Will Gov. Jay Inslee run for reelection?: Today So Far
- Will Gov. Jay Inslee run for reelection?
- Washington's capital gains tax is upheld.
- Seattle has lost more housing units than it has produced in recent years. Landlords argue they know why.
- Seattle Public Schools faces a shortage of $131 million next year. It's making cuts now.
This post originally appeared in KUOW's Today So Far newsletter for March 24, 2023.
Washington's next gubernatorial race is months and months away, yet folks are starting to ask questions about who will run. Leading those questions is a big one: Will Gov. Jay Inslee run for reelection?
The short answer is: He's thinking about it.
"We’ll make the decision at the right moment, and it’ll be the right decision,” Inslee said at a press conference Thursday.
Which is not what I expected Inslee to say. I mean, most Inslee quotes start or end with "by golly!" I think I once heard him say "by gob!" Whatever that means. In any case, a lot of folks are waiting for the answer to this question before even thinking further.
It came as somewhat of a surprise when Inslee opted to run for a third term, which is uncommon. Most governors stick to two. If he runs again, it would be for a fourth time in office, probably to the chagrin of Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz. Both are names that have been put forth as potential Democrat candidates to replace Inslee. Franz told KUOW that she is considering such a run. Ferguson says he's serious about it too. But again, it all comes down to what the current governor decides. KUOW's David Hyde has the full story here.
Breaking news this morning: Washington's capital gains tax is upheld.
After it was passed in 2021, a lawsuit challenging the state's capital gains tax was filed within days. A lower court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, stating that capital gains are income, and income cannot be taxed in this way in the state of Washington. Today, the state Supreme Court overturned the lower court's decision. In short, the state's stance on the matter is that the capital gains tax is an excise tax, which means it falls under different rules. The decision was highly anticipated as lawmakers in Olympia are crafting the state budget. The capital gains tax is slated to fund education in the state, and Democrats have already factored it into their budget plans. Read more here.
Seattle's small landlords say that the city's renter regulations are making it harder to provide housing. Over the past three years, Seattle and Washington state have passed about a dozen such regulations. This is one fact that landlords point to as a reason why Seattle lost more apartment units than it produced between 2018 and 2022. During that time, small landlords (between one and 20 units) were taking their apartments off the market. “Every small landlord that we know in Seattle has an exit strategy to divest and leave the city,” said MariLyn Yim, a co-founder of Seattle Grassroots Landlords.
As KUOW's Joshua McNichols points out, there are other economic factors at play in Seattle that have contributed to the poor apartment market, such as the lack of affordable homes for people to buy. Check out the full story here.
Seattle Public Schools faces a shortage of $131 million next year. It's making cuts now.
A decline in Seattle enrollment, rising labor costs, and increasing student needs are being blamed for the budget shortfall. So far, the school district has opted to nix 74 office jobs. No teacher layoffs have been on the table so far. The school board wants to keep teaching staff where it's currently at. Read more here.
The Friday Five: News you may have missed this week, and other cool stuff on KUOW.org
- The leaders of China and Russia have finished talks. Here are some takeaways
- Federal court rules Seattle landlords can ask about criminal history
- Oregon scientists are 3D printing their way to a healthier future for us all
- Washington hospitals continue to report financial losses
- Smaller-than-a-penny Japanese beetle looms large for NW agriculture
AS SEEN ON KUOW
General Manager Steve Hickman stands at the top of Badger Mountain Ski Area with Waterville, Washington, visible in the distance. Lift tickets are only $10 at Badger Mountain, partially because the operation is staffed by volunteers, locals you are passionate about their wintery hill. (Alex Rochester / KUOW)
DID YOU KNOW?
On March 24, 1945, "Billboard" magazine published its first pop album chart. You know, those long lists of the best selling or most popular albums, singles, etc. The debut list was only five albums long (today, this chart is called the Billboard 200). "Billboard" didn't even publish it weekly, and sometimes weeks would go by before it provided another chart.
On that very first list in 1945, the top album was the "King Cole Trio," Nat King Cole's band. That album held the top spot frequently throughout 1945, sometimes trading places with the operetta soundtrack "Song of Norway" and Glenn Miller. It was eventually knocked down later in the year by Bing Crosby, including his Christmas album. By summer of '46, Nat King Cole returned to the top of the charts with "King Cole Trio, Volume 2."
ALSO ON OUR MINDS
NPR cancels 4 podcasts amid major layoffs
NPR moved this week to cut 10% of its staff and stop production of a trio of acclaimed seasonal podcasts, including "Invisibilia," "Louder Than a Riot," and "Rough Translation." The public radio operation seeks to close a yawning budget gap that stands in excess of $30 million. The network also canceled a comedy podcast unveiled just a year ago called "Everyone & Their Mom," a spinoff of the mainstay radio program "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me."