Morning Fizz

"Unwisely and Unrealistically"

By Morning Fizz August 20, 2012

Caffeinated News & Gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.

1. The Seattle Times gave state Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48, Medina) props for his proposal-in-progress to provide some stability to K-12 education funding through an idea known as the "levy swap." The idea wouldn't add money to the K-12 pot, but it would relieve local jurisdictions of some of the heavy lifting by allowing the state to take away a portion of local taxes and administer them from the state level so there would be more uniform spending across the state.

Over on his Facebook page, Seattle area Rep. Reuven Carlyle flags a problem with the plan: it "unwisely and unrealistically calls for a $200M tax increase for Seattle taxpayers with a mere $60M coming back to Seattle schools with no commensurate public policy benefits, flexibility or support."

To be fair, Hunter is still working on his proposal, and he told Fizz last week that the uneven tax hit on Seattle was certainly a questionable part of the plan.

2. The levy swap is also part of Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna's education plan. We have a message in to see what McKenna thinks about the tax increase on Seattle.

Meanwhile, there's an oddity in the way McKenna presents the plan. He appears to subtract the money that's earmarked to come in from the swap from the total education bill; but again, the money is not new money (that's why it's called a swap), it's supposed to be revenue neutral.

McKenna's camp tells Fizz they are not counting the money as new money, but simply putting the levy money aside in a separate bucket—and so subtracted it from their education total when adding up their total budget spend. (Can you do that if it's in a separate bucket?)

The move also appears to keep their budget in the black instead of in the red.

McKenna spokesman Charles McCray explained that they also didn't include the levy money in the total budget—comparing apples to apples—so, in fact, they were not masking an apparent shortfall in their budgeting.

3. The best tweet about Missouri US Rep. Todd Akin's outlandish  comment that women who are "legitimately raped" don't get pregnant comes from BuzzFeed's Ben Smith: "This Akin thing really spoiling Obama campaign plans to make 2nd week of October about Ryan's abortion views."

GOP Vice Presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan proposed legislation that would outlaw abortion even in cases of rape.

4. In case you missed it on Friday afternoon, we did our weekly Cola Q&A with the leader of the anti-gay marriage campaign, Joseph Backholm, who's heading up Preserve Marriage Washington, the "No" on R-74 group.

He told us: "The laws of the universe are not subject to legislative preference."
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