Friday Roundup: Marijuana taxes, looking past McCleary, six states join in lawsuit over export terminal, more

There are always a few items we’ve read during the week that deserve more attention but don’t make it into our regular posts. So we bundle them for the Friday roundup.

Here’s this week’s bundle:

Seattle Times: Education improvement remains Washington’s paramount duty beyond McCleary case

The Supreme Court is expected to make its final ruling on whether the Legislature has fulfilled its constitutional duty sometime in the next few weeks or months.

But the jury will be out for months, even years, on whether the Legislature got it right…

Regardless of the justices’ action, the Legislature must continue to improve the education system, from birth to college. Graduation rates, especially among low-income students, must improve. Students from different ethnic and economic groups must receive the same educational opportunities. Achievement gaps must shrink.

Sacramento Bee: Solar required for new California homes starting in 2020

California became the first state in the country Wednesday to require that new homes have solar panels on their roofs.

The mandate, which takes effect in 2020, won unanimous approval of the California Energy Commission. One commissioner predicted the “green” lifestyle regulation will eventually go national.

“We are the first, we will not be the last,” said commissioner David Hochschild. “This is a landmark vote today.”

Sales of recreational marijuana are generating hundreds of millions of tax dollars in states where pot is legal, but that money is unlikely to make up a significant portion of state budgets, according to a leading Wall Street analyst.

A new report from Moody’s Investors Services found excise taxes from marijuana and related products made up just 2 percent of Colorado’s total revenue in 2017, and only 1.2 percent of total revenue in Washington state.

Keep Washington Competitive: Six states join lawsuit in support of Millennium Bulk Terminals

Six states filed a joint amicus brief in U.S. federal court today in support of Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview, adding to a growing list of legal supporters for the export terminal project.

The group of states — including Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Kansas and Nebraska — assert the State of Washington is violating the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution by politicizing the regulatory process and denying project permits solely because the exported commodity is coal.

Seattle Times: Seattle collects more than $4M from new tax on sugary beverages

For the first three months of its tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, Seattle has collected more than $4 million…Before the so-called soda tax began, officials estimated it would raise $14.8 million in 2018. They didn’t calculate quarterly estimates.

…The beverage industry is seeking a ballot initiativeaimed at stopping other Washington communities from adopting taxes on sugary beverages.