April 8, 2019
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Election 2020: Candidates begin to emerge in state attorney general race

Solicitor General Noah Purcell formed an exploratory committee last week to run for attorney general if incumbent Bob Ferguson runs for governor in 2020, as many have suggested he might.

Other names are also emerging as potential candidates for attorney general, Crosscut reports.

Courtney Gregoire, 39, announced on Friday that she would not run again to serve on the Port of Seattle Commission, saying she'll consider "other options to continue to serve the public." She has also been mentioned as a Democratic candidate for attorney general. Gregoire has served on the port commission since 2013. She previously worked for the Obama administration and U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell. Gregoire is the daughter of former Gov. Chris Gregoire. The Seattle Times has more.

Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond, told Crosscut that she is interested in running for attorney general. She noted her background as a prosecutor, and longtime engagement on domestic violence, mental health and gun issues.

Seattle City Council member Lorena González also said she is strongly considering a run for attorney general. She worked as a civil-rights attorney before joining the council in 2015. She said she would run as a Democrat.

Paul Graves, a moderate Republican who formerly served as a state representative in the fifth district, said people have approached him about running. He isn't currently planning to run, but said he's considering it. After losing his reelection bid last year, he works as general counsel at a family-owned trucking company.

Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, an experienced trial lawyer, said he is interested in running for attorney general. He cited a progressive record in the House.

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Spring Meeting
Practical Education

Expand career-connected learning across Washington state

By Maud Daudon

If you're a Washington business owner or manager wondering where to find skilled workers, you're not alone. And if you're a Washington parent or high school student, wondering how to get from school to a great job, you're not alone either.

You may also be the solution to each other's problem.

Last summer, the Career Connect Washington initiative convened groups of parents to discuss education and career preparation in Washington state. As part of a 10-year effort, we are learning how to better help students connect to both jobs and advanced education so they will be well positioned to step into the state's job market. Business, labor and education organizations are all stepping up; we need the Legislature to act as well...

Read the full guest column in The Seattle Times
Fiscally Unwise

A Capital Gains Tax Would Not Improve Budget Sustainability

By The Washington Research Council

Although the March revenue forecast increased estimated state revenues for the 2017-19 and 2019-21 biennia, the House Appropriations Committee Chair proposed a new capital gains tax along with his 2019-21 operating budget. The Senate is also considering a capital gains tax, although in this case the proceeds would be used to reduce other taxes rather than to increase the operating budget.

A capital gains tax would be highly volatile. Taxpayers can arrange their affairs to avoid them, and the value of capital gains realized by Washington taxpayers varies significantly year to year. Also, swings in capital gains are much bigger in percentage terms than swings in state sales tax revenue. Volatile taxes require stronger reserves to manage downturns, but the House bill would avoid constitutionally-required transfers to the rainy day fund by directing revenues from the tax to the education legacy trust account.

Additionally, a capital gains tax would certainly be challenged as an unconstitutional income tax. Even if it were eventually found to be constitutional, a court case would likely mean that any revenues would be suspended until after 2019-21. Building the budget around such a tax would be risky at best...

Read the full report from the Washington Research Council
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