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A state income tax would meet budget needs

Commentary | April 22, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Neither party has a long-term plan for fully funding K-12 education, higher education, mental health, public employee contracts and teacher cost-of-living adjustments. Why not? Because neither party has the will to implement systemic changes in our tax system. But, as our state treasurer, Jim McIntire, states, “it is mathematically impossible to sustain any education system with our state's shrinking tax base.”

Burbank: Closing tax loopholes could do a lot of good

Commentary | April 8, 2015 | Sequim Gazette

Our state’s public structures and services are the oil of our economic engine. From roads to bridges, preschool to college, veterans benefits to senior services, and protections for our air and drinking water, we’re all better off when we invest in strong communities. But there’s a big red warning light on our dashboard: Low Oil.

Closing tax loopholes could do a lot of good

Commentary | March 25, 2015 | By John Burbank

Hundreds of special corporate tax giveaways now riddle Washington’s tax code. We’re losing billions we could be investing for the common good. Meanwhile, the taxes that remain fall much harder on the little guy, while leaving the wealthy alone.

Burbank: Close loophole and college can be affordable

Commentary | March 11, 2015 | By John Burbank | Sequim Gazette

Tuition for the University of Washington now takes up almost one-third of the typical wage earner’s annual salary. Students and their families are left on their own too often. What can we do? Two of our State Senators have an idea. Right now, their bill to cut tuition at our state's four-year colleges is just a dream. But it doesn't have to be this way. Our tax code is full of holes for privileged corporations. Closing just this one would allow the legislature to permanently reduce tuition at our public colleges and universities.

State House Bill 1356

Commentary | March 11, 2015 | By John Burbank | Sky Valley Chronicle

Seattle has a paid sick days ordinance that guarantees workers paid sick days. But in Everett, Arlington, Mountlake Terrace, or Edmonds, this isn't the case. In fact, it is a different story for over one million workers in Washington who are not allowed to earn paid sick days on the job. That’s why we need House Bill 1356 - a bill that would guarantee Washington workers five paid sick days per year - that recently passed the state house. Next stop? The Senate.

Close loophole and college can be affordable

Commentary | February 25, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Tuition for the University of Washington now takes up almost one-third of the typical wage earner's annual salary. But State Sens. John Braun, R-Centralia, and Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, have an idea. They introduced a bill to cut tuition at our four-year colleges. It currently lacks a funding source and without funding, these tuition cuts are completely hypothetical. But it doesn't have to be this way - and there is a solution.

Why are state lawmakers pushing a bill, HB 1922, that will insure poor people stay poor and the struggling working class always struggling?

Commentary | February 13, 2015 | Sky Valley Chronicle

If your friend told you that she could get a payday loan of $700, and that the interest would be 36%, plus a small loan origination fee of 15%, plus a monthly maintenance fee of 7.5%, you might advise her to get out her calculator. Here’s why.

Pay-day loan bill would reverse reforms

Commentary | February 11, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

If your friend told you that she could get a payday loan of $700, and that the interest would be 36 percent, plus a small loan origination fee of 15 percent, plus a monthly maintenance fee of 7.5 percent, you might advise her to get out her calculator. Here's why.

For Seahawks and workers, 12 is a magic number

Commentary | January 28, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

12… 12… 12. It seems that everywhere we look, we see 12s. Windows, doors, cars, shirts, socks … 12, 12, 12. Which is as it should be, leading up to the second Super Bowl in a row for the Seahawks. So 12 is key to paving the way to the Super Bowl. It is also a key to decent pay in our state. In Olympia there is a movement for 12 as well, but it won't end on Sunday. It is a movement to establish $12 an hour as our statewide minimum wage.

Does the state legislature work for you or the 1%?

Commentary | January 16, 2015 | By John Burbank | Sky Valley Chronicle

The economy is doing well. But the reality of current state financing is that we just don’t have the money to pay for high quality education and good and appropriate public goods and services. If the economy is doing so well, where is that money?

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