Guest host Mike Lewis discusses the week’s news with Washington Policy Center’s Paul Guppy, Commute Seattle’s Alex Hudson, and Seattle Times reporter David Kroman.

The Seattle City Council’s most recent economic forecast indicates lean times ahead with reduced sales and business taxes likely to lead to a $240 million deficit for 2025. As the Seattle Times reports, construction is slowing, employment growth is marginal, and this is giving a budget headache to the City Council and mayor. Construction, trade, and retail taxes account for more than half of the city’s sales tax. Given that new revenue doesn’t seem likely in the near term, where will cuts be targeted?

The Seattle Times reports that the state’s Republican Party chairperson is attempting to get three more initiatives on Washington’s November ballot, including:

A “No ‘Squatters’ rights’ in WA” initiative, which would largely apply to situations in which someone without a lease agreement is present and living on someone else’s property, sometimes called “squatting” (however it has been argued that the language in one of the measures would also roll back renters’ protections at the same time)
An end to Washington’s “sanctuary state” status by forcing law enforcement agencies in the state to cooperate with federal authorities in enforcing federal immigration law.
An initiative to snuff the state’s push to eliminate natural gas-fired stoves and heaters.
These three join three other prominent GOP-backed initiatives that include measures to repeal the state’s capital gains tax, to end the carbon-trade market, and the defund the state’s mandatory long-term care insurance program. What are the odds they make it on the ballot?

Early this week, Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Gary Bashor ruled as unconstitutional Washington’s ban on high-capacity firearm magazines. Quickly, the state Supreme Court issued an emergency order keeping the law on the books while the state appeals the decision. The 2022 Washington law, which is still in effect while the Supreme Court works towards a ruling, bans magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Would Bashor’s ruling, if it prevails, obviate most state gun restrictions?

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has proposed a $1.3 billion transportation levy to help restore the city’s transportation infrastructure. It’s an extension and expansion of a current levy. What does the levy seek to do and what can’t it do?


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