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Archives: Feb. 2013

Feb.
27th

Morning update: Session day 45

Gov. Jay Inslee is signing the first bill of his career and first of the 2013 session today, the 45th day of the 105-day session, at 1 p.m.   Senate Bill 5147 deals with runaway youths and requires that unlicensed youth shelters and runaway programs provide information about the whereabouts of runaways to parents, police or the Department of Social and Health Services.

Also today, Seattle Seahawks football coach Pete Carroll will speak at the Legislature and later  meet with Inslee. Carroll’s A Better Seattle group is teaming up with the Northwest Leadership Foundation to promote youth programs. Carroll is

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Feb.
27th

Read the ethics board’s order fining Corrections official Belinda Stewart


Here’s my story today on the $17,000 fine, which Belinda Stewart says is unfair and one of her pursuers, Sen. Mike Carrell, says is too lenient. Read more »

Feb.
26th

Poll: Voters split on more taxes for schools

 

A poll released today finds voters split on whether Washington state should raise taxes to fully fund schools.

The poll was done by a Portland firm, DHM Research, and commissioned by advocates of school funding and accountability in the Excellent Schools Now coalition. Pollsters talked to 500 voters in January and found 45 percent of voters backing higher funding for K-12 schools even if it requires a tax increase.

The poll also surveyed 500 teachers in December and found 70 percent of them agreed with the same question.

It has been more than a year since the state Supreme

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Feb.
26th

Tacoma: Lecy-Davis announces bid for City Council’s District 2 seat

Downtown business owner and community activist Patricia Lecy-Davis announced Monday she intends to run for the Tacoma City Council’s District 2 Council seat.

“I’m running because I believe that our citizens deserve the most committed representation possible,” Lecy-Davis is quoted in a press announcement issued Monday. “I will work hard to meet and engage with the people across this district, and to bring a voice to their issues on the City Council.”

Lecy-Davis was among seven candidates to apply for the seat vacated Dec. 31 by Councilman-turned-state Rep. Jake Fey. During her appointment interview in January, she told council members

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Feb.
26th

Here’s one possible map of proposed Pierce Transit sub-area that would pay more taxes, get more bus service

Pierce Transit drew this map of a potential “enhancement zone,” which the agency will be the first to say is a misleading term because it’s not looking to enhance service but simply to stave off some of its looming 28 percent cuts.

The agency wants state lawmakers to give it permission to draw such a sub-area, which would take in high-need areas and voters who might support raising the sales tax by an extra three-tenths of a cent.

Feb.
25th

Audit faults DOC for giving inmate-education money directly to inmate, parole officer

A state audit found money that was supposed to be kept in the custody of the Department of Corrections and used on inmates’ behalf was actually going directly to an inmate, and in another case, an inmate’s community-corrections officer.

The audit out today from Auditor Troy Kelley’s office doesn’t allege any money was diverted to wrongful uses. But it does identify violations of state laws that require money to be handled through a special inmate bank account.

The money is for the education of prisoners with mental illness or developmental disabilities who are staying in halfway houses while on work-release. They stay at the

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Feb.
25th

Cities may get more power to enforce cleanup of trashy yards

The state Senate today approved a top priority of the Tacoma City Council: stronger authority for cities to make property owners pay for cleaning up junky yards.

Tacoma and other cities already have the power to clean up properties overrun with trash, derelict cars, weeds, vermin and the like, and to put a lien on properties to make sure they recoup the cost from the owner. But city officials say those liens expire and they have to spend time renewing them in court. The proposed change would change that by giving cities tougher lien authority that county governments already have.

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Feb.
25th

Morning update: Session Day 43

Several proposals by Tacoma Democrats to help local governments raise transportation taxes are due for public hearings today.

One proposal offers a way for mass-transit agencies like Pierce Transit to increase sales taxes without a vote of the public. Voters have twice rejected Pierce Transit’s call for a three-tenths-of-a-cent increase. Under Rep. David Sawyer’s plan, each member of the board would receive a share of the vote corresponding to the population that board member represents. It is up for a hearing in House Transportation at 1:30 p.m.

Up for a hearing in the same committee is Rep. Jake

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