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Archives: 2013

July
10th

Rep. Marcie Maxwell leaving state House for education adviser job with Inslee administration

State Rep. Marcie Maxwell put out a statement Tuesday saying she is resigning her seat in the Legislature to take a senior education-adviser role in Gov. Jay Inslee‘s executive policy office later in July.

Maxwell, a Renton Democrat serving the 41st District, was the House Democrats’ deputy majority leader for education and opportunity, and her House committees included Education, Appropriations and Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. The Governor’s Office confirmed the appointment.

Here is the statement issued by Maxwell:

State Representative Marcie Maxwell is announcing her resignation from elected office to accept a new position in statewide service. This month,

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July
5th

Kinda dull Washington state election just got a bit more dull — No initiatives to people

Washington’s Secretary of State says no initiative sponsors met today’s deadline to submit signatures for qualification for the November ballot.

Sponsors would have had to submit 246,372 valid signatures by 5 p.m. today. That means the actual total would need to be higher to accommodate duplicates and signatures from non-voters. Only one sponsor made an appointment to turn in signatures — Initiative 1307 to regulate firearms. But no one showed up and reportedly had only a few hundred signatures gathered anyway.

This will be the first election since 1989 without an initiative to the people on the ballot.

Being an

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July
2nd

Gov. Jay Inslee takes stock of his performance in session

We wrote this story after the regular session assessing how Gov. Jay Inslee had fared so far. Most of that progress report still stands, including his success in securing a study on climate change and his failure to create new targeted tax breaks or mandating universal background checks for gun purchases.

Some of the incomplete grades have turned into successes for his agenda and others into failures.

Firmly in the win column for Inslee:

  • Medicaid expansion. Some 250,000 more people will be covered now that leaders have agreed to accept a key element of Obamacare.
  • Protecting human services. Inslee’s original

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June
29th

UPDATE: Senate leaders say no to vote on gas tax hike that would fund SR-167-to-Tacoma

UPDATED 5 p.m. with procedural move and comment from the governor’s office.

Senate leaders pronounced a transportation funding package dead this afternoon as they worked toward adjournment of their second special session as soon as tonight. Democrats fell short in an procedural move to force the proposal to the floor.

That would mean drivers wouldn’t have to cough up an extra 10.5 cents of gas tax and the South Sound would wait another year for help restoring bus service, widening Interstate 5 along Joint Base Lewis-McChord and extending state Route 167 to the Port of Tacoma.

The Senate’s mostly GOP

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June
28th

Governor’s office pushing hard for transportation money, but it’s an uphill battle

Prospects look dim in the Senate, but Gov. Jay Inslee’s office says it’s not giving up on a transportation package that would raise fees and gas taxes to fund highway projects.

“If we had heard a very clear and unified “no,” then we’d be out having a drink right now,” said Ted Sturdevant, who as legislative director is the governor’s point man in lobbying the Legislature. He said some in the GOP-dominated Senate majority want the projects.

Indeed, no one will say the transportation tax proposal is dead. Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom and Senate Transportation Chairman Curtis King have come close, saying it’s late in

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June
28th

State Auditor Troy Kelley seeks vetoes, saying budget threatens his independence

UPDATE 7/1: Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed the sections requested by Kelley.

Original post:

The budget compromise today requests that State Auditor Troy Kelley’s office perform a series of studies that Kelley said are “unfunded mandates” that “compromise the independence of this office.”

He said so in a letter to fellow Democrat Jay Inslee today asking the governor to veto the study requests, especially since lawmakers diverted money from his voter-approved performance-audit fund to pay for audits in other areas of government.

“The unfunded mandates requested in these subsections constitute a large portion of the funds remaining in the performance audit account, and

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June
28th

UPDATE: Senate passes budget on 44-to-4 vote; House votes 81-to-11 to send to Gov. Inslee

UPDATE 6:40 p.m.: The House passed the budget, sending it to the governor. Eleven Republicans voted no.

The lopsided House and Senate votes add up to a combined 125-15 margin in support of the compromise plan.

Original post:

The compromise state budget deal just passed the Senate on an overwhelming vote, with only four senators voting no: two Democrats, Rosemary McAuliffe of Bothell and Bob Hasegawa of Seattle, and two Republicans, John Smith of Colville and Mike Padden of Spokane Valley.

The budget came in for mostly praise — after some critical speeches from conservatives like Smith who would have preferred to add a study of how much fish people

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June
28th

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

… Could “Fish Consumption II” be on the way? Is the controversy over fish that sidetracked budget progress earlier this week about to be replayed?

We should find out soon, but don’t hold your breath. Yes, amendments to the budget have been prepared in the Senate that would restore a study of people’s fish-eating habits. (Background here from Jerry Cornfield  on Boeing’s push for the study and Democrats’ opposition.) And yes, the insistence on the study could blow up Thursday’s budget deal if passed.

But Colville Republican Sen. John Smith, the author of one of the amendments (the other is from

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