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Archives: March 2012

March
31st

Lawmakers returning to Olympia on Wednesday – deal or no deal

Washington budget negotiators met again at the Capitol Saturday and have plans to resume talks Monday in Olympia to close the last $500 million of a budget gap. Meantime, House members have been ordered to report Wednesday for caucus meetings and possible floor votes, and the Senate could follow suit.

“The question is do we bring everybody to town or have a phone caucus,’’ said Sen. Karen Fraser, the Thurston County Democrat who chairs the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We‘re still talking. We’re still meeting. We’re still negotiating. I’m still hopeful we can get this done” before the 30-day special session

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March
30th

Secretary of Senate to senators: Be in Olympia next week ready to work

We’ll just let the memo from the chief administrative officer of the Washington State Senate speak for itself (thanks to Jason Mercier for the catch).

From: Secretary of the Senate
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 3:27 PM
To: @Senate Members; @SENATE All Staff Plus
Subject: Senate Session Schedule Next Week

· The Senate is adjourned until Noon on Monday, April 2 for a pro forma session.

· Tuesday, April 3, the Senate will NOT be in session.

· The Senate will convene on Wednesday, April 4, at a time to be announced. Members should plan to be

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March
30th

Parks pass is now transferable to 2nd car

If you bought a Discover Pass to park on state lands, you can now use it in a second car. If you haven’t bought one, state parks officials are hoping that looser rule will convince you.

The new law, which the Legislature passed and Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law today, addresses “the No. 1 complaint” about the $30 parking pass lawmakers and Gregoire created last year, said Ilene Frisch, acting deputy director of parks.

Each car needed a separate pass. Washington State Parks thinks it’s one key reason revenue from the fees has come in at less than

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March
30th

One secretary of state candidate and one attorney general candidate to speak in Bonney Lake next week

Kim Wyman, the Thurston County auditor running for secretary of state, and Steven Pidgeon, an Everett attorney running for attorney general, will speak at the Bonney Lake Patriots’ monthly meeting on Thursday.

The group will meet at 6:30 p.m. at Cedar Ridge Retirement Center, 9515 198th Ave. E. in Bonney Lake.

Wyman and Pidgeon, both Republicans, will “speak on their vision for the state of Washington and will be open to questions,” according to a press release. Wyman is The meeting is open to the public.

Wyman, who was appointed auditor after Sam Reed won election to secretary of

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March
30th

Sen. Hewitt has tumor; is ‘optimistic’ about surgery

Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt of Walla Walla is undergoing surgery to remove a “thymoma tumor in his abdomen” on Monday in Seattle, he announced today.

The lawmaker learned earlier this week of the growth when undergoing testing at Capital Medical Center in Olympia, and he has been working from home in recent days awaiting surgery.

Hewitt, known for an upbeat demeanor, announced his situation in a statement that says:

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March
30th

Gov. Gregoire: McKenna’s budget tips ‘not helpful’

Republican Rob McKenna plans to lay out his “guiding principles” for a budget in a white paper Monday, showing how he might approach the job if elected governor this fall. But upon hearing from reporters about it, Gov. Chris Gregoire said today it’s “not helpful” at a time she is laying down a comprehensive budget and policy proposal for consideration by Republican and Democratic negotiators.

“That’s real helpful – at this late stage from someone who is not at the table? I don’t need a sixth budget. I’ve got enough budgets,’’ Gregoire, a Democrat, said sarcastically, dismissively. “I don’t consider

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March
30th

Film-tax break OK’d; repeals providing harder

Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed a bill that reinstates a tax break for the motion picture industry, a move that again illustrates the easier route that tax breaks face than efforts to end them. The tax credit, now capped at $3.5 million a year, expired in July 2011 but is reinstated on July 1.

Meanwhile, Democrats’ proposal to close a tax break for banks that sell home mortgages is still in the mix as lawmakers work toward a budget deal at the Capitol. House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, lists it as one example of a

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March
30th

Auburn School Board president Lisa Connors to run against Chris Hurst

Lisa Connors, the president of the Auburn School Board, is running as a Republican for the state House.

She announced today she would challenge Rep. Chris Hurst, a conservative Democrat who chairs the House public safety committee. Hurst represents the 31st district, which includes parts of Auburn plus Sumner, Bonney Lake, Enumclaw and Buckley.

Connors has served on the board for five years and says she has a background in business administration and a number of other fields.

She said she wants to focus in Olympia on education, job growth and responsible state spending. She promised to be a “more

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