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Category: Legislature

July
15th

Moody’s Investors says $1B for K-12 education is ‘credit positive’ for local schools

The recent legislative session did nothing to lift a “negative outlook” on Washington state government’s fairly good credit rating. But the Legislature’s decision to put nearly $1 billion of new money for K-12 schools may help some local school districts on a case-by-case basis.

Moody’s Investor Service, the national ratings agency, says the $1 billion for K-12 was a “credit positive” event that gives local school districts “some budgetary relief and increased financial flexibility” going forward. A note on Washington’s situation was released last Thursday in Moody’s Weekly Credit Outlook for Public Finance.

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July
15th

Thurston judge OK’s ballot wording for I-594’s gun background checks

Backers of an initiative to close loopholes on background checks for gun buyers have won ballot title language more to their liking. Judge Christopher Wickham approved final language for Initiative 594’s title late Friday in Thurston County Superior Court, including references to criminal background checks and public safety.

The petitions are now on the street, according to Christian Sinderman, a political consultant for the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s campaign.

As Brian M. Rosenthal of the Times reported earlier todaythe initiative to the 2014 Legislature  is expected to land on the November 2014 ballot along with I-591, which

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July
9th

Rep. Marcie Maxwell leaving state House for education adviser job with Gov. Inslee’s administration

State Rep. Marcie Maxwell put out a statement Tuesday saying she is resigning her seat in the Legislature to take a senior education-adviser role in Gov. Jay Inslee‘s executive policy office later in July.

Maxwell, a Renton Democrat serving the 41st District, was the House Democrats’ deputy majority leader for education and opportunity, and her House committees included Education, Appropriations and Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. The Governor’s Office confirmed the appointment.

Here is the statement issued by Maxwell:

State Representative Marcie Maxwell is announcing her resignation from elected office to accept a new position in statewide service.  This month, Maxwell

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July
3rd

Newest House member, Dick Muri, to be sworn in this evening in his hometown Steilacoom

Republican Dick Muri of Steilacoom will be sworn in as the newest member of the state House of Representatives  this evening in a public ceremony at Steilacoom City Hall, aides say. Muri fills the 28th Legislative District vacancy left by Steve O’Ban, who was appointed last month to replace the late Mike Carrell in the Senate.

Steve Maynard of the News Tribune has the full story this morning on the Pierce County Council’s decision to appoint Muri on Tuesday.

Muri, who is a retired Air Force officer and former Pierce County Council member, became known to Olympia-area voters last fall

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June
30th

UPDATE – Gov. Inslee signs operating budget that ensures government can operate Monday

UPDATE : The governor’s list of vetoes is linked here.

ORIGINAL POST: Gov. Jay Inslee put pen to paper and signed an operating budget Sunday afternoon that authorizes spending by state government agencies for the next two years. Lawmakers had approved the plan Friday evening just in time to head off a government shutdown on July 1.

“Again we’ve done good things in tough times,’’ Inslee said in a 4:15 p.m. bill-signing session at the Capitol that was attended by a handful of lawmakers and about two-dozen legislative and gubernatorial staffers who clapped when he signed it. The Democrat

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June
29th

UDATE: Lawmakers pass $3.6 billion capital-construction budget and adjourn; $82M for possible new Olympia office building in mix

UPDATE: Gov. Jay Inslee signed the capital budget bills into law Monday.

ORIGINAL POST: The state House and Senate passed a $3.6 billion capital-construction budget on lopsided votes Saturday and lawmakers – who were running on fumes after 153 days – adjourned their special session at 6:08 p.m. Lawmakers had passed an operating budget Friday evening to avert a government shutdown, which loomed Monday if the Legislature had failed to pass a budget authorizing spending after  July 1.

Gov. Jay Inslee plans to sign the two-year operating budget at 4 p.m. Sunday along with a few other policy bills.

Republican Sen. Bruce

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June
27th

UPDATE – Inslee: There’s a deal to avert government shutdown

Gov. Jay Inslee held a brief press conference this morning to announce a budget deal has been reached and a state-government shutdown is averted on Monday. The Democrat hopes the Senate and House send him the agreement for signing by 5 p.m. Friday and he said government operations will continue Monday as normal.

Inslee refused to take questions during the brief press conference at which he was joined by Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, House Speaker Frank Chopp, ranking House Republican budget writer Gary Alexander and others.

The governor’s statement is here:

“I am happy

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June
26th

Governor’s office highlights effects of potential shutdown

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: The state Department of Social and Health Services will send thousands of people letters informing them that they may stop receiving social services starting July 1 if no budget deal is reached by the end of the day Wednesday, spokeswoman Chris Case said.

The agency has been waiting as long it can to avoid alarming its clients, expecting that a budget deal will emerge out of the Legislature at any time, Case said.  But now a potential government shutdown is now only four days away, and the agency is obligated to legally notify clients in writing that

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