Tag Archives: Washington State

Hahahahaha: Seattle tunnel builders ask state for an extra $12 million

bertha

MyNorthwest.com: The contractors building the Seattle tunnel have asked the state for an extra $12 million.

KIRO-TV reports that Seattle Tunnel Partners filed a request for the funds in November. The change-order letter, obtained by KIRO TV through a public records request, alleges that when the contractors started digging a rescue pit to reach the broken-down tunnel machine called Bertha, they found conditions that were different than the state led them to expect.

Those conditions led to extra work. The request is the first one related to the construction of the rescue pit. The Washington State Department of Transportation says the request is under review.

Last month, state officials told lawmakers they denied 77 percent of the $210 million in change orders the contractors have requested.

You know you're laughing.

See also:

DCG

HaHaHa: WA ST Gov. Inslee wants new tax to fund $12 billion transportation plan

Gov. Inslee to Obama: Yeah, I got the suckas too in Washington state...

Gov. Inslee to Obama: Yeah, I got the suckas in Washington state…

KOMO: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday announced his 12-year, $12 billion plan for rebuilding the state’s transportation infrastructure. He said a third of the cost will be covered by a new tax on carbon pollution.

The governor expects the state to collect $400 million a year from the state’s worst polluters. Other expected sources of income for transportation include nearly $4 billion in tolls and other fees, plus more than $3 billion in construction bonds.

Inslee released his transportation plan on Tuesday at a news conference overlooking the new floating bridge, which is under construction on Lake Washington. The transportation budget items for the next 12 years the governor plans to propose to the Legislature include the following:

• Completing the bridge on state Route 520 with $1.4 billion in state dollars.

• Spending another $1.3 billion on Interstate 405 between Bellevue and Renton.

• Another $2 million for work on state highways 509 and 167 and Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass.

• About $278 million for Interstate 5 improvements near Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

• About $432 million for work on U.S. 395 from Francis to the Spokane River.

The governor says more than half the state dollars will go toward new construction and economic development. A quarter will be aimed at maintenance, operations and preservation, and 20 percent goes to clean transportation and public transportation.

Some of the comments from the article:

sfun_laughing

  • “Carbon pollution” In a world full of stupid memes, this has to be one of the most idiotic.
  • Same #@ &! different day from our governor. Bleh!
  • Inslee is lying anyway.  This new tax money will be pumped right into the teacher’s union. 
  • Washington’s transportation infrastructure is crumbling and inadequate, but the Wash DOT is also demonstrably incompetent. I say clean house before they get another dime.
  • More tax money out of our pockets?  For yet another transportation plan?  Haven’t we been down this road before?
  • No, no more money until they fix the mess under the waterfront and the mess of 520 and its faulty concrete and super high tolls. Done. I’m so so done. Fix those projects first, then we’ll talk about more money. But not before.

Washington state voters have not elected a republican governor since 1981. I am so glad I moved out of that liberal-infested state!

insanity

DCG

Washington State tax per mile: Plan in the works to tax you a ‘road usage charge’

taxedtodeath

MyNorthwest.com: The gas tax isn’t going as far as it used to as more people drive less and new cars are much more efficient. But are you ready to pay by the mile for how much you actually drive? Washington state is moving forward with plans to explore that idea.

By any name, miles traveled or road usage charges, the idea comes down to taxing you for every mile you drive.

The Washington State Transportation Commission will meet this week to take the next steps in potentially implementing this plan. Commissioner Jerry Litt said, eventually, it could take the place of the current gas tax.

“We have, as a commission, looked at it primarily as a replacement for the gas tax, but there are others who have said that, possibly, there’s both,” he said. “The potential for both.”

Regardless of whether this becomes the only funding source for roads or in addition to the gas tax, Litt said a better and more reliable funding source needs to be found.

“That decision really hasn’t been made yet,” Litt said. “What we do in our plan is, we emphasize that we need to look at sustainable funding sources and the road usage charge appears to be one of those.”

According to Litt, the idea is to make the price you pay about equal to what you pay now with the gas tax. “At this point and time, the study has been to look at a revenue neutral position, and if I remember right, it’s one to one-and-a-half cents a mile.”

Now comes the bigger question. How do you collect the tax or record the miles driven? Litt said the commission is looking at a few options. You could pay a flat, upfront fee for a certain amount of miles for the year. You could pay with an odometer reading every year when you get your tabs replaced.

The state might also put a transponder in your car, but this is where things get dicey. There are huge privacy concerns over this. People don’t want the state to know where they’re driving.

Oregon has come up with its answer to those privacy concerns. It is about to launch its voluntary vehicle miles driven tax next year. Drivers have the choice to enable the GPS in the plug or not. The benefit of doing that is that it will only charge drivers for miles driven inside of Oregon. If you don’t enable the GPS, drivers will pay for every mile, including those that are out of state.

Washington is still in the infancy stage, but paying for each mile driven is gaining momentum in Olympia.

Hey Washington voters:

insleee

electionshaveconsequences

DCG

 

Eat a lot of fish? Washington State is going to find a way to make you pay for that!

Inslee shakes hands with fellow environmental alarmist ManBearPig

Inslee shakes hands with fellow environmental alarmist ManBearPig

MyNorthwest.com (Dave Boze Show): Who doesn’t like fish and chips or the occasional salmon filet?

There’s just something wonderful about fish especially here in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, whenever friends come up to visit we always make sure they enjoy some seafood, because that is what you should have in this kind of locale.

However ask yourself: How much fish do you eat a month?

The reason that is relevant is the Department of Ecology sets water quality standards based on the assumptions of how much fish people consume per month. Right now, the state estimates the average person eats about a half a pound of fish a month. They say that that might be light. I’m not so sure.

We’re talking about the average person in Washington state. I probably have fish maybe four or five times a month, so it’s probably light for me. But I know people who have fish once a month tops, and they’re not having more than 4 ounces.

But what they want to do is change the estimate to around 12 pounds a month. That is Gov. Jay Inslee’s idea.

You might think, who cares, let them do it. But I was speaking to the Washington Policy Center this morning and they were telling me with Inslee’s idea of pushing the 12 pounds of fish a month, what that would require is new environmental standards for water quality. They said it would dramatically increase your sewage cost because sewage treatment facilities would have to find technologies that would vastly improve their ability to clean water.

There’s not even the technology to get it clean enough to actually fulfill the obligations that would be required under this 12-pound-a-month presumption. The estimate from the Washington Policy Center is that it could increase a sewer bill from about $35 a month to about $230 a month.

“As you can imagine, changing our fish consumption rate from a half-a-pound a month to 12 pounds a month, that is quite a dramatic increase by any measure,” says Erin Shannon with the Washington Policy Center. “So the corresponding clean water standards that that will trigger are simply – absurd is one word – but it’s going to have a dramatic impact on everyone in the state.”

Apparently, Oregon has adopted this standard, but they haven’t been able to implement it yet because the technology doesn’t exist. Now that treatment facilities need to get new permitting, they’re not allowing the new permitting until they come up with the new treatments, but they can’t come up with the new treatments because they don’t exist yet.

So Washington wants to follow this because basically Inslee thinks of himself as a hybrid of Al Gore and President Obama. You look at his book, “Apollo’s Fire,” he’s kind of following the Al Gore environmental alarmism. Then he’s trying to follow the executive style of President Obama, governed by regulation, if you can’t get it through the legislative branch because it’s divided government there, push through whatever you can and see what sticks.

So Inslee is pushing here for this 12-pound-a-month fish consumption rate. I’m trying to think if it’s even possible to eat 12 pounds of fish a month. People don’t eat three pounds of fish a week. People would get tired of it.

Boeing even entered the discussion. They’ve warned that this could have unintended consequences for continued Boeing production in the state because of the potential for millions of dollars of extra payout. Boeing spokeswoman Megan Hilfer told The Seattle Times: “We support a water quality standard that protects human health and the environment, while at the same time, allows for the growth of our business and the state’s economy.”

The Seattle Times reports Gov. Inslee and the Department of Ecology are expected to announce the new proposed standard Wednesday.

There’s going to be a public comment period, and this would be finalized only with approval of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But let’s face it, they’ve been seeking to approve any new regulation they can for awhile.

So at this point, I look at this and I think this is yet another way of government trying to find a way, in the name of protecting us, of making everything more expensive. At some point I think we need to say no to these kinds of thing.

The politicians have something in common with this swine...

The politicians have something in common with this swine…

DCG

 

Washington State Senators Support Requiring Insurers to Cover Abortion

As Dave reported on March 24th, a bill passed the Washington State House by a vote of 53-43, in favor of the mandatory coverage of abortion under Obamacare. On Monday, it was revealed that many senators support this measure. Here’s an update:

obamafetus

25 state senators express support for abortion insurance bill

KOMO News: A majority of Washington state Senators have signed a letter supporting a measure requiring insurers to cover abortion, but the bill’s fate remains uncertain.

The letter — dated March 5 but made public Monday — was signed by 25 of 49 state Senators and presented at a packed Senate Health Care Committee hearing where the bill was debated. After the hearing, frustrated supporters, who had long demanded a hearing on the measure, said they expected it would not pass out of the Republican-controlled panel.

“It was just for show,” said Sen. Karen Keiser of Kent, one of three Democrats on the seven-member panel. “It was simply a way to provoke a circus in the sense of having a lot of people show up and wave their ideological persuasions in front of us.”

The hearing attracted more than 250 people from both sides of the abortion issue, with many of those wearing rival buttons and ribbons and dressed in dueling color schemes left to watch the proceedings on a screen in a nearby room.

Committee Chairwoman Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, declined to answer questions on the bill’s status immediately following the hearing and did not respond to subsequent phone calls seeking comment. If it does not advance from her panel by Wednesday, special measures would be required for it to get to the floor for a vote.

The bill, which supporters call the Reproductive Parity Act, was passed by the House by a 53-43 vote in February, with mostly Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed. Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat and a bill supporter, has urged the Senate to vote on it.

The bill would make Washington the first state to require insurers that cover maternity care — which they all most do — to also pay for abortions. Similar legislation has been introduced each session in the New York State Assembly for over a decade but has never received a public hearing.

In testimony before Becker’s committee, those supporting the measure said it would ensure continued abortion coverage in the state once federal health care reforms taking effect next year trigger bureaucratic hurdles for insurers paying for the procedure.

The bill would ensure that a woman’s decision about whether to get an abortion “is left with her, her family, her health-care provider and her God,” said Elaine Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, addressing the committee. “Not with government, not with her insurance plan, and with all due respect, not with any of you.”

Opponents countered that abortion insurance coverage is already widespread in the state and that the bill is unnecessary. They also said the measure threatens the religious freedoms of businesses and individuals who oppose abortion rights and do not want to subsidize the cost of the procedure for others.

“You all have the second amendment right to bear arms, to own a gun,” said Peggy O’Ban, spokeswoman for Human Life of Washington. “But does that mean I have to buy it for you?”

Shortly after the hearing, Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, told bill opponents gathered in the hearing room that momentum was on their side, but encouraged them to keep applying pressure on lawmakers to prevent it from receiving a vote in the full Senate.

The only one with no voice

The only one with no voice

The decision about whether to get an abortion “is left with her, her family, her health-care provider and her God”? If you want to keep it so private, why not pay for it yourself?

That statement also doesn’t sit very well with me, considering a Planned Parenthood representative used the same argument when it came to infanticide. I’m sick of my taxes paying for the murder of innocent children.

DCG

Lawmakers expenses dry cleaning and artwork

drain

Tax dollars go to dry cleaning, art

MyNorthwest.com: A few days after Washington lawmakers approved a budget deal to lower state spending last year, small-government Rep. Gary Alexander got $40.60 worth of dry cleaning done. Then he made sure taxpayers paid the bill.

Alexander, the Republican budget writer in the state House, billed more than $500 worth of dry-cleaning fees to the state over the past two years, according to an Associated Press analysis of thousands of expense reimbursements. He wasn’t alone: Seven Democrats and 12 Republicans in the Legislature requested and received compensation totaling more than $5,600 for dry cleaning since the start of 2011.

Lawmakers are able to get taxpayer-covered compensation for what the Legislature deems legitimate business expenses tied to the job. That includes common costs of being a lawmaker, such as travel around the district to meet with constituents, parking fees for meetings, office supplies and rent for district offices.

It also includes a variety of expenses with less-explicit benefits for taxpayers, including iPhones, picture frames, artwork, expenses for meetings with lobbyists and dues to professional organizations like the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council.

Alexander said he only submits dry cleaning receipts that are above and beyond the expenses he has outside of his legislative work. He said the job, especially when the Legislature is meeting, requires him to use a lot more dress shirts and sport coats. “I don’t think that’s an unreasonable expense to be reimbursed for,” Alexander said.

After an AP reporter questioned him about how it aligns with a limited-government message, Alexander said he would explore ways to keep his expenses down. “I’m always looking for ways that we can do it by example,” said Alexander, who is from Olympia.

Stephen Ellis, vice president of the group Taxpayers for Common Sense, said the idea that lawmakers should spend public money to decorate their office or keep their clothes clean is beyond the pale. He said that while the amount of money may be small in comparison to the budget at large, the expenses offer a chance for taxpayers to get a glimpse at how lawmakers operate.

“We see it as a lens into how they approach the budget,” Ellis said. “If they’re profligate with their own spending in offices, it stands to reason that they’re not going to be too frugal with the state or the federal budget.”

Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom, who lives in the wealthy enclave of Medina and recently built a coalition with Republicans to install himself as majority leader, purchased various books from Amazon.com and got reimbursement for a Bose headset that cost $164.20. Senate Democratic Leader Ed Murray got coverage for his home Internet ($50 per month) and telephone ($50 per month), in addition to the cellphone that he and many other lawmakers expense.

House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt, of Chehalis, meanwhile, filed for only about $100 in total expenses over two years – all tied to travel. House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, used his account mostly to expense costs related to his district office.

Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, expensed more than $600 in membership dues for business organizations in the Tri Cities. Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, purchased $383.25 in artwork for his office in March of last year, also when lawmakers were struggling to balance the budget.

Pederson said the art – a painting of the Montlake Bridge done by a Seattle artist – was like other furniture that lawmakers need to make their offices comfortable and inviting. He noted that he doesn’t typically use his full allotment for reimbursable expenses, which has been $6,500 in recent years.

Murray, the top Democrat in the state Senate, said he uses his own money to cover a number of expenses related to his legislative work. He bemoaned the focus on reimbursements. “It’s why we have trouble recruiting candidates who aren’t rich, old and retired,” said Murray, who is from Seattle.

Haler said he wouldn’t be part of the business organization if it wasn’t for his work in the Legislature. Tom said his expenses were all important to his legislative work, such as books on policy and a headset for phone conversations.

Each lawmaker typically totals between $10,000 and $25,000 in expenses each year, including per diems during the session, postage, printing, travel and the more generic category of office expenses. Legislators earn a salary of between about $42,000 and $50,000, and many maintain external jobs.

Washington lawmakers are currently looking to fill a roughly $1 billion shortfall and looking to add another $1 billion to education in the coming legislative session.

Only in a government job would you be reimbursed for dry cleaning and artwork. I doubt there are many private sector jobs that would reimburse you for these items. But I guess these representatives feel they deserve these perks for their role in being a “public servant”.

DCG

Shouldn’t Naturalized Citizens Registering to Vote Be Able to Read English?

By the time an immigrant has gone through the entire process of naturalization to gain citizenship and the right to vote, they should be able to speak and read English, the language of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

Why then, does the  Washington State Secretary of State Voter Registration website provide for so many non-English speakers? 

All that is required to register to vote online is to provide your state-issued Drivers License or Washington ID number and click the boxes to affirm you meet the criteria to register to vote.

Washington State also has long had a policy of providing Drivers Licenses to illegal aliens who only have to pay the fee, take the test and document their residency with a utility bill. 

watch?v=QQuTODU2-9A

Most counties in Washington State are “vote by mail”.  We have no polling places.  The ballots are received in the mail about 10 days before the election. Voters must sign the back of the return envelope and mail them on or before election day.