Inslee Talks Trumpcare With the Obamacare replacement beginning to wend its way through the legislative body, Washington state governor Jay Inslee is preparing his state for possible passage. In a press conference yesterday, the governor stated that upwards of 600,000 people are likely to lose coverage under the proposed federal plan. “Unless the state somehow financed over $1 billion to replace the federal government’s stinginess, under Trumpcare, of cutting supportive healthcare for Americans,” he said, according to KUOW. A number of state agencies are currently studying the plan and will present a more detailed analysis next week.
A Tax for the Arts and Sciences King County Executive Dow Constantine sent a proposal for a new program to the Metropolitan King County Council yesterday. The aim: To increase funding for more than 300 area arts, science, and cultural organizations while providing more access for students of all socio-economic background. The price: $469 million over seven years, collected through a .1 percent increase in the sales tax. The question: As county taxpayers begin to realize the full impact of the taxes attached to the ST3 package, and (in Seattle, at least) consider Mayor Murray’s $275 million homelessness levy, will there be an appetite for an additional tax?
Over at Crosscut, the executive director of the Youth Symphony Orchestra and the president of the Seattle Aquarium teamed up to argue that there should be.
Early opposition came in the form of a release from King County Council Budget Chair Dave Upthegrove, whose statement read, in part: “This proposed sales tax increase would hit low income folks the hardest. Our state already has the most regressive tax system in the country, and this would make it even worse in King County.”
Upthegrove’s acknowledgement of the regressive nature of the tax falls in line with much of The Seattle Times recent reporting on local tax increases. That reporting points out that the sales and property taxes that local governments rely on disproportionately impact the poor and marginalized communities that these taxes are meant to help.
This might be a preview of the prime argument that opponents will be making to the majority of area voters who don’t mind taxing themselves for civic projects and programs. It certainly looks to be an easy rhetorical out, one that would be more convincing if these critics would join in efforts to introduce a more progressive tax system, perhaps by backing an income tax—which one Seattle group is currently fighting for.
Republicans in Olympia, though, are headed in the opposite direction. As Seattle Weekly Olympia correspondent Jerry Cornfield reports, Republicans voted on a bill Tuesday that would make income taxes illegal in the state of Washington. It was an odd move, considering that both opponents and proponents of an income tax have long pointed to a 1933 state Supreme Court decision that appears to make a state-imposed tax on personal income unconstitutional already. The bill failed. But it was still weird.
Bob Doubles Down Bob Ferguson announced yesterday that his lawsuit against the Trump administration travel ban will go on, the Washington state attorney general contending that the revised executive order is just a continuation of the first. “It’s fair to say that the revised executive order does narrow the scope of who is impacted by it,” Ferguson said in a press conference yesterday morning. “That it’s been narrowed does not mean it’s cured its constitutional problems.” Ferguson’s team filed a motion Thursday with federal judge James L. Robart to confirm that the injunction he issued on February 3, halting the original travel ban’s implementation pending further legal review, will be upheld. The motion alleges that the second executive order still violates the Equal Protection Clause and the Establishment Clause, which prevents discrimination based on religion.
The Life of Jonathan Moore “It’s hard to find the proper category to describe the work of Jonathan Moore,” Seattle Weekly hip-hop correspondent M. Anthony Davis wrote yesterday, after learning of Moore’s death. “His reach in the city was far and wide. He was an artist, performing with the classic Seattle hip-hop group Source of Labor as MC Wordsayer, he was a manager (founder of the Jasiri Music Group), and he was the host of Sunday Night Sound Sessions on KUBE, where he kept the music of local artists in heavy rotation. He was instrumental in bringing hip-hop from the Central District to Seattle’s Downtown music scene, helping book crucial early breakthrough shows for local artists at the all-ages RKCNDY nightclub, which closed its doors in 1999. His list of credits and credentials go on and on.”
Lede of the Week … Every so often, The Daily Weekly will be honoring the masters of the journalism craft. This week, our hero is Kenny Ocker of The News Tribune, who started his report about a barn-yard burglary with this gem: “If you take two baby goats that don’t belong to you, is it kidnapping.” Thank you, Kenny.
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