The Washington State Supreme Court issued a ruling favorable to the State’s charter schools last Thursday. The question before the court was whether those charter schools were violating the State’s constitution by receiving funding from the State’s lottery facilities. Writing for the court, Justice Mary Yu wrote in plain words,
Charter schools are not rendered unconstitutional just because they do not operate identically to common school[.]
She expanded on that in addressing the plaintiffs’ argument that the charter schools lacked voter control, holding that, as The Seattle Times paraphrased her,
The Wall Street Journalwrote in its Thursday edition that the US was “refusing” to resume trade negotiations with the PRC until the latter made a formal offer to us. That’s a bit of a misnomer, though, since there’s nothing about which to negotiate until the PRC makes an offer. Absent that, any discussion about trade would be just idle musings over an afternoon tea, a whiling away of some time between more important things.
A couple of other things jumped out at me in that article, too.
The mandarins of Brussels on Tuesday issued an unprecedented demand that Italy rewrite its bad budget in line with Brussels’ bad fiscal principles.
As the WSJ predicts,
[t]he two sides will now descend into political and bureaucratic wrangling. The main risks are that Brussels imposes a fine of 0.2% of GDP or that Rome is forced to abandon the pro-growth flat tax.
There’s no need for this, though. Italy should simply refuse to debate the matter—their budget, for good or ill, is a national thing, a matter of sovereignty. Along those lines, Italy also should refuse to pay the Brussels vig.
Alexander Acosta, Steven Mnuchin, and Alex Azar, respectively Secretaries of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, are in the process of offering one. They’re putting together a rule that would expand HRAs, Health Reimbursement Arrangements. These are plans that allow employers to reimburse employees for certain qualified health expenses. Their expansion consists of two parts:
permit[ting] employers to offer HRAs to reimburse employees for health insurance purchased in the individual market—allowing employers to provide a contribution as significant as they would have made for the premiums of a traditional employer-sponsored plan.
The European Union took the unprecedented step Tuesday of rejecting Italy’s draft budget as incompatible with the bloc’s rules on fiscal discipline, escalating a battle between Europe’s establishment and populists in Rome.
Italy’s economic woes impact other members of the eurozone, of the EU at large? They don’t have to. The EU has no more obligation to bail out Italy—if the eventuality eventuates—than it had with Greece. Italy has no more need to put other nations ahead of its own economic well-being than had Greece.
Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria has told the European Commission that Italy will raise its deficit to 2.4% of gross domestic product (GDP), defying eurozone budget rules. In a letter sent to Brussels in response to a formal warning from the EU.