Does Washington make policy changes without sound fiscal management?

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I'm writing a story about the impacts of incrementally raising the minimum wage each year, until it reaches $13/hour. Washington just passed the law and it goes into effect Jan. 1.

In my research I was surprised not to discover that not a single economic impact study had been done. Sure the state Office of Financial Management did theirs, and the restaurant/lodging lobbies did theirs. But there is no INDEPENDENT THIRD PARTY study out there ... that I could find.

The question is: Is that a kind of breach of sound fiscal management? Meaning, Washington citizens are sitting back and saying, "Well, let's just vote for it and see what happens?"


Alas, your concern about lack of sound fiscal management is not only justified in this case but is justified far more broadly. Many policy changes are initiated without third party studies to back them up. One assumes the government agencies do a fair job and the adversarial nature of evidence also prompts industry groups to do theirs. Much of the truth is, I suspect, uncovered by this process. But then, who knows for sure? In this case, though, there are many impact studies on minimum wage increases for other states or cities that Washington residents could fall back upon.

Last updated on February 2, 2017