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Archives: March 2013

March
27th

Washington Roundtable lays out ‘skills gap’ report showing need to fill 25,000 jobs

Washington state lost more than 200,000 jobs during the Great Recession, and as the state keeps bouncing back there are signs Washington has a mismatch between the skills of the workforce and the jobs that are opening up. A new report from the Washington Roundtable, which is made up of business executives, says the region’s business community has 25,000 new jobs it is in acute need of people to fill them.

All told, 20,000 or about 80 percent of the total jobs deemed to have “acute” skills gaps are in nursing or computer science fields. A job opening is considered

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March
27th

Heck favors federal law changes to let I-502 work, including help to allow banker lending to marijuana enterprises

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck says he ended up voting for Washington’s marijuana legalization initiative last fall and thinks the federal government now needs to take steps to let the state put Initiative 502 into effect. Among the changes: Shed the federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s Schedule 1 listing marijuana of marijuana as a “most dangerous” drug with no accepted medical use, which he called “the height of silliness.”

“My position is that the federal government’s regulations ought to enable states to implement voter approved laws or legislatively approved laws in this regard. I actually think that having

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March
26th

Scientist who denies human role in climate change runs into skeptical senators

 

A retired Western Washington University professor testified to a Republican-controlled state Senate committee  Tuesday that climate change stopped in 1998 and that human-caused greenhouse gases are not responsible for fluctuations in the Earth’s temperatures or melting polar ice caps.

The startling testimony from emeritus professor Don Easterbrook is at odds with an apparent consensus among climate scientists  and climate-science literature about human causes behind the the rise in global temperatures over the past century. His testimony  came one day after the Legislature sent Gov. Jay Inslee a bill that sets up a legislative work group to study Washington’s best

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March
25th

Retired WWU climate scientist to offer skeptical view on global warming at Senate work session Tuesday

Gov. Jay Inslee’s climate-change study bill passed the House Monday and is on its way to his desk for signing. Meanwhile, skeptics of the science Inslee relies upon may want to turn to the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday for some reassurance.

That’s when Dr. Don Easterbrook, retired geology professor emeritus from Western Washington University and a climate-change skeptic, is scheduled to give an hour-long presentation at the Capitol Campus. Easterbrook has done research into climate change around the world and authored a book, “Evidence-Based Science,” which disputes that

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March
25th

‘Main Street’ group organizes letter to lawmakers from small business owners that favor new state revenues

Advocates of an increase in state revenues brought a few small-business owners to the Capitol Monday to ask lawmakers to close tax “loopholes.” Of course leaders of the left-of-center Our Economic Future coalition and Main Street Alliance, who organized the event, couldn’t specify which tax breaks they consider loopholes.

Everyone is apparently waiting for Gov. Jay Inslee to lay out his package of revenue ideas for narrowing the state budget shortfall and meeting the state’s obligations for funding K-12 public schools.

Up to now, the Democratic governor has had trouble putting his finger on tax breaks to repeal. But aides

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March
25th

YMCA’s Mock Trial event declares Seattle Prep team the winner at Thurston Courthouse

A team from Seattle Preparatory School won this year’s Mock Trial event sponsored by the Washington YMCA’s Youth & Government program. The competition was held during  weekend competition at Thurston County Courthouse.

The trials pit students in the roles of prosecutors and defense attorneys, and this year’s case dealt with the credibility of a witness in a case of a plot by terrorists to bomb a ferry on Puget Sound. The YMCA’s press release is here.

The top 10 teams, according to the release, were:

• 1st place: Seattle Prep Varsity

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March
25th

UPDATE – House votes 62-31 to endorse GOP version of climate change bill

UPDATE 2: Gov. Jay Inslee put out this statement after today’s passage of his climate-change bill, his first legislation to pass both chambers:

 “Today’s bipartisan support for the climate action bill is welcome news. We’ve seen the impacts of climate change already affecting some of Washington’s key industries with shellfish growers moving operations due to ocean acidification and the farmers in Eastern Washington seeing reduced water supplies as a result of reduced snowpack. This is our opportunity to not only make sure we protect those important industries, but also grow new jobs in the design and manufacturing of clean energy.

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March
23rd

U.S. Senate’s ‘symbolic’ vote on online taxes keeps cash-hopes alive in the Washington Legislature

The U.S. Senate voted 75-to-24 Friday to approve a budget amendment that doesn’t yet usher in a new era of taxing online retail sales in all states. But it did show that the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act has enough support to avoid a filibuster.

The National Conference of State Legislatures hailed the vote Friday night as a step toward states and local governments being able to collect some $23 billion in lost taxation. The state Department of Revenue estimated last year that Washington’s state and local governments could see a two-year windfall of up to $483

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