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Articles written by Chris Cargill

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  • Bargaining talks demand transparency

    Chris Cargill, Washington Policy Center|Updated Aug 4, 2022

    There’s a big mystery unfolding in Olympia, but it’s one as predictable as the sunrise. Right now, behind closed doors, the governor and powerful state employee unions are secretly negotiating a pay and compensation budget for the 2023-25 budget. We don’t know what is being discussed. We don’t know what each side is demanding. But whatever they decide, we’ll have to pay for it. And there’s a chance new taxes could be demanded to cover the cost. This process is secret. It dates back 20 years when former Gov. Gary Locke signe...

  • Who will defend the Washington taxpayers?

    Chris Cargill, Washington Policy Center|Updated Jun 16, 2022

    The message from voters was crystal clear, but elected officials apparently don’t want to hear it. In 2019, nearly 80% of voters in the city of Spokane approved an amendment to the city charter – in essence, a local constitutional amendment – requiring collective bargaining talks between the city government and city unions be open and transparent. It’s a simple concept – since the salaries of government workers make up such a large portion of the city’s budget, taxpayers have a right to know how the single-larg...

  • Washington refuses tax cuts for for families

    Chris Cargill, Washington Policy Center|Updated Apr 28, 2022

    Most politicians could only dream of a scenario in which a flood of extra tax revenues suddenly lets them cut taxes in an election year. But clearly Washington state leaders think differently. While other states move to cut taxes in these tough times, hardliners in the Washington state Legislature have decided to keep the extra money for their own spending priorities and offer no general relief. It’s not that they don’t have the cash. The state expects to take in more than $10 billion in extra revenue. Returning the sur...

  • Restoring faith in public education

    Chris Cargill, Washington Policy Center|Updated Jan 27, 2022

    How much worse do schools have to get before parents and public officials take a stand? It’s the question many are asking following the release of Washington state’s latest round of poor K-12 public school test scores. The testing – called the Smarter Balanced Assessment – was completed last fall. The findings are heartbreaking. The number of students failing state standards in math is now 70 percent. Across ethnic categories, the learning declines were significant. The number of students failing state standards in English...

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