December 15, 2014
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Video Rewind: Holiday Kids' Tree lighting ceremony


The 26th annual lighting of the state’s holiday tree was a great success, with a full house of families in attendance. For the many people who couldn’t be there in person, there are now two ways to take in the ceremony online.

AWB has a short video roundup of the event, including the countdown and moment of the tree-lighting.

For those who want the flavor of the entire event, TVW has a video of the entire evening’s festivities online and a written wrap-up at their blog, The Capitol Report.

This year’s AWB Holiday Kids’ Tree Project raised nearly $20,000 to spread Christmas cheer to families in need. To learn more (or to contribute), click here.



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CAN WE AFFORD IT?

Budget 101: State employee pay raises 'financially feasible'?

By Rob McKenna, Smarter Government Washington

Under state law, any collectively bargained pay raises and benefit increases for state employees must be declared "financially feasible for the state" by the Office of Financial Management (OFM). While this review sounds like a good idea, it isn't useful if OFM chooses to willfully ignore reality so that it can give its stamp of approval.

That's the situation the state currently finds itself in. The Governor's Office negotiated pay and benefit hikes with state employee unions, and OFM has declared the new costs to be financially feasible "considering the state's obligations...in combination with the current and forecasted economic and revenue conditions for Washington.

Apparently OFM considers the McCleary education funding case to be mere detail...

READ MORE: Click here for the full commentary at Smarter Government Washington
WHAT WORKS

State can move forward on transportation -- by looking back

By Sen. Curtis King

Amid all the finger-pointing and half-truths regarding the Legislature's alleged failure to pass and fund a transportation plan, a glance back at the 2003 "nickel package" provides the best tutorial on how to successfully get a transportation-revenue package through the Legislature and to the governor's desk. The themes from over a decade ago run startlingly parallel to today.

READ MORE: Click here for the full commentary in Crosscut
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