Washington State Legislature

Budget crisis
5:32 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Washington state agencies propose more 'painful' program cuts

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington state agencies are putting entire programs on the chopping block – including $65 million from UW and WSU – to satisfy a request by the governor for more budget savings.

On Thursday, Governor Chris Gregoire notified state lawmakers that she will call them back to Olympia on November 28th for a special budget cutting session to make the cuts.

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Business
9:54 am
Mon September 19, 2011

Washington legislature created program that nobody used

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A loan program the Washington legislature created in 2008 to help small manufacturers hasn’t had a single taker. That’s the finding of a legislative audit that recommends the program be terminated.

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Washington legislature
7:00 am
Sat September 3, 2011

Powerful lobby opposes tool to fight Medicaid fraud

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington is likely losing tens of millions of dollars a year in Medicaid fraud. Two state senators – a Democrat and a Republican – want to recover more of that money.

They want to allow Medicaid fraud whistleblowers to file their own lawsuits and collect a monetary reward. But their crusade has run afoul of doctors, hospitals and drug makers.

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Gay rights
4:25 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Washington gay marriage proponents eye 2012

An influential Washington state senator says 2012 could be the year he and others try to pass a gay marriage bill in the legislature. 

Openly gay Seattle Democrat Ed Murray says New York state's recent approval of gay marriage is creating some momentum in Washington.

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Washington state legislature
10:58 am
Mon July 25, 2011

Washington's supermajority tax rule target of lawsuit

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A dozen Democratic lawmakers are asking a judge to overturn a voter-approved initiative that requires the Legislature to have a supermajority to raise taxes.

The lawsuit filed Monday is led by the League of Education Voters and the Washington Education Association.

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Washington state legislature
1:15 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

319 new state laws kicking in today

Hundreds of new laws become effective in Washington state today - more than 300 in all.

The new laws cover everything from medical marijuana, human trafficking and DUIs to the counting of overseas ballots and foreclosure fairness.

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Law
1:00 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

State strengthens human trafficking law

Washington's a top destination for traffickers dealing in forced labor and sex crimes.  New legislation goes into effect today that will strengthen the state’s current human trafficking law.

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Budget surprises
8:06 am
Mon July 18, 2011

Washington’s litter hotline falls to budget cuts

Washington's litter hotline is no more. The toll free number to report people throwing trash out of their cars has fallen victim to state budget cuts.

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Medical Marijuana
8:53 am
Thu July 7, 2011

Washington cities, counties putting lid on medical marijuana

The city of Kent has put a stop to medical marijuana dispensaries in the area, at least for now. And, the Everett Herald reports, three cities in Snohomish County are moving to delay licensing of collective gardens for growing marijuana for medical purposes.

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Business
10:51 am
Thu June 16, 2011

Chase ordered to disclose ATM fee

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says JP Morgan Chase must figure out a way to make their ATMs warn welfare clients of an 85-cent fee to withdraw cash. The governor made her comments Wednesday after she declined to veto the disclosure requirement.

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Business
10:16 am
Tue June 7, 2011

Chase seeks veto of fee disclosure

OLYMPIA, Wash. – JP Morgan Chase, the second largest bank in the country, is lobbying Gov. Chris Gregoire to line-item veto a requirement that the bank alert Washington cash assistance clients of an ATM fee the bank charges.

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Education
1:23 pm
Mon June 6, 2011

State universities will set tuition

Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed a measure giving the state's six four-year colleges and universities ability to set tuition.

At the bill signing ceremony at a Seattle high school Monday, The Boeing Co. and Microsoft Corp. also announced that they would each pledge $25 million over the next five years to a new scholarship program and endowment which Gregoire also signed into law Monday.

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State Budget Crisis
2:53 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Health care union files initiative to soften budget cuts

The Washington state budget plan released Tuesday will cut funding for in-home health care workers. In reaction, one health care workers' union has already filed an initiative aiming to mitigate the effects of some of those reductions.

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Special Session Deadline
1:16 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

State budget deal includes cuts for teacher salaries

A tentative agreement to fill Washington state's $5 billion budget shortfall includes cuts to teacher salaries.

Details of the $32 billion spending plan released Tuesday include a 1.9 percent cut for teacher pay and a 3 percent cut for other K-12 employees. Those changes will save the state $179 million over the next two years. Lawmakers are also moving to suspend voter-approved cost-of-living adjustments for education employees, saving another $300 million.

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Washington State Legislature
8:24 am
Mon May 23, 2011

Move to lease state liquor distribution alive again

Washington would have the option to privatize the state’s liquor distribution system under a measure that passed the state Senate Saturday. It’s the latest compromise in a long-running debate over the future of Washington’s liquor system.

It’s more “we’ll see if it’s a good deal” option than anything else. The state would solicit bids to see if it could earn money by leasing the state’s liquor distribution facilities. If none of the bids work to Washington’s favor, distribution would continue as a state-run system. Republican Senator Joe Zarelli helped broker the deal.

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