Our purpose is to look for and then publicize examples and ideas that will make our state government smarter – because a more efficient and less expensive government will allow your tax […]