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Archives: Nov. 2012

Nov.
26th

Hand recount possible in South King County House race

The day before King County is due to certify its election results, state Rep. Mark Hargrove’s lead over his challenger shrank today to 134 votes, which would trigger a recount by hand if those results hold up.

Only a few hundred votes remain uncounted in the state’s largest county, so the odds are still against Democratic challenger Bud Sizemore. But he has been gaining on Hargrove, a Covington Republican.

After today’s count, the gap in the 47th District shrank to 0.248 percent of all votes cast. A manual recount is required when the margin is less than 150 votes and

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Nov.
24th

State considers bids for mail, Web; printer next

In a process that is behind schedule, state government has found a few companies willing to take over work now performed by state employees who manage government websites and deliver mail to far-flung state offices.

Decisions could come soon from Gov. Chris Gregoire’s administration on whether it would be more efficient to turn to the private sector for those services.

Those are preludes to a decision with more expensive consequences — whether to turn over more state printing to private companies. The state is about to go out to bid in that process, but it will likely fall to Gov.-elect

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Nov.
23rd

State developing rules on contract oversight

I wrote last winter about a law the Legislature passed to consolidate state-government contracting, with many changes including more oversight of no-bid contracts. It gave the new Department of Enterprise Services authority to oversee contracts and discipline contractors.

Now the agency is filling in the details of that law. The public has a chance to weigh in on what DES is proposing. Go here to read the proposals and comment.

DES’s Roselyn Marcus said one of the biggest changes is how the agency delegates its contracting authority. In the past, agencies have been allowed to manage their own

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Nov.
21st

UPDATED: Democrats seek negotiations in Senate

No one quite knows who will control which levers of power in the state Senate if Republicans enlarge their minority by one vote, which looks increasingly likely as Sen. Don Benton leads going into a recount (Here’s the latest on that front as the website Washington State Wire sees it).

But in an acknowledgement that they don’t hold all the cards, Democrats are asking for negotiations — perhaps hoping Republicans will show some of their own cards.

Incoming Majority Leader Ed Murray, a Seattle Democrat, sent a letter Tuesday to Republicans saying once they pick a new leader,

we request Republican leadership

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Nov.
20th

Tacoma: Health care savings could free up $11.3 million for targeted city services next year; deal with unions could save another $1.3 million in 2014

A smaller-than-expected increase in the City of Tacoma’s costs for providing employees with medical coverage could free up to $11.3 million over the next two years.

Nearly a third of that money would be used to restore funding to city services targeted for budget cuts or pay for other unfunded programs, City Manager T.C. Broadnax told the City Council Tuesday.

The savings also would allow the city to set aside about $2 million to help pay for unfunded police officers and firefighters down the road, when nearly $13 million in federal grants that now cover more than 40 public safety

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Nov.
20th

Tacoma: City Council votes down sunset provision for measure to restore full B&O tax on MultiCare, Franciscan

Tacoma’s City Council on Tuesday narrowly voted down an amendment to include a sunset provision in a measure that calls to end a business tax break for the MultiCare and Franciscan health systems.

The council voted 5 to 4 against the amendment introduced by Councilman Joe Lonergan. Instead, the council will consider the original measure as proposed in City Manager T.C. Broadnax’s 2013-14 budget plan.  A final vote is expected next week.

As we reported today, the original proposal calls to end a partial business and occupation tax exemption for Tacoma’s nonprofit hospitals, which now pay a 75-percent reduced

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Nov.
20th

What’s your solution to McCleary? Fill in the blanks

A task force trying to find more state money for Washington’s public schools considered some possible solutions today, and invited the public and civic and interest groups to submit their own solutions.

You can download a form here. Fill it in and send to the Joint Task Force on Education Funding (instructions here under “other materials”) by noon on Nov. 30 for consideration at the panel’s next meeting, as it enters its final month before its deadline to make a recommendation to the state Legislature.

For examples, you can consult these three scenarios (pages 3-5) put forward as possibilities today

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Nov.
20th

A look at same-sex marriage supporters’ strategy

Ads in support of Referendum 74 showcased people explaining how they had come to support same-sex marriage, and emphasized gay and lesbian couples’ desire for commitment. And one notable ad, which showed up late in the campaign to counter an opposition argument, suggested to viewers that children learn values at home, not at school.

Clearly all those lines of argument were part of a strategy honed by failures in other states, and a story on the website Buzzfeed today says they showed up in all four states where gay marriage was on the ballot — and where supporters

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