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Category: Uncategorized


LD 22 Democrats plan ‘Buy Local, Bank Local’ forum Monday in Olympia

The 22nd Legislative District Democrats plan a community forum on Monday evening on the value of buying, banking and investing locally. The “Buy Local, Bank Local” event is at 6 p.m. in Room 152 of Building 1 of the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Drive S.W. in Olympia.

Speakers include business owner Cheryl Selby, who owns the shop Vivala and also is a candidate for Olympia City Council, and Aslan Meade, owner of a small business, Bank Local Washington, according to a news announcement. Audience questions will be taken.

For details, call Debby Pattin at 360-951-6056.


UPDATE – Revenue forecast gives lawmakers $231M more to work with

State revenue forecasters gave very modestly good news to state lawmakers this morning. The new quarterly forecast is for $231 million more revenue through June 2015 than  the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council predicted in its March forecast. A caseload forecast due later adds roughly $90 million in lower state costs for services – bringing the day’s good news total to about $320 million.

Budget writers in the Democratic House and Republican Senate said the change in fortune improves chances of getting a budget deal fairly soon.

Of the revenue changes, $110 million is expected through June – reflecting

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UPDATE – House passes estate tax bill on 55-33 vote; deal with Senate GOP exempts some family-owned business assets

UPDATE: The House vote on the new version of the estate tax passed on a 53-to-33 vote this morning. A few Republican members objected to making the law retroactive to include certain estate trusts formed prior to 2005 that are now eligible for tax refunds after a 2012 court ruling.

Republican Reps. Gary Alexander of Thurston County and Chad Magendanz of Issaquah voted with Democrats in favor. Alexander said he had qualms about the policy but thought the bill might ease the budget stalemate.


ORIGINAL POST: House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan and Finance Committee chair Reuven Carlyle say they and

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House approves $109.9 million telecommunications tax bill on bipartisan vote

The state House passed a bill to equalize taxes levied on various telecommunications services Thursday, winning strong support from both sides of the aisle for what is in effect a $109.9 million increase in taxes on home and cell telephone services. The vote in the Democrat-controlled chamber was a lopsided 74-to-18 with more than 20 Republicans voting for it and just 17 opposed. Among Democrats, only Rep. Monica Stonier of Vancouver voted against it – something the first-year lawmaker has done on several tax measures this year.

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Grants go out from health insurance exchange

State government chose CHOICE Regional Health Network, a nonprofit network of health-care providers, to help residents of Thurston and six other counties enroll in the state’s insurance exchange. The exchange is the marketplace created to implement President Barack Obama’s health law.

The network won $558,000 from the new Washington Health Benefit Exchange to take the lead helping people in Thurston, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Clallam and Jefferson counties enroll starting Oct. 1 in new coverage that takes effect Jan. 1.

Nearly $6 million was handed out to lead organizations statewide. A news release

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State hospitals asking Gov. Inslee for partial veto on hospital-infection reporting bill


Consumers Union and the Washington State Hospital Association are still tangling over legislation approved unanimously by the Legislature to require more reporting by hospitals when patients come down with infections during care. The state Department of Health is taking the hospitals’ side, opposing requirements to do separate reports for every knee, hip or cardiac surgery.

Otherwise the parties agree on the bill, which is broadly meant to bring the state’s reporting requirements into alignment with the demands of Obamacare.

House Bill 1471 passed the House and Senate unanimously in the way Consumers Union prefers. But both approaches sought

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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.



Budget battle is joined as House passes $905M tax plan with bare minimum 50 votes; 5 Democrats vote no

Majority Democrats used their superior numbers in the state House to muscle through a $905 million tax package aimed at funding education today on a 50-to-47 vote.  Five Democrats – Reps. Kathy Haigh of Shelton, Chris Hurst of Enumclaw, Dawn Morrell of Puyallup, Larry Seaquist of Gig Harbor and Monica Stonier of Vancouver – crossed over to join Republicans who united against it.

Mike Baker of the Associated Press has this story on the floor action: OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Democrats in the Washington state House moved ahead Wednesday with a plan that would increase tax revenue by

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