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Tag: Chris Gregoire


Gregoire’s budget includes cuts, tax increases including fuel tax to pay school transportation costs

Gov. Chris Gregoire’s lame-duck budget proposal is on the table this morning, calling for a mixture of tax increases and spending cuts to bridge a predicted $900 million shortfall and also raise $1 billion more to answer a court ruling on K-12 school funding. A few elements that caught my eye include a wholesale gasoline and diesel tax that would eventually fund all school transportation costs and cancellation of a tax break that the governor says benefits refineries. She also wants to extend a gross receipts tax surcharge on service businesses and a beer tax.

A link to the entire budget

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It’s official: Washington gives its 12 Electoral College votes to Obama in Olympia ceremony

Washington state’s 12 Electoral College electors did their work over the lunch hour in Olympia today, awarding their votes to President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Outgoing Secretary of State Sam Reed presided over the ceremony in the Capitol’s ornate reception room in the once-every-four-years ritual that follows the presidential election.

Nationwide, Obama received 332 votes and Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s ticket received 206. Electors across the country were formalizing that result today.

Even as Reed was still handing out embossed certificates of participation to the electors, his press office was announcing the vote was done – see details here, including statements from Reed and Gov. Chris Gregoire.

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Gov.-elect Inslee announces list of 34 transition advisers, including a few old hands from Olympia

Gov.-elect Jay Inslee has tapped a few old hands from Olympia for his new 34-member transition committee, including a few who helped his campaign. But he’s also tapped a couple of prominent Republicans, including former five-term secretary of state Ralph Munro, a slew of business leaders and he has been consulting former governors.

Inslee’s full transition committee list is here. The actors with the most inside-Olympia experience include state Labor Council president Jeff Johnson, Washington Federation of State Employees leader Greg Devereux, and state firefighters’ leader Kelly Fox. The emerging transition team, which is co-chaired by Microsoft chief counsel Brad Smith and two others,also has such long-time Olympia insiders as Sen. Lisa Brown, a Spokane Democrat. Brown until recently served as Senate majority leader.

Also on the committee is Mary Lindquist, president of the Washington Education Association, which backed Inslee.

Another campaign-connected member is Brendon Cechovic, executive director of the Seattle-based Washington Conservation Voters, which did a lot of doorbelling and advocacy to help Inslee’s win over Republican Rob McKenna. County elections officials certified  that Inslee won by 96,557 votes on Tuesday, the same day his campaign released its list of advisers.

Appearing to be missing from the Inslee transition list are people who obviously meet the test laid out by Inslee on the campaign trail for the kind of folks he’ll eventually hire to run agencies. He said he wanted “disruptive” agents likely to bring change to the culture of Olympia.

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Gov. Gregoire leaves Sunday on trade mission to India, Korea

Gov. Chris Gregoire is leaving the state Sunday for a 10-day trade mission to South Korea and India. Secretary of State Sam Reed has made a few trips to India over the past decade but Gregoire says she is Washington’s first governor to visit.

Her office put out a news release outlining her agenda overseas.

Her staffers list Korea as the state’s No. 4 top export market and India as the state’s 24th largest export market in 2011 – a bit of a shift from 2009 when this state Department of Commerce report listed Korea

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Disability advocates asking Gov. Gregoire to drop court appeal

Gov. Chris Gregoire has asked the U.S. Supreme Court for extra time to consider an appeal of a 9th Circuit Court ruling in a case that has growing interest for disability activists in Washington and across the country. The case deals with across-the-board budget cuts the Democrat ordered in 2010.

The spending cuts resulted in fewer hours of homecare assistance with washing, laundry, cooking and other chores for some Medicaid clients.

A lawsuit on behalf of a dozen disabled people and eight elderly people sought a restoration of services considered key to helping clients living on their own and outside

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McKenna still clarifying stance on health-law repeal

Republicans’ leading candidate for governor, Rob McKenna, does not support repealing the Affordable Care Act, his top spokesman Charles McCray said today. That squares with remarks McKenna made to reporters two weeks ago – the day the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare) from a lawsuit that McKenna had joined with other attorneys general.

The suit – if fully successful – would have overturned the act, which is further than McKenna has always said he really wanted to happen. After the ruling McKenna said it was time to move on and improve what

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Gregoire announces 160 jobs, other gains at U.K. air show

Gov. Chris Gregoire said this morning during her trade mission in England that two European aerospace firms are expanding their workforce in Washington state by a combined 160 jobs. The expansions, which had been in the works at UMBRA Cuscinetti, Inc., and Aerojet , were announced at the Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom where she was able to met with executives of the Dutch and Italian companies.

The Democratic governor spoke on a day that Boeing Co. also announced $7.2 billion in new orders for its 737 MAX, which the

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State regulations grow at slower clip

State government made 406 additions to its regulatory rule book in 2011, according to Gov. Chris Gregoire’s office, which credits the moratorium she declared on rulemaking for reducing new rules by more than a third.

The report out today recounts that 75 rules were eliminated and 483 were put on hold because of the moratorium, which was intended to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.

Rules are written by the state bureaucracy and are a step below the laws passed by the Legislature. The numbers reflect permanent rules, but a different category, emergency rules, actually saw increases because of

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