Political Buzz

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Category: State Government

June
20th

At least 83 take lethal dose of drugs in 2012 under “Death with Dignity”

An annual report on Washington’s so-called Death with Dignity law shows 121 terminally ill patients received medication that could be used to end their lives in 2012.

Continuing a slow but steady climb in participants, it’s more than the 103 people who were provided with the drugs in 2011, according to the report by the state Department of Health.

Not all of the people who receive the drugs use them.

At least 83 of last year’s patients took the lethal dose and died. Others died without taking the medication — for a total of 104

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June
20th

Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget office posts memo on how it would respond to government shutdown

As promised last week, Gov. Jay Inslee‘s budget office has released details on how it thinks it can legally respond to a shutdown of state government if a budget isn’t approved by the Legislature by June 30.

A week ago, Inslee’s budget director David Schumacher asked agencies for details on what might be able to remain open based on factors such as federal mandates and funding, whether it is authorized by the already adopted transportation budget and services that do not require a specific authorization or appropriation by the Legislature.

“The state constitution prohibits payment of treasury funds without an

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June
19th

Will rules create a marijuana monopoly?

One of the regulators guiding the development of a legal marijuana industry in Washington voiced concerns today that the industry might end up dominated by a wealthy few.

Liquor Control Board member Chris Marr noted the rules being drawn up for the board’s approval don’t limit the number of licenses that any one business can have. What would keep one company from snapping up a slew of licenses and setting up a monopoly, he asked?

“How do you prevent a Microsoft millionaire from getting this idea and deciding that — playing by the rules — they’re going to dominate the

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June
19th

Gambling Commission makes interim director David Trujillo its permanent leader

A 22-year employee of the Washington State Gambling Commission will serve as its  new director, the commission’s five citizen members decided Wednesday.

The commissioners voted unanimously in favor of appointing David Trujillo, who has served as interim director of the gambling commission since former director Rick Day left in February. Before that, Trujillo spent 3 1/2 years as deputy director of the organization, which regulates gambling in Washington state and helps oversee 28 tribal casinos.

While at the gambling commission, Trujillo has also worked as the administrator in charge of licensing services, assistant director of the licensing operations division, and as

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May
30th

What’s the process for filling the late Sen. Mike Carrell’s vacant seat?

With Wednesday’s untimely passing of state Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, questions have emerged as to how — and when — his vacant 28th legislative district senate seat will be filled.

Under the appointment process for a vacant legislative seat —  spelled out in Washington’s Constitution and in state statute — the Pierce County Council will have the first crack at deciding Carrell’s replacement.

Because Carrell was a Republican, the county’s Republican Party gets to choose three candidates to submit for the county council’s consideration. The council has up to 60 days from the date of vacancy (Wednesday) to appoint Carrell’s

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May
22nd

Marijuana rules yield Web clicks and some objections; here’s what’s next

Since the first draft of marijuana rules went online last week, they have drawn 15,000 views and more than 5,900 downloads.

That’s according to the staff of the state Liquor Control Board, which wrote the proposal. Randy Simmons, who is leading the board’s implementation of legalization Initiative 502, updated the board today.

Incoming agency director Rick Garza said reaction to the rules has been positive.

Of those who do have objections, one topic has stood out: the status of hashish, the concentrated form of marijuana. The board’s draft rules interpret voter-passed I-502 as not allowing the sale of hash

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May
16th

Want a marijuana license? Here are some of the rules you might have to follow

UPDATED, most recently at 2:35 p.m. 

It’s only the first draft, but proposed rules for Washington’s new system of licensed, regulated and taxed marijuana are out.

The state Liquor Control Board has been working since voters legalized the drug last November in anticipation of handing out licenses this December. Today the board issued a 46 page document detailing what regulations might look like for growers, processors and retail sellers.

If you want a license, under these rules you would need:

  • An alarm system and a video surveillance system. Surveillance requirements are modeled on Colorado’s system of tracking its medical marijuana,

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May
14th

Rick Garza will lead Liquor Control Board handling marijuana licensing

The state Liquor Control Board has promoted deputy director Rick Garza to director, putting him at the helm of an effort to create a system of licensed, taxed and regulated marijuana.

Garza starts June 1. A liquor board employee since 1997, he has a wide-ranging portfolio as deputy that involves dealing with the Legislature, Indian tribes and the news media. Board chairwoman Sharon Foster said he is regarded as “an expert on many issues” and Gov. Jay Inslee called him “a creative leader and a team player” in the liquor board news release.

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