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Category: Voting & Elections


Sen. McAuliffe introduces income tax to help fund K-12 schools, cut sales tax by 1 percent

Some legislative ideas are dubbed dead on arrival and then there are the ones for which the funeral quite possibly preceded the birth.  We’ll just have to wait and see on Democratic Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe‘s $1.5 billion-a-year income tax plan introduced today. She would send it to voters as a referendum in November.

McAuliffe offered up her idea – Senate Bill 5900 – a week after Gov. Jay Inslee offered up a $1.2 billion revenue plan and one day after the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus offered up its two-year spending plan for 2013-15 that pretty much

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UPDATE – House chair kills Senate bills, says other chamber not moving meritorious elections bills

Two Senate bills heard in the House Government Operations and Elections Committee this morning died almost immediately after the hearing, victims of retaliatory moves between the House and Senate. One measure dealt with the administrative home-assignment of workers and had passed the Senate 49-to-0. Another sought to limit voters’ ability to print out replacement ballots.

Rep. Sam Hunt, the Olympia Democrat who chairs the panel, adjourned the hearing and said later there would be no more gatherings of his committee before Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline for passing legislation from the opposite chamber.

The bill killing came

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Heck favors federal law changes to let I-502 work, including help to allow banker lending to marijuana enterprises

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck says he ended up voting for Washington’s marijuana legalization initiative last fall and thinks the federal government now needs to take steps to let the state put Initiative 502 into effect. Among the changes: Shed the federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s Schedule 1 listing marijuana of marijuana as a “most dangerous” drug with no accepted medical use, which he called “the height of silliness.”

“My position is that the federal government’s regulations ought to enable states to implement voter approved laws or legislatively approved laws in this regard. I actually think that having

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As bills died last week, some lawmakers’ bills seemed to die more quickly

With Derek Kilmer moving to Congress, the appointment of Democrat Nathan Schlicher to the 26th district state Senate seat has consequences. One is that Schlicher must stand for re-election this fall. Another is that his bills had a fairly hard time getting passed in the Senate – as did those of Rep. Jan Angel in the House.

Angel, a Republican from Port Orchard, is expected to run this fall against Schlicher, an emergency room physician from Gig Harbor for the unexpired term. As my reporting partner Jordan Schrader reported today, both likely candidates had trouble passing bills that might

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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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Thurston County elections is widening its social media effort

The Thurston County Auditor’s Office has launched a Twitter feed and Facebook page as part of its growing social-media efforts. Elections specialist Lynne Watanabe announced the moves in the following news release:


CONTACT:  Lynne Watanabe, Election Specialist

(360) 786-5408   TTY (360) 754-2933

Thurston County Auditor’s Office now on Twitter & Facebook

OLYMPIA –The Thurston County Auditor’s Office is launching its new social media program.  The office will be doing informative tweets/posts for various media, candidates, political organizations, and citizens.  Information

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Senate committee rejects two-thirds vote option for all bills but it does OK bill asking voters to put super-majority for taxes in Constitution

Just hours after the Washington state Supreme Court struck down an initiative requiring a two-thirds supermajority requirement for tax votes, Senate Republicans pushed through a bill in the Ways and Means Committee Thursday that would ask voters to write the rule into the state Constitution instead.

The nearly party-line vote was 13-to-10, with Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom voting with the rest of his Senate Majority Coalition Caucus members.

Members of both parties sounded a bit grumpy as they traded speeches on Senate Joint Resolution 8205. , which is sponsored by Republican Sen. Pam

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Report: Washington earns B grade for elections web site, but that’s good enough for third best in U.S.

The non-profit Center for Governmental Studies reviewed state elections web sites around the country, and it found “abysmal” offerings. But Washington’s site, maintained by  recently-elected Secretary of State Kim Wyman‘s staff, ranked third best and was one of only three systems getting a B grade or better.

“The top four states, Alaska, California, Washington and Oregon, found an innovative way to provide their voters with candidate information, including audio statements read by a neutral party,” says the report titled “Voter Information in the Ditigal Age: Grading State Election Websites.

It adds: “Washington’s state election website provides much of

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