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Category: Supreme Court


UPDATE – Salary commission just set pay – giving Supreme Court justices higher pay than governor


If case you wondered, Gov. Jay Inslee isn’t getting a pay raise this year – or in 2014. But the nine members of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Barbara Madsen will get raises on Sept. 1 – when their pay rises above that even of the governor.

The Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials finished its work today and it is holding pay for governor – the top elected official’s spot – at $166,891. That’s the same it’s been since September 2008, shortly before the economy’s bottom fell out.

UPDATE: “It’s appropriate for these times

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House Finance votes 8-to-5 on party line Monday to repair estate tax after Supreme Court ruling; GOP objects to retroactive language

Republican Rep. Terry Nealey of Dayton offered an amendment to cut off the state’s claim to taxes back only as far as 2005. This cutoff date would have avoided the threat of further litigation, according to Nealey. But it would protect the state against only $30 million in claims – a fraction of the estimated $160 million cost of the court’s ruling.

And the debate on this tax is occurring in a year that Democrats are looking for extra money anywhere they can to put into K-12 schools and higher education.

In the end, majority Democrats used their larger numbers

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State teachers union, allies says state funds for schools actually run out today – 2/3s way through school year

Washington voters last month approved more than $1.7 billion in new local-levy funding to help run public schools, according to one count. But that election-dependent funding can be a quarter or more of what a school district depends on, and that is one reason the state Supreme Court ruled in January 2012 that the Legislature was failing to meet its constitutional obligation to fully fund basic education.

Today the Washington Education Association, which represents more than 80,000 public school employees including teachers, and allies including the League of Education Voters took out a full-page

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Sen. Baumgartner pushes back at Supreme Court’s ruling on taxes, files bill to reduce bench from 9 justices to 5


Republican Sen. Michael Baumgartner took a slap at the state Supreme Court today, one week after the court invalidated a two-thirds super-majority for tax increases on grounds it  is unconstitutional limit on legislative powers. His proposal, Senate Bill 5867, would shrink the court from nine members to five, force the judges to draw lots to decide who loses a job. And it would, in Baumgartner’s view, save $3 million over the next biennium that can be put to improving K-12 public schools.

He may have to convince people, but no, he’s not kidding.

Rachel LaCorte of The Associated

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UPDATE – Wash. AG Ferguson filing amicus briefs in support of ‘marriage equality’ in two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is filing amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court this week in two historic same-sex marriage cases that go before the high court for arguments in late March.

“In our state, the Legislature and the voters have spoken on this issue and came down strongly in support of marriage equality. Our involvement in these two cases is consistent with the will of the voters,” Ferguson said in an interview.

The Democrat said lawyers in his Office of Solicitor General had taken the lead with counterparts in Massachusetts and New York to draft briefs in one

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House Speaker Chopp says 10-cent gas-tax proposal is a starting point for transpo funding talks

House Speaker Frank Chopp told reporters this afternoon that a possible $6 billion transportation package, including a phased-in 10-cent increase in the state gas tax over five years, is a conversation starter for the Legislature. He said it is too early to know if the 2-cents a year proposal should go to a vote of the public in November, or if the Legislature could get it done in Olympia.

Full details of the plan are due during the lunch hour when Democratic Rep. Judy Clibborn of Mercer Island lays out details of the plan. She has been working with a coalition of interest

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