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Category: Federal Government

July
2nd

Alliance for Retired holds demonstration at state Capitol grounds to protect Social Security COLAs

About 40 retirees belonging to the Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans held a demonstration Tuesday against federal proposals to use a less aggressive inflation factor for calculating yearly cost of living increases for Social Security recipients. One man wrapped his shoulders in large-link chain and others waved placards at passing motorists along Capitol Way to specifically target the “chained” Consumer Price Index, which President Obama signaled willingness to consider in his 2014 budget.

As outlined in a column in Governing magazine, the chained CPI assumes smaller increases in the cost of living by assuming consumers

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April
10th

House budget has $150,000 for thorough study of economic impacts of coal export facilities in Washington

An overlooked item in the House Democrats’ operating budget is a $150,000 proviso for a study of the economic impact of coal-export facilities on Washington state.

Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, called attention to the tiny allocation in the Democrats’ $34.5 billion proposed budget released Wednesday. He said in an email that it “recognizes the need for Washington to thoroughly evaluate the economic impacts of coal exports in our state. By utilizing the expertise of our state agencies, we hope to capture the net economic impacts of the proposed projects so that Washington taxpayers have an apples-to-apples comparison

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March
22nd

Update – U.S. Reps. Heck, Kilmer respond to news of airport tower closures pending in Tumwater and Tacoma

This has been updated to include Rep. Kilmer’s statement and other changes.

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck pledged again Friday to look for ways to avoid the sequestration budget cuts. The freshman Democrat from Olympia put out a statement following news reports Friday that 149 airport traffic control towers across the country would lose staffing as a result of the across-the-board cuts.

Two towers are either in or near his 10th Congressional District – including at Olympia Regional Airport and at Tacoma Narrows Airport.

Heck’s statement:

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Aviation Administration informed my office this afternoon that the

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March
6th

Sequester cuts starting to land in Washington, but impact on such sensitive programs as Head Start for kids won’t be felt right away

UPDATE: Our print story that expands on this post from Wednesday is here.

Budget gurus for the state of Washington are still calculating the actual effects of the much federal spending cuts being triggered by a 2011 budget vote in Congress known as the “sequestration.’’

But the cuts began taking effect Friday to the tune of almost $83 million in state-administered programs over the next seven months, and the timing and effects vary by program in state government and agencies it funds.

What is known is that vulnerable populations such as the disabled, seniors, kids in Head Start and

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Feb.
21st

Wash. AG says federal settlement of mortgage claims giving $1.1B to state residents

Attorney General Bob Ferguson said today that federal reports show the $46 billion national settlement of mortgage claims with big banks has yielded benefits to Washington consumers in excess of $1 billion value. The gains are a result of a multi-state settlement entered into when Republican Rob McKenna was attorney general.

You can read what Ferguson, a Democrat, says about the settlement in a news release, which links to a new report today from the federal Office of Mortgage Oversight. The following excerpt of his news release gives highlights of the benefits in Washington:

Closer

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Feb.
20th

Top members of state’s congressional delegation drop in at Legislature to explain ‘sequestration’ situation

Washington state legislators got a friendly visit Wednesday from two top members of their congressional delegation – U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Murray met with Democrats in the House and Senate, while McMorris Rodgers met with her kindred Republicans in the two chambers. Neither sounded alarms that the spending-cuts situation – dubbed “sequestration” – is dire. At least not yet.

“I’m telling them that next week I have legislation that will be on the Senate floor to replace sequestration in a smart way – that moves

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Jan.
31st

After 26 days in office, Rep. Heck says D.C. partisanship seems even more acute than he feared

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck said his 26 days on the job in Washington, D.C., has been like “drinking from a fire hose,” but he’s built a foundation for getting to work in earnest. He found a residence, opened a Capitol office, hired staff and received his committee assignments. And in his first month, he voted in favor of two controversial bills that turned into much more partisan fights than he’d liked.

“I in candor have to admit I’m a little discouraged by how polarized it is back there. But I don’t think I have a big enough sample size to

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