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July
5th

Lacey Council candidates appearing at Tuesday forum at Panorama; Dems’ auditor candidate Mary Hall, too

Three candidates for Lacey City Council and a Democrat running for Thurston County auditor are scheduled to speak at a candidate forum next week. It is sponsored by the Democratic Study Group at the Panorama retirement community in Lacey.

The event is at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, at the Panorama Auditorium, 1670 Circle Loop S.E., in Lacey. Invited candidates include Mary Hall, Democratic candidate for auditor against Republican Gary Alexander, who was appointed to fill the vacancy left in January when Kim Wyman was sworn in as secretary of state.

The three non-partisan candidates are Jacob “Jake” Vaughan, Michael R.

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July
5th

Officials say cost of government shutdown preparations was borne by staffers, not taxpayers

Threats of a government shutdown were a distraction and caused anxiety for a lot of state employees last month, but state officials say they doubt the Legislature’s logjam on a budget added real costs for taxpayers. ”I don’t think there would be an actual cost,” state budget director David Schumacher said in an interview, adding that it unquestionably added to the workload of top staffers in state agencies. “It just kind of filled up a lot of time they could have been working on other things.”

No tally of costs is planned because, as Schumacher put it, it would add just

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July
5th

Kinda dull Washington state election just got a bit more dull — No initiatives to people

Washington’s Secretary of State says no initiative sponsors met today’s deadline to submit signatures for qualification for the November ballot.

Sponsors would have had to submit 246,372 valid signatures by 5 p.m. today. That means the actual total would need to be higher to accommodate duplicates and signatures from non-voters. Only one sponsor made an appointment to turn in signatures — Initiative 1307 to regulate firearms. But no one showed up and reportedly had only a few hundred signatures gathered anyway.

This will be the first election since 1989 without an initiative to the people on the ballot.

Being an

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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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July
2nd

Alliance for Retired holds demonstration at state Capitol grounds to protect Social Security COLAs

About 40 retirees belonging to the Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans held a demonstration Tuesday against federal proposals to use a less aggressive inflation factor for calculating yearly cost of living increases for Social Security recipients. One man wrapped his shoulders in large-link chain and others waved placards at passing motorists along Capitol Way to specifically target the “chained” Consumer Price Index, which President Obama signaled willingness to consider in his 2014 budget.

As outlined in a column in Governing magazine, the chained CPI assumes smaller increases in the cost of living by assuming consumers

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July
2nd

Gov. Jay Inslee takes stock of his performance in session

We wrote this story after the regular session assessing how Gov. Jay Inslee had fared so far. Most of that progress report still stands, including his success in securing a study on climate change and his failure to create new targeted tax breaks or mandating universal background checks for gun purchases.

Some of the incomplete grades have turned into successes for his agenda and others into failures.

Firmly in the win column for Inslee:

  • Medicaid expansion. Some 250,000 more people will be covered now that leaders have agreed to accept a key element of Obamacare.
  • Protecting human services. Inslee’s original

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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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