|Motto||Improving lives through market solutions|
|Mission||To promote sound public policy based on free-market solutions|
|President||Daniel Mead Smith|
|Formerly called||Washington Institute Foundation|
The Washington Policy Center (WPC) is a conservative think tank based in the state of Washington. The organization's stated mission is "to promote sound public policy based on free-market solutions." It has a statewide staff of 23 and offices in Seattle, Olympia, Spokane, and Richland. The organization is divided into eight research centers: Agriculture, Education, Environment, Government Reform, Health Care, Small Business, Transportation, and Worker Rights.
WPC operates a free public-service website, WashingtonVotes.org, which tracks what bills state legislators introduce and support. WashingtonVotes.org provides a roll call service to state media outlets while the legislature is in session.
This section contains content that is written like an advertisement. (November 2020)
Washington Policy Center comprises seven research centers: Education, Environment, Government Reform, Health Care, Small Business, Transportation, and Agriculture. The research centers were funded and opened as part of a $4.1 million capital campaign.
Center for Education
WPC's Center for Education "conducts objective research and makes practical policy recommendations to improve Washington state's ability to carry out its paramount duty to educate every child within its borders." The center is a strong advocate for school choice and is a leading proponent of charter schools in Washington state.
In 2008, the center published Education Reform Plan: 8 Practical Ways to Improve Public Education in Washington State. The recommendations include:
- Put the principal in charge
- Give parents choice among public schools
- Let teachers teach
- Double teacher pay
- Replace the WASL with another standard
- Create no-excuses schools
- Transparency - put school budgets and teacher qualifications online
- Make the Superintendent of Public Instruction an appointed office
Initiative on agriculture
WPC's Initiative on Agriculture, its newest research arm, puts the knowledge and experience of those who work the land at the center of agriculture policy by using free-market incentives and local solutions. This new Initiative encourages policymakers to reduce the burden of excessive and unproductive regulation on family farmers and taxpayers.
Center for Environment
WPC's Center for the Environment, led by Todd Myers, "brings balance to the environmental debate by promoting the idea that human progress and prosperity work in a free economy to protect the environment."
Center for Government Reform
WPC's Center for Government Reform's (budget and tax) mission is to "partner with stakeholders and citizens to work toward a government focused on its core functions while improving its transparency, accountability, performance, and effectiveness for taxpayers." Jason Mercier leads WPC's efforts in government eform.
Center for Health Care
WPC's Center for Health Care is led by retired heart surgeon Dr. Roger Stark. The center develops "patient-centered solutions to reduce costs and improve the availability and quality of health care for businesses and individuals, providing the only detailed, independent critique of health care issues available in the Northwest."
Center for Transportation
WPC's Center for Transportation "researches and analyzes the best practices for relieving traffic congestion by recapturing a vision of a system based on freedom of movement."
The center uncovered an error in Sound Transit's defense in a $500 million class-action lawsuit filed by taxpayers regarding the collection of car tab tax charges. The state Attorney General's office acknowledged the error and declined to take Sound Transit’s side in the case, pulling out just one hour prior to a scheduled hearing before the State Supreme Court. The constitutionality of the car-tab collection levied by Sound Transit was upheld by the State Supreme Court in February 2020.
Center for Small Business
WPC's Center for Small Business "focuses on improving Washington's small business climate by working closely with business owners and policymakers. The Center provides accurate information and analysis on the state's regulatory climate, tax structure, health insurance systems, and more."
- "About Washington Policy Center". Washington Policy Center. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Washington Institute changes name". Puget Sound Business Journal. June 21, 2001. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- Baker, Mike (5 January 2020). "To Fight Climate Change, One City May Ban Heating Homes With Natural Gas". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- Lindblom, Mike (August 14, 2014). "Metro starts work on $1.50 fare card for low-income riders". Seattle Times. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- Parrish, Linn (February 12, 2015). "Chris Cargill: Furthering free market". Journal of Business. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- Micklethwait, John; Wooldridge, Adrian (2004). The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America. Penguin. p. 159. ISBN 9781594200205.
- Camden, Jim (January 11, 2015). "Television, Internet let you track Washington Legislature". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "How Your State Lawmakers Voted in Olympia". Nisqually Valley News. March 13, 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "How they voted — March 10, 2015". The Daily Record. March 10, 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.