Is the crisis really an opportunity?

Crosscut features a thoughtful article by State Rep. Reuven Carlyle (36th District) who proposes a number of ways our current economic crisis might be changed into an opportunity.  According to Rep. Carlyle: We need to gain the courageous honesty to embrace this crisis, to transform how our state government operates, and to promote meaningful reform…. Read More


Property tax initiative likely headed to ballot

Tim Eyman’s latest initiative (I-1033) appears likely to qualify for November’s ballot.  The initiative would tie state revenue increases to the rate of inflation plus population growth, with excess money being used to reduce property taxes.   Writing in the Seattle Times, Andrew Garber picks up what is sure to be the flavor of the debate come… Read More


Good Thomas Friedman op-ed

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times has written a provocative opinion piece on how the United States should be using the current economic downturn to build the foundation for the next great wave of innovation and prosperity.  Key to Friedman’s argument is more funding for basic research, the importance of research universities such as… Read More


Caseload forecast shows increased costs

While people often focus on the state revenue forecast, the caseload forecast is also a critical piece of the budget picture.  Caseload forecasters predict everything from how many kids will show up at school in the fall to how many people will need state medical assistance.  Today’s update shows increased caseload costs over the new… Read More


State population nears 6.7 million, but growth rate is slowing

The Office of Financial Management (OFM) has released its annual population estimate and it shows a slowing growth rate.  Chief demographer Theresa Lowe pegs the state population at 6,668,020, with the growth rate slowing to 1.2% per year (down from the 2006 high of 1.9%).  As with everything else these days, the economy is the… Read More


Olympia press corps loses another member

Adam Wilson of the Olympian is leaving to become Gov. Gregoire’s speechwriter.  He covered state government for the paper, along with political editor Brad Shannon who is remaining.  The paper says it will replace Wilson, but since last year the number of reporters covering the statehouse has been cut by about half.  You can read… Read More


New program could help with student loan payments

The Seattle Times has a story about a new program that could help some students better manage student loan payments.  There are limitations and the program is not for everyone, but according to the article: The Income Based Repayment program allows graduates to pay no more than 15 percent of their income toward monthly loan… Read More


Welcome to the new State Relations page

Welcome – Unless this is your first time here, you can see that we have updated the State Relations page to make it easier for you to find the information you want (and to make it more consistent with many other UW websites).  Most importantly, the Capitol Record blog has been moved front and center — no… Read More


New blog design coming Monday

Next Monday you will see a new look for the Capitol Update blog. We are changing the design to be consistent with other UW sites, and to provide readers with easier access to the information they want. Rather than have to click through to the blog, it will be front and center on the main… Read More


Different state, same story

An article in Maine’s Kennebec Journal has a familiar ring to those who followed recent state budget debates here and around the nation. According to the article: A critical component of Maine’s long-term economic recovery is investment in higher education. But that’s not where the state has put its money in recent years, a former… Read More