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Archives: Feb. 2010


Senate panel: Close McNeil Island prison

Senators are moving to close McNeil Island Corrections Center.

The island prison would close by June 30, 2011, under a change Friday night to Senate Democrats’ budget plan, which originally called for downsizing the prison to move out nearly half of its 1,200 inmates.

The budget could be up for a vote on the Senate floor within hours.

The hand that taketh away from McNeil also giveth to Larch Corrections Center near Vancouver. The original Senate plan called for closing Larch and the House wants to downsize it, but the new proposal approved Friday by the Senate Ways and Means

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Bill to close Pierce County polls clears key Senate committee

A bill that would force Pierce County to conduct its elections entirely by mail has cleared a key committee and could be up for a vote on the Senate floor next week.

Pierce County is the last county to allow residents to cast their votes at the polls.

The vast majority of registered voters who voted opted to do so by mail in this month’s special elections — just over 1 percent of voters showed up to polling locations while nearly 37 percent mailed their ballots in.

According to Secretary of State Sam Reed’s office, 90 percent of

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How your lawmaker voted this week

Here is how South Sound lawmakers voted recently on selected bills, as compiled by WashingtonVotes.org. Visit their Web site for a searchable database of issues and votes.

Y = Yes, N = No, E = Excused, X = Not Voting

Senate Bill 6130, ESSB 6130 – Suspending provisions of voter approved I-960
ESSB 6130, which passed the House by a vote of 51 to 47, would temporarily repeal provisions of the voter approved initiative 960 until after July 1, 2011. The House amended ESSB 6130, restoring public notification requirements and cost projections when a tax increase is proposed in the legislature. Other provisions that are being repealed include the requirement to have a two-thirds majority vote to raise taxes by the legislature and the requirement to have a tax advisory vote for any tax increase not referred to voters or otherwise blocked from public vote. The Senate concurred with the House amendments by a vote of 26 to 21 and was signed into law by the Governor.

Sen. Randi Becker, (R-Eatonville) N
Sen. Karen Fraser, (D-Thurston County) Y
Sen. Jim Kastama, (D-Puyallup) Y
Sen. Derek Kilmer, (D-Gig Harbor) N
Sen. Debbie Regala, D-Tacoma) Y
Sen. Michael Carrell, (R-Lakewood) N
Sen. Rosa Franklin, (D-Tacoma) Y
Sen. Tracey Eide, (D-Federal Way) Y
Sen. Pam Roach, (R-Auburn) N
Sen. Karen Keiser, (D-Kent) Y
Sen. Claudia Kauffman, (D-Kent) N

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Budget panel: Give ethics board the ax

The House Ways and Means Committee voted this afternoon to eliminate funding for the Executive Ethics Board.

Find out more about the proposal here.

A couple of comments from before the voice vote:

Rep. Jeannie Darneille, in support: “I believe we are in the toughest of economic times, and I cannot justify to my voters spending $492,000 to maintain this kind of scrutiny of 11 state employees.” The board fined 11 people last year.

Rep. Gary Alexander, in opposition: “To me this is an important area. We need to maintain ethics oversight, as much in the executive

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GOP’s Dale Woodard will run in the 27th District as a Republican

Saying Democrats have held the 27th District for too long, Eastside Tacoma resident Dale Woodard said he’ll file to run for a vacant House seat.

“Democrats have held the seat since 1962, the year I was born,” Woodard says in an announcement. “It is time for new ideas to solve the issues that we face in the 27th District and in Washington State. We need to make the right changes to keep our citizens safe, to improve our educational system and make our state’s economy strong again.”

According to the announcement, Woodard majored in computer science at Pacific Lutheran

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