Hella Bus Blog
Movers, shakers, world-beaters - Fuse WA, have developed a wonderful tool for putting our whole budget circus in perspective. They call it - Living Greedy - where you can live out some potential trades (like the one mentioned above) to see how loopholes relate to the valuable public service programs going the way of the dodo at the moment. After you've chosen you're trade you can join in the convo in the forums! Check it out here
Hello all! What the heck is Olympia up to? Oh well I'm glad you asked...
First and foremost, let me extend some Bus love down to Olympia for our boy-wonder Joe Fitzgibbon. Publicola gave him some shine and put him on track to win rookie of the year. That deserves a good dugout butt slap.
In the 7th inning stretch, we stop for story time with Spokane Rep. Andy Billig, where he tells us why baseball teams are like governments. And why governments should keep track of their hot dog discounts (ahem, tax breaks).
Finally things get even weirder than baseball analogies as we're transported to Bizarro World, aka budget negotiations, aka arguments about how we spend our money, aka who gets cheap hotdogs and who gets expensive fries. Even the reps admit it themselves in the Washington State Wire's article, "What is going on here? Up is down and down is up." There you have it. Even after preserving the Basic Health Plan and other crucial services from the chopping block, no one quite knows how to feel about this one. Decide for yourself.
UPDATES: That bill I previously reported on, regarding making teacher lay-offs based on evaluations instead of seniority, died in discussion. Meanwhile, a pilot project of teacher evaluations approved last year continues. And as our state continues debate on Rep Marko Liias bill to end coal by 2015 (I've got this unshakable feeling the Bus is about get Bussy on this topic), the NYT has an excellent blog post "Tallying Coal's Hidden Cost."
Finally, I'll end on a high note (that will be a joke in a second). The Seattle Times is rumored to be now be partnering with Zig Zag for a more rollable newspaper. This news comes after an endorsement by the editorial board for Washington's to legalize pot.
What is a loophole? Can you hold one? And if we close loopholes what could we actually pay for? The Washington Bus takes you inside in our new weekly video series A Shot of Oly: