Politics

Marijuana Legalization
3:30 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

On eve of legalization, clouds still hang over pot law

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes says replacing an illegal market with a legal one will take time.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

At the stroke of midnight, adult marijuana users will no longer be lawbreakers in Washington. But lots of legal questions remain about how marijuana commerce will work, where it’s legal to use and how the federal government will respond.

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Politics
10:56 am
Wed December 5, 2012

State Sen. Murray intends to run for Seattle mayor

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The new Democratic leader in the Washington state Senate now intends to run for Seattle mayor.

Sen. Ed Murray said Wednesday that he is establishing an exploratory committee and will work in the coming months to build the foundation for a campaign. Because of rules for state lawmakers, Murray can't raise money until the Legislature completes next year's session.

Politics
7:20 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Seattle city council president says state may have to raise taxes to fund schools

The president of the Seattle City Council says the state needs to make sure it adequately funds schools – and that may mean the state has to raise taxes. 

The state of Washington faces a grim budget deficit – more than $2.5 billion over the next two years, by one estimate. At the same time, the state also has to boost money for schools, according to a state supreme court decision.

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Politics
5:00 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Tacoma residents face cuts to everything from library hours to fire service

Tacoma’s City Council will vote this afternoon to slash the city budget by 15 percent - with cuts to pretty much everything, including the police and fire departments.

City Manager T.C. Broadnax took the job in February from San Antonio, Texas. He says he knew Tacoma had some cutting to do – but as he dug into the numbers, he realized spending was deeply out of whack and anticipated revenue was not there.

The housing slump continues to hurt property tax revenue,and  money from sales tax hasn’t bounced back. Broadnax says Tacoma had been trying to put off cuts for years.

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Same-Sex Marriage
6:00 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Washington counties brace for same-sex marriage rush

King County Administration Building where same-sex couples seeking a marriage license can go at midnight Thursday.

Same-sex couples can start applying for marriage licenses in Washington at midnight on Thursday, and county officials say they’ll be ready.

The King County auditor’s office will open bright and early: Couples will be able to start queuing up at 10:00 the night before. County Executive Dow Constantine will preside over a special licensing ceremony for a handful of couples right after the stroke of midnight, and the office will keep operating right through 6:30 that night.

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Marijuana Legalization
3:42 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Seeking: Washington needs experts to develop pot industry

The Liquor Control Board says it has little insight into how to develop the basics, such as how much acreage the state will need to develop sufficient supply and how retail stores should be regulated.
Flickr

OLYMPIA, Wash. – State officials tasked with developing a legal marijuana industry in Washington state have a problem: There's no similar system anywhere in the world that they can look to for guidance.

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Marijuana Legalizations
11:56 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Pot legalization is not a green light to smoke on campus

Young voters helped pass laws legalizing marijuana in Washington and Colorado, but many still won't be allowed to light up.

Most universities have codes of conduct banning marijuana use, and they get millions of dollars in funding from the federal government, which still considers pot illegal.

With the money comes a requirement for a drug-free campus, and the threat of expulsion for students using pot in the dorms.

"Everything we've seen is that nothing changes for us," said Darin Watkins, a spokesman for Washington State University in Pullman.

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Politics
8:28 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Gregoire appoints daughter to board

Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed her daughter, Courtney Gregoire, to the board of trustees for Seattle Community Colleges.

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Medical marijuana
10:22 am
Tue November 20, 2012

When Your State Says Yes To Medical Marijuana, But Your Insurer Says No

Medical marijuana advocates demonstrate outside a San Francisco fundraiser for President Obama in February.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:33 am

Medical marijuana is now legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia, but health insurance doesn't cover it and patients often scramble to cover the cost.

"It's an expensive medication, no doubt about it," says Kris Hermes, a spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, a patient advocacy group. "Patients are struggling to afford it, regardless of whether it's available in their state."

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NPR Politics
8:36 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Do we really need a second inauguration?

President Obama dances with first lady Michelle Obama on the night of his inauguration, Jan. 20, 2009, in Washington.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 12:53 pm

For the sake of argument, let's agree that when we use the word "inauguration" in this particular post, we are talking about the multiday, ball-bestrewn, soiree-soaked, tuxedo-dappled extravaganza that costs tens of millions of dollars and often leaves many Americans out in the cold — figuratively and literally.

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Politics
4:39 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Bus riders in Pierce County face drastic cuts after sales tax proposition fails

Oran Viriyincy

Bus riders all over the Puget Sound region are coping with cuts in service, but Pierce County is facing something much more drastic.

If you don’t have a car in Pierce County, you may be homebound on the weekends and after 7 pm. That’s because voters have now – for the second time – rejected a sales tax increase. Pierce Transit will likely have to cut service in half.

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Washington State Legislature
4:24 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Practicality of 'No new taxes' pledge debated in Olympia

Washington state Rep. Ross Hunter.

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 3:14 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - In Olympia, a new revenue outlook shows a shortfall in the next state budget cycle. That is putting renewed attention on promises not to raise taxes.

Washington's Democratic governor-elect Jay Inslee made such a pledge during the recent campaign. So did many Republicans elected to the Legislature.

The chief budget writer for House Democrats, Ross Hunter, says he's working on a no-new-taxes spending blueprint for the next two years. But Hunter Wednesday predicted the product will include so many unpalatable cuts, he doubts it could pass.

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Marihuana legalization
2:34 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Reps. Ron Paul, Barney Frank Ask Obama To Respect Pot Legalization Laws

Fast Eddy Aki'a of Hawaii smokes a joint as thousands of supporters of legalized pot, lit up at 4:20 p.m. on April 20 in Denver, Colorado.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 4:31 am

Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.) are asking the White House to respect the voters of Colorado and Washington, who decided that recreational marijuana use should be legal.

In a letter sent to President Obama, they wrote:

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Budget woes
6:48 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Obama Hopes For Another Victory: Avoiding Fiscal Cliff

President Obama speaks during a Veterans Day ceremony in Arlington, Va., on Sunday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 10:55 am

President Obama meets with labor leaders at the White House on Tuesday to discuss how to steer clear of the so-called fiscal cliff. It's the first of many meetings aimed at avoiding automatic tax increases and spending cuts at the beginning of the new year.

A week ago, the president proved again that he and his team are good at winning elections. The question now is whether he can translate victory at the ballot box to success in shaping policy.

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Politics
5:00 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Senator Patty Murray says going over the 'fiscal cliff' is an option

Now that the election is over, Washington, D.C. has turned its focus to averting the so-called fiscal cliff. But Washington Senator Patty Murray says going over the cliff should be an option.

The fiscal cliff refers to the Bush-era tax cuts that expire at the end of the year and the deep spending cuts that will take place. Senator Murray has been saying for some time now that Democrats shouldn’t be too afraid of the fiscal cliff.

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