1. As the budget season in Olympia gets underway—there's a $1.3 billion shortfall on the table—Republicans like to point out that government revenues have actually increased by $2.5 billion.
Their point, with about $32.7 billion coming in vs. $31.2 billion from the last budgeting cycle, is that there should be no need for new revenue to maintain the state's obligations.
However, they're leaving something out of that equation: The last budget came with $986 million in one-time savings by temporarily suspending programs and cutting salaries, such as $165 million in cuts to K-12 teachers' salaries, $134 million in one-time higher education cuts such as three percent salary reductions, and $467 million in social service cuts such as $27 million home care worker training delay. (Not to mention the fact that the state's obligations are currently budgeted at $33.7 billion.)
Nearly 40 percent of the 2013-15 budget increase comes from restoring temporary cuts from the last budget.
2. Vandana Slatter, a clinical pharmacist who works for Amgen, a former NARAL Pro-Choice Washington Foundation Board Member, and a onetime member of the state's Pharmacy Board, is running for Bellevue City Council, opposing either Don Davidson or Kevin Wallace, two of the council's conservative, and anti-light rail, members.
(The pharmacy board, as we've reported, remains mired in a court battle over its rule that pharmacists must dispense legally prescribed medications, including emergency contraception.)
Davidson is already being opposed by another progressive woman, Lynne Robinson. Robinson has raised $8,175 so far; Slatter has raised just under $24,000.
3. Among 240,000 acres of new American national monuments, President Obama is set to declare a national monument in the San Juan Islands, protecting nearly 1,000 acres of undeveloped federal lands on the islands which include Lopez Island’s Iceberg Point and Chadwick Hill and San Juan Island's Cattle Point Lighthouse.