Washington State Journal - Building a stronger, more just & transparent democracy


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 By Sydney Brown    Money

Lawmakers send $59 billion budget to governor

As the end of the mostly virtual legislative session drew near April 25, lawmakers passed a hefty $59 billion budget that will funnel millions into childcare, public health, rental... — Updated 4/29/2021

 By Patric Haerle    Money

Capital gains tax narrowly passes Senate

A tax on capital gains, the sale of assets like stocks and bonds, passed the Senate by a single vote March 6. The bill was first amended to remove the emergency clause, meaning the issue is likely to appear on the ballot later... — Updated 3/8/2021

 By Sydney Brown    Money

State revenue forecast rosier than expected

Though unemployment and consumer uncertainty remain high, the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council officials told legislators March 3 they felt optimistic a brighter economic future is on its way to Washington.... — Updated 3/8/2021

 By Sydney Brown    Money

Tax credits, free lunches, land leases, immigrant help get House approval

As a single mother who survived on food stamps, an added $20 monthly cost for her four children's lunch was more than Rep. Melanie Morgan, D-Tacoma, could afford at that time.... — Updated 3/3/2021

 By Patric Haerle    Money

Republican budget proposal cuts programs, uses rainy-day fund

House Republicans released their proposed state budget Feb. 16, saying it shows how a Republican-controlled Legislature could craft a spending plan without raising taxes. "If House... — Updated 2/26/2021

 By Sydney Brown    Money

Revised capital gains tax advances

A capital gains excise tax moved one step closer to approval Feb. 17 despite opposition from Republican lawmakers who call the law an unnecessary income tax and warn it will result... — Updated 2/26/2021

 By Patric Haerle    Money

Working family tax exemption wins support

In the wake of a global pandemic that has left families across the state desperate, relief in the form of a tax exemption may finally be coming after years of failing to receive funding. Washington’s Working Families tax... — Updated 2/24/2021

 By Joseph Claypoole    Money

New bill to target price gougers and protect consume

Face masks, $200. Hand sanitizer, $90. Peace of mind? Priceless. Attorney General Bob Ferguson proposed an emergency action bill that would prohibit excessive price increases during a state of emergency. Under SB 5191, any item... — Updated 2/24/2021

 By Sydney Brown    Money

$2.2 billion in COVID-related funding for mental health, vaccine sites ready for passage

Funding for vaccine support, housing, mental health services and childcare is included in a hefty Democratic-led $2.2 billion COVID-19 relief package expected to get widespread support on the Senate floor. After this package is... — Updated 2/24/2021

 By Patric Haerle    Money

Democrats push new tax on billionaires

House Democrats are rallying around a proposal to tax Washington State’s billionaires. House Bill 1406 would impose a 1 percent tax on intangible assets, such as money or stocks, on people whose wealth exceeds $1 billion. The... — Updated 2/17/2021

 By Patric Haerle    Money

Subminimum wage for disabled workers called 'unjust'

In what is being labeled a civil rights issue by advocates, lawmakers are considering ending the decades old practice of paying workers with a disability less than the state minimum wage. Under the current system, the Department... — Updated 2/17/2021

 By Joseph Claypoole    Money

$25.8 billion transportation plan hikes gas tax 18 cents

Washington drivers will pay an extra 18 cents per gallon in gas taxes if a new 16-year, $25.8 billion transportation package backed by House Democrats is approved. The gas tax includes a 3 cent tax increase on diesel as well as a... — Updated 2/10/2021

 By Patric Haerle    Money

Capital gains tax gets a harsh reception

A different take on Gov. Jay Inslee’s capital gains tax, less broad and friendlier to small family-owned businesses, will likely be introduced later in this year’s legislative session. “We are considering proposals similar to... — Updated 1/21/2021

 By Patric Haerle    Money

Covid-related relief tops state budget priority list

Desperately needed COVID-19 relief is a top priority for this year's Legislature, and Republicans and Democrats generally agree it will be necessary to get that aid out as soon as possible. The parties are split, however, when it c... — Updated 1/14/2021

 By Cameron Sheppard    Money

Tax breaks on airplane maintenance awaits governor's signature

Tax breaks intended to incentivize maintenance and repair work on large private airplanes in communities like Moses Lake are awaiting the governor’s signature. Senate Bill 6068, sponsored by Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, exemp... — Updated 3/12/2020

 By Cameron Sheppard    Money

Tax exemption for private airplane work approved by Senate

The Washington state House of Representatives will consider a 10-year extension of tax exemptions for repairs and modification to large private airplanes owned by nonresidents after the Senate voted 47 to 1 in favor of Senate Bill... — Updated 2/21/2020

 By Cameron Sheppard    Money

Republicans aim to guarantee $30 car tabs

As Initiative 976, the car tabs measure approved by voters in November, is held up in the State Supreme Court, Republicans proposed laws that would guarantee the $30 car tabs Washington voters approved. “It is just a clean $30... — Updated 2/12/2020

 By Cameron Sheppard    Money

Advisory votes on tax increases under fire

Advisory votes that give voters a chance to let lawmakers know their opinions on legislation to increase taxes may be removed from future ballots. Instead, senators are considering replacing advisory votes with a public opinion... — Updated 2/12/2020

 By Cameron Sheppard    Money

GOP Senators call for repeal of Discover Pass

OLYMPIA — Residents and visitors will get a break if lawmakers approve a proposal to do away with Discover Pass fees for using state parks. Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville and Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville,... — Updated 1/14/2020


Commercial crab season gets under way on the coast

ILWACO - The commercial Dungeness crab season officially commenced just after Christmas, ending a delay that stalled an early December start. Commercial fishermen were eager to get... — Updated 1/3/2020


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