All five countywide port commissioners are from Seattle. Is that fair?

One way we measure the health of our representative democracy is if citizens feel someone is advocating for them and their interests. People want to know that someone from their area, who experiences daily life like they do, represents them to a government body. From that perspective, some are questioning how representative the Port of […]

2018 Legislature: The “don’t expect too much” session

Gov. Jay Inslee already rolled out his supplemental budget proposal and laid out his legislative priorities for 2018. He wants a carbon tax, and he wants a quick ramp-up of teacher salaries. Legislative leaders…well, they’re not really leaping to embrace Inslee’s agenda. I’m not talking about Republican legislative leaders; there would be nothing surprising about […]

Lawmakers, admit it: There’s no good reason for your public records exemption

With limited exceptions, you’re allowed to see just about everything government does in this state. From state agencies to your local port commission, if government does it, you can request to see it. But there’s one big, glaring omission: The state Legislature. If you request records from a lawmaker, you’re likely to be denied. That’s […]

It’s about time: Let’s ditch the Daylight Saving switch

If you went solely by social media posts from March and November, you’d conclude that Daylight Saving Time (DST) is massively unpopular. The twice-yearly clock adjustment is particularly irksome to parents of young children – they never get that promised extra hour of sleep in the fall – and anyone who starts their week by […]

Lawmakers receive capital gains tax lesson in Seattle income tax ruling

There is a very important lesson for Governor Inslee and lawmakers from last week’s court ruling invalidating Seattle’s income tax. In rejecting Seattle’s argument that its income tax is actually an excise tax, Judge Ruhl said you can’t redefine an income tax as an excise tax to get around legal restrictions. Judge Ruhl pointed to this prior […]

Dems run the show. What now for state government?

Well, it happened: With a flip of one seat in Tuesday’s election, Democrats will now control the state Senate. Manka Dhingra, the Democratic candidate to succeed Republican Sen. Andy Hill in the 45th District, emerged victorious, so now Democrats will control both houses of the legislature and the governor’s office. The result in the 45th […]

McKenna on KIRO: Is the McCleary case finally over?

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the latest state Supreme Court hearing on the McCleary education funding case that has roiled state government for over five years. Justices asked tough questions of both sides in Tuesday’s hearing. Dave Ross: “The other thing is, critics point out that while the state is providing more […]

McKenna on KIRO: Toll lanes and ST3

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the debate over I-405 toll lane performance measures, as well as the valuation method used by Sound Transit to tax car values. On 405, some believe the law requires that the express toll lane project be shut down because one performance measure – that the average speed […]

McKenna on KIRO: Child porn conviction upheld for teen’s own photo

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a state Supreme Court ruling in which a Spokane teen’s conviction for child pornography was upheld, even though he was the one who created and sent the image. NW News Network reports, “The teen, who has Asperger’s syndrome and was already a convicted juvenile sex offender, was […]

Seattle driving away Amazon is not our state’s only economic worry: Water ruling, stifled building damaging our economy, hugely

$6.9 billion in lost economic activity annually. 9,300 jobs and $52 million in employee wages, gone. No, I’m not talking about Amazon’s recent announcement. These staggering figures are the estimate of what it will cost us if legislators and the governor continue to do nothing about fixing the Hirst decision. And while Amazon’s news is extremely worrisome, it directly […]