Posts tagged: public meetings
U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers' office released a full schedule of public meetings she'll have over the next week, finishing with a town hall meeting on Aug. 31 in Spokane.
Before that, she'll be having smaller meetings her staff calls “Coffee with Cathy” in Walla Walla, Clarkston, Newport and Davenport. Those meetings are open to the public with invitations sent to people who have contacted her congressional office on different topics.
For a full schedule of the meetings, click here go inside the blog.
OLYMPIA – Not to be a nag about the value of public hearings for important stuff government wants to do to us, but legislators’ penchant for closed-door, back-room discussions of the tax plan they passed may have bit them in the posterior.
Or more appropriately, bit them in the soda bottlers.
The tax on soda pop goes up 2 cents per 12-ounce can on July 1. Among all the taxes considered by the Legislature this year, the pop tax got the least public airing. There were no committee hearings on the pop tax comparable to some other taxes in the plan that passed – or even compared to some that didn’t pass and were never gonna pass, like Sen. Rosa Franklin’s state income tax proposal.
Gov. Chris Gregoire suggested a soda tax early in the session, but it didn’t bubble up in the Legislature until the final days, when word leaked out the weekend before the special session ended. The state’s bottlers and distributors stormed the Capitol on that Friday and Saturday, but there was no bill to look at. Instead, they got assurances of a “break,” with the first $10 million in sales exempt from the tax.
“Every one of my legislators said, ‘You’re going to be exempt,’ ” Tim Martin, president of the Washington Beverage Association, said recently.
No one outside the handful of legislators and governor’s staffers negotiating the budget saw the wording of the bill until about noon on the session’s last day, and if they’re honest, some legislators will admit they didn’t read the tax bill before voting on it that night.