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Archives: May 2013

May
15th

UPDATE: Gov. Inslee, 200-300 senior citizens to take a stroll around Capitol grounds at noon Thursday

UPDATE – About 200 seniors joined Gov. Inslee for the short walk today.  He also signed a proclamation for Older Americans Month.

Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to take a short walk with Washington senior citizens on the Capitol Campus on Thursday, part of the Washington Senior Lobby’s events inside the Legislative Building to mark Older Americans Month.

The noon walk from the state Capitol steps grew out of an impromptu promise Inslee made March 11 during a telephone town hall with AARP Washington members. The Democrat said at the time that walking is important to health and he suggested

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May
15th

April jobless numbers may be better but Wash still 45,500 jobs shy of 2008 peak

State jobless rates fell in April to 7 percent, down from 7.3 percent, bringing the state rate to its lowest since December 2008. Overall the state remains 45,500 jobs shy of the peak hit before the recession began in February that year, according to Scott Bailey, regional economist for the state Employment Security Department.

The department’s monthly jobs report is here.

The Great Recession that began in February 2008 wiped out 205,600 jobs across the state, and the economy has regained more than three-quarters of that.

“Our April preliminary estimate was 2,933,500

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May
14th

Supreme Court hears arguments over legitimacy of $95M court award to care workers for the severely disabled

The Washington Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a class-action case brought by “live-in” home care aides against the state Department of Social and Health Services over unpaid work hours that could cost taxpayers $95 million or more, if the court upholds earlier court rulings.

TVW’s coverage of the hearing is here:

The 22,000 workers in the suit tend for disabled clients, some of them severely, and they saw their work hours cut by an average of 15 percent during 2003-07 under a “shared living” rule adopted by the state agency for Medicaid clients.

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May
13th

Former Secretary of State Reed to speak at luncheon Wednesday

Former three-term secretary of state Sam Reed is scheduled to talk about his 45 years of public service in Lacey during the Wednesday noon luncheon of the Thurston County Mainstream Republicans. The talk is at the Hawks Prairie Restaurant and admission is $2 – plus lunch.

Reed, a social moderate who created the Mainstream Republicans of Washington political group, stepped down in January after serving 12 years overseeing the Office of the Secretary of State. Fellow Republican Kim Wyman won election last fall to take his place. Reed also served 23 years as Thurston County auditor and also worked as assistant

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May
13th

Environmentalist Beth Doglio talking about coal exports Tuesday in Lacey

Environmental advocate Beth Doglio of Olympia is scheduled to speak Tuesday about the fight against Northwest coal exports during the regular monthly meeting of the Democratic Study Group at Panorama in Lacey. Doglio is director of anti-coal campaigns for both Climate Solutions and the Power Past Coal groups.

The study group meets at 1:30 p.m. at the Panorama Auditorium, 1670 Circle Loop S.E. Events are open to the public and to people of any political affiliation.

Doglio’s talk – titled “Coal Export – Northwest Crossroads” – is expected to discuss the fight against the export potentially of 150 million tons of

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May
13th

Thurston auditor race draws 2 candidates on first day: Gary Alexander (R) and Mary Hall (D)

Republican Gary Alexander and Democrat Mary Hall both filed to run for  Thurston County auditor Monday, the first day of filing week for the November election cycle.

Alexander, a state representative, was appointed to the job earlier this year by Thurston County commissioners, replacing Republican Kim Wyman, who won election last year as secretary of state. His official agency bio is here.

Hall, who serves as elections supervisor for Pierce County but lives in Thurston County, announced her plan to run earlier this year. Her campaign bio is here.

 

May
13th

First good news of special session? State revenue collections bump up $57.6M above monthly forecast

On the same day Gov. Jay Inslee brought lawmakers to town to end a $1.2 billion budget impasse in special session, new data were released on state revenue collections showing a $57.6 million increase above forecasts for the past month. That amount pushes the gains over the March forecast to $86.4 million cumulatively, but the figures won’t move the needle on budget talks that are moving at glacial speed at the Capitol.

In releasing its monthly tax-collections report on Monday, the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council listed a caveat or two – including that more than half of the good

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May
2nd

Special session? No (yawn), it’s a routine – and so are the costs

There are a few things to keep in mind when state lawmakers return to special session on May 13.

FIRST: The cost is likely to be small in the grand scheme of legislative spending. Costs ran less than $300,000 for two special sessions that lasted a total of 31 days last year, which is less than one one-thousandth of a percent of the state operating budget. And it’s less than half of what the House expects to spend for a new voting-machine and scoreboard installed in its chambers this year.

Things could get a bit more costly if all

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