Morning Fizz: Consistent with his Ongoing Effort
Caffeinated news and gossip featuring important vacancies, performance art science, and letters to lobbyists.
1. Two of the most important members, in our opinion, of Mayor Ed Murray's police chief-search Community Advisory Committee, Franklin High School's Isaiah Bridges and Garfield High School's Jabari Cook—a pair of African American South End high school students in a city where the SPD has a strained relationship with young African American men in southeast Seattle—are no longer on the committee.
Mayor's office spokeswoman Roz Brazel simply told us the students "were not able to keep their commitments...due to permission and contact issues."
We've asked for more clarity.
The mayor's office is currently trying to find replacements for the two committee members with a "goal" of appointing two more students.
2. Take that Fizz: On Tuesday, we razzed conservative state senate environmental committee chair Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-42, Ferndale) for giving the mike to the Heartland Institute—a, let's say, "contrarian" think tank when it comes to the hard science on climate change.
It's a stretch to say the Heartland Institute and their performance art science is a legitimate counterpart to the UW
However, Ericksen, who says he's committed to letting both sides speak, let a panel of mainstream scientists from the UW's Department of Atmospheric Science and College of the Environment have the floor the previous day.
Ericksen proudly told Fizz he's committed to balance.
Given that a mainstream publication like the L.A. Times recently stopped accepting letters to the editor from climate change deniers (as the L.A. Times letters page editor explained it, "saying 'there's no sign humans have caused climate change' is not stating an opinion, it's asserting a factual inaccuracy"), it's a stretch to say the Heartland Institute (even derided by the stodgy Economist for their performance art science) is a legitimate counterpart to the UW.
However, props to Ericksen for bringing in the UW?
3. Consistent with his ongoing effort to bring as much "rigor of analysis and accountability" (his sui generis nomenclature) to tax breaks for corporations that conservative budget hawks bring to social program expenditures, state house finance chair Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-36, Queen Anne) is pushing a follow-up to the legislation he passed last year that required any new tax breaks to come with reportable metrics in place to measure their "efficacy" (more Carlyle argot).
Rep. Carlyle's latest bill would do the same for the existing 32 tax breaks he's identified that are supposed to create economic development.
"When we give up revenue," Rep. Carlyle says, "for the sake of economic development, but we can't determine if there's economic development, then we're kidding ourselves."
Carlyle, hardly a Kshama Sawant lefty (he's one of the few house Democrats that has not signed on to the minimum wage bill), is nonetheless catching hell from the Association of Washington Business because his bill would make the 32 privileged companies publicly disclose info such as tax savings and employment data, gross income in the state, tax due, and tax savings from tax preferences.
Defending his push for accountability, Carlyle sent a letter to the AWB earlier this week saying their testimony against his bill had "a number of technical and factual errors" accompanied with his point by point rebuttal.
Here's Rep. Carlyle's full January 27 letter to AWB lobbyist Amber Carter, which concludes:
AWB concern in testimony: HB 2201 establishes an excessive and unnecessary penalty.
Analysis: One of the central objectives of the legislation is to encourage taxpayers to more accurately and consistently report tax preference data to the Department of Revenue to enable legislators to assess policy considerations in the future. This objective should be accomplished in a responsible and prudent manner.
The bill creates a penalty for not reporting tax deductions or sales tax exemption savings. The penalty is the lesser of: $50 or 0.5 percent of the unreported amount. This is effectively consistent with existing penalties for non compliance with the DOR that these same companies currently follow without incident. Thus, remaining consistent in this category hardly seems to be an excessive penalty.
I very much look forward to continuing to work together on this legislation. There are clearly a number of areas where interests are aligned and I look forward to a successful outcome.