I’ve asked state legislators why the Legislature hasn’t dealt with liquor privatization instead of leaving us to vote “yes” or “no” on a ballot measure written by a single company.
The first response came from State Sen. Maralyn Chase:
“The real issue that should frame this debate is whether or not privatization would stem the downward spiral of state revenues. Any other frame only diverts attention of the issue that is consuming our hearts and souls. We are being asked to cut the safety net, and we know that vulnerable people will die. We are being asked to cut education when we know that, in the words of the old Chinese Proverb: “Raising children without educating them is about the same as raising pigs.
“Instead our attention is diverted to the $22 million that Costco is spending on this campaign and the profit Costco will make if they are allowed to sell hard liquor.
“There are other ways to generate revenue for our state. Take a look at (1) the Public Pivot and (2) Expand manufacturing.
“ State revenues depend on sales and B &O taxes. The Downward spiral in public revenue can only be stopped by people buying products (producing sales tax) from businesses generating gross sales and paying B &O taxes.
“Cutting the jobs of low-paid government workers who spend every dollar they earn reduces sales and B &O taxes and increases unemployment claims. This strategy further decreases support for the safety net, health care and education.
A SOLUTION: THE PUBLIC PIVOT
“Defer a portion of the highest paid administrative salaries in public agencies, including higher ed, before cutting worker jobs and services — or raising tuition — or any of the other bad choices we are facing.
“A Public Pivot manages limited shortfalls in public budgets without staff layoffs, service disruptions, or added costs of senior level administrators spending additional resources planning and defending such disruptions and layoffs.
“The basic idea is to introduce ways to scale back senior administrative pay when times are lean to balance the increases that have been made when the economy is good, agencies are expanding, and there is competition for talent even within the public sector.
Another suggestion can be found at:
Chase represents the 32nd Legislative District, including Woodway, south Edmonds and nearby unincorporated areas of Snohomish County, and Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and the outskirts of Kirkland in King County.
Evan Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org