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Category: Uncategorized

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
10th

Reproductive-rights activists: budget mostly kind to women’s health programs; RPA battle to resume in 2014

Supporters of abortion rights certainly hit a political brick wall trying to get the Reproductive Parity Act passed in the Republican-steered Washington state Senate this year, despite relatively easy passage in the House. Still, after failing to pass the bill requiring insurance plans to include abortion if they cover maternity, advocates for women’s reproductive rights say they won a lot of what they sought in the state’s two-year operating budget.

That’s right. Republicans who dominate the Senate Majority Caucus were able to head off a vote on a bill requiring insurers to cover abortion, despite a majority of at least

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July
8th

Rep. Heck, JBLM leader plan tele-town hall Tuesday evening on cuts, furloughs

Freshman U.S. Rep. Denny Heck and the Joint Base Lewis McChord commander plan a telephone town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday for residents wanting to call in and learn about the effects of  temporary furloughs and other spending cuts triggered by the federal sequestration. Once-a-week furloughs begin Friday for an estimated 10,000 civilian employees of the largest base of the West Coast.

Heck, the 10th district Democrat from Olympia, and Col. H. Charles Hodges Jr. will be taking calls from civilian workers, members of the military and the public. Those wanting to join in should dial toll free to

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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
28th

UPDATE 2 – Lawmakers on verge of OK’ing 16 tax exemptions – with new tools to ensure public benefit

In a year Gov. Jay Inslee and other Democrats pledged to shut tax “loopholes” to help raise money for public schools, it appears the House and Senate  are going to pass far more new or extended tax breaks into law than the two exemptions they are closing in response to court rulings on the estate tax and telecom services.

One might say tax breaks are still alive and well – perhaps even thriving – in Washington state. The Republican-steered Senate has made the exemptions a key demand in exchange for closing the telecom tax break.

The value of the

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June
25th

Gov. Inslee welcomes Obama’s new proposals on climate change

President Obama was laying out details of new rules to combat global warming today, and Gov. Jay Inslee put out a statement beforehand praising the “smart, practical” proposals and saying the proposals  “will lead to real results.’’

Limiting greenhouse-gas emissions by older power plants through rules adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency is a key part of Obama’s plan. A breakdown on the plan is here. Obama also was expected to announce that the Keystone XL Pipeline should not be approved unless it does not increase emissions.

Inslee, a longtime proponent of a

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June
23rd

UPDATE – No budget deal in sight; Inslee’s team waiting to Monday for decision on sending layoff notices to thousands of workers

UPDATE: Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget office won’t make its final decision on sending out temporary layoff notices to thousands of state government workers until morning – giving lawmakers a bit more time to forge a late-night or early morning budget agreement.

“A decision likely wouldn’t come until tomorrow,” spokesman Ralph Thomas of the Office of Financial Management said early Sunday evening. “We’re still waiting to see if they get a deal tonight.’’

ORIGINAL POST: Budget negotiators for the Republican-steered Senate and Democrat-controlled House were trading offers and deliberating behind closed doors in Olympia Sunday afternoon in search of a budget deal

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