Politics

Politics
9:22 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Seattle Federal Employees Head to Work, Glad Shutdown Is Over

The federal building in downtown Seattle filled up with workers again after Congress reopened the government
Andy Slabaugh

Relief. That was the main reaction from government workers heading back to their jobs at the federal building in downtown Seattle after a couple weeks of forced time off due to the partial government shutdown. A steady stream of people headed through the revolving doors even before sunrise.

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GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
7:19 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Congress Approves Bill To End Government Shutdown, Avert Default

Speaker of the House John Boehner pumps his fist after leaving a meeting of House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 9:32 pm

Bringing to an end an episode that once again exposed Washington gridlock at its worst, the House approved a Senate deal that will end a 16-day federal government shutdown and avert the first government default in U.S. history.

The 285-144 vote came at the eleventh hour, after weeks of partisan bickering and a very public airing of deep divisions within the Republican party. President Obama signed the bill into law after midnight Thursday.

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campaign financing
5:02 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Wash. AG Sues Food Industry Group for Alleged I-522 Violation

Anti-GMO protest at the Gates Foundation in Seattle.
Tom Paulson Humanosphere

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing Washington, D.C.-based Grocery Manufacturers Association for allegedly violating campaign finance laws with the $7 million used to fight Initiative 522, which would require new labels identifying genetically-modified foods.

Ferguson says the association shielded the identities of the contributors, depriving voters of important information.

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GMO Labeling
2:41 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Will GMO Labels Alter Consumers' Perception Of Specialty Foods?

Litehouse Foods, based in Sandpoint, Idaho, produces more than 400 salad dressings and dips found in grocery stores and delis.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 7:19 am

In the food business, everything comes down to that moment when a shopper studies a label and decides whether to buy or move on. That’s why food producers have a big interest in Washington’s Initiative 522 on the ballot next month.

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Minimum Wage
11:44 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Why U.S. Taxpayers Pay $7 Billion A Year To Help Fast-Food Workers

New York City Council speaker and then-mayoral candidate Christine Quinn speaks at a fast-food workers' protest outside a McDonald's in New York in August. A nationwide movement is calling for raising the minimum hourly wage for fast-food workers to $15.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:48 pm

If you hit the drive-through, chances are that the cashier who rings you up or the cook who prepared your food relies on public assistance to make ends meet.

A new analysis finds that 52 percent of fast-food workers are enrolled in, or have their families enrolled in, one or more public assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

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GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
9:37 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Senate Leaders Announce Bipartisan Deal To Avoid Default, Reopen Government

Democratic leader Harry Reid says Senate leaders have reached a bipartisan deal to avoid default and end the government shutdown, now in its 16th day.

Reid made the announcement at the start of the Senate session on Wednesday.

The deal would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and increase the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.

Reid thanked Republican leader Mitch McConnell for working out an agreement.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
9:32 am
Wed October 16, 2013

As It Happened: The Fight Over The Debt Ceiling, Shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor after agreeing to the framework of a deal to avoid default and reopen the government, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 7:23 pm

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

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Politics
4:43 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Public Urination Ban Proposed in Unincorporated King County

As it stands now, it's not against the law to answer nature's call in public in the unincorporated areas of King County.

King County Council member Kathy Lambert wants to change that with a proposed ordinance.

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Election 2013
11:58 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Seattle Mayoral Candidates: Who Pays if Tunnel Goes Over Budget?

What if Seattle gets stuck with cost overruns on the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project?

That question sparked a lively exchange on KING-TV between the two candidates for mayor of Seattle during their first televised debate.

During the hour long debate sponsored by KING-TV, KIRO-FM and The Seattle Times, Mayor Mike McGinn and Sen. Ed Murray traded jabs on everything from leadership style to police reform.

But their discussion of the tunnel project raised one of the most interesting questions.

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government shutdown
5:26 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

King County WIC Workers Get Advance Layoff Notices

File image
Rogelio V. Soli AP Photo

At least 82 King County workers have received advance layoff notices as a result of the partial federal government shutdown. The workers administer food assistance to women, infants, and children through the program known as WIC. That food aid is in jeopardy as the shutdown continues.

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Election 2013
11:07 am
Wed October 2, 2013

What Do You Want to Ask Seattle's Mayoral Candidates?

Associated Press

What do you want to ask Seattle’s mayoral candidates?

As part of our coverage leading up to the November elections, we are focusing on three issues: street safety, housing prices, and transportation challenges. 

Share with us your questions about these topics—or another issue that means a great deal to you—by commenting below.

government shutdown
10:28 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Shutting National Parks No Fun for Rangers or Visitors

Tom Banse

The effects of the partial federal government shutdown are rippling across the Northwest. About 1,000 federally-funded Oregon National Guard members received furlough notices Tuesday, as did 850 Washington National Guardsmen and another 850 from Idaho.

Meanwhile, guests at hotels and campgrounds inside national parks have been told to leave by Thursday.

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government shutdown
10:05 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Some Members of Wash. State Delegation to Forgo Pay

Dark clouds pass over the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013.
Susan Walsh AP Photo

Six members of Washington state's 12-member congressional delegation have promised to give up their pay during the federal government shutdown that began Tuesday.

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Affordable Care Act
3:28 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Despite D.C. 'Shenanigans,' Wash. to Launch Health Exchange

Nelly Kinsella demonstrates the Washington Healthplanfinder website, where consumers will be able to shop for health insurance, following a news conference Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Even as Congress squabbles over the fate of health care reform, Washington’s insurance marketplace opens its virtual doors Tuesday morning.

As Gov. Jay Inslee put it, "Despite the shenanigans in D.C., we're ready to [launch our health care exchange].”

Officials running the exchange said their federal grants have already been appropriated and they expect to be fully funded through next year.

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Cost of health care
11:58 am
Fri September 27, 2013

'How Much Will Obamacare Cost Me?' Try Our Calculator

No envelope backs required for this health care calculation.
iStockphoto.com

On Tuesday, if all goes according to plan, the federal health law's marketplaces for individual health insurance are scheduled to open for business.

Nearly all Americans will be required to have health insurance starting Jan. 1, 2014, or else they'll be liable for a tax penalty.

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