Washington State Legislature

State Legislature
4:21 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

State Senate OKs removal of marital rape exception

The Senate has approved a measure that would no longer allow marriage to remain an absolute defense against allegations of some forms of rape and sexual assault.

The measure that was passed on an unanimous vote on Monday would remove the spousal exemption from both rape in the third degree — in which no physical force is used — and from taking indecent liberties.

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State Legislature
11:26 am
Sat April 13, 2013

66 Wash. lobbyists get warning letters for lack of transparency

 

More than 60 lobbyists in Washington have been sent warning letters for failing to submit monthly reports that detail how much they earned and how much they spent to lobby state lawmakers. 

“This letter is the only formal warning you will receive from PDC staff for not filing timely lobbying reports during 2013," said Lori Anderson of the Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission, which issued the letters.

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state budget
1:03 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

State House leaders target tax breaks in budget

Democrats in the state House are proposing a budget plan that would eliminate a variety of tax breaks to help pay for education in the state.

Similar to a budget proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee, the plan by House Democrats unveiled Wednesday would increase government spending by more than 10 percent. The two-year budget would spend $34.5 billion, more than $1 billion beyond a plan approved by the Senate.

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State Legislature
9:00 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Fictitious driver license program may get more safeguards

Stricter guidelines may come to a program that lets undercover police officers in Washington obtain fictitious driver licenses. The Washington House could vote soon on a measure that would require additional safeguards to ensure the false IDs are not misused.

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state budget
3:58 am
Sat April 6, 2013

State Senate approves budget, with bipartisan vote

A bipartisan group of state senators is advancing a budget plan that balances spending without new taxes, relying on cuts to social programs and fund transfers that irked some Democrats.

Budget writers from both parties said the spending proposal was developed with input from both sides, and the final vote included support from 21 Republicans and nine Democrats. Republican Sen. Andy Hill said the measure includes some tough decisions but helps reprioritize state spending without relying on taxes.

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Drunk-driving laws
5:01 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Lawmaker wants more ignition locks for DUI drivers

New Mexico Department of Public Safety

In the wake of several fatal crashes in which alcohol likely played a role, state lawmakers are debating stricter DUI penalties.

Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, has proposed a bill to that would require suspected drunk drivers to use the ignition interlock device.

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State Legislature
4:10 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Senate budget: More money for education, no 'loophole' closures

The mostly Republican majority in the Washington state Senate has unveiled its budget proposal. It would put $1 billion more into basic education without raising taxes. The spending blueprint released Wednesday contrasts sharply with what Gov. Jay Inslee proposed last week.

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State Legislature
11:37 am
Wed April 3, 2013

State senators release 'bare bones' transportation budget plan

A bipartisan group of Washington state senators has released a transportation budget proposal that both sides call "bare bones."

The $8.7 billion proposal, released Wednesday, puts $4.1 billion into maintaining and improving roads, banks $200 million in projected toll revenue toward the Alaskan Way Viaduct project and puts $1.2 billion toward servicing bonding debt.

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State Legislature
2:47 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Republicans declare victory on Inslee's climate bill

In the coming months, Washington state will embark on a study of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The research is one provision of a measure Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law Tuesday. It’s a key legislative win for the Democrat. So why are Republicans declaring victory?

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State Legislature
6:01 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Even with enough votes, abortion coverage mandate may fail

Abortion-rights supporters say they have enough votes to pass a controversial insurance mandate measure in the Washington state Senate. But it appears unlikely to clear a Republican-led health care committee before a Wednesday deadline.

Things got testy Monday at a public hearing on the measure. Democrat Karen Keiser urged Republican Chair Randi Becker to allow a committee vote on the bill.

“It’s the right thing to do and I would really ask you to consider my request,” Keiser said. To which Becker responded, “Thank you. We’ll consider it.”

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transportation planning
5:11 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Metro warns of major cuts to bus service unless lawmakers act

King County Metro

Facing a $75 million shortfall, Metro Transit says it will have to slash its bus service by 17 percent next fall unless the Legislature intervenes.

The cuts would mean the elimination of 65 bus lines; another 86 would have to run on reduced schedules.

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State Legislature
4:27 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Dozens dance on Capitol steps in protest of dance tax

Dozens of people danced salsa, swing and blues on the steps of the Capitol in Olympia to protest the taxing of dance venues.

The dancers were showing support for repealing a tax that targets venues that provide the opportunity to dance.

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State Legislature
3:15 pm
Sat March 30, 2013

Gov. Inslee tax plans stretch campaign promises

Gov. Jay Inslee says he's following through on his "no new taxes" campaign pledge. Others disagree.

In unveiling a budget plan this week that would increase government spending by 10 percent, Inslee proposed to make temporary taxes permanent and to limit tax exemptions on everything from automobile trade-ins to bottled water. 

"I am doing today exactly - exactly - what I said I was going to do," Inslee said in his news conference. 

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State Legislature
12:26 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

False IDs for cops? Unauthorized state program faces scrutiny

Mitch Barker of the Washington Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Assoc. used a state-issued fictitious driver’s license as an undercover street cop.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

For decades, police officers in Washington have been able to obtain false driver licenses for undercover work. But this quasi-secret program inside the Department of Licensing only recently came to light.

It turns out the confidential ID program was never approved by the Legislature. Now two state lawmakers are calling for more oversight to prevent possible abuses.

As a street cop in the early 1980s, Mitch Barker went undercover to work drugs and vice. The Washington Department of Licensing helped him assume a fake identity.

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State Legislature
4:24 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

State Senate majority could be imperiled by sick member

The serious illness of a Washington state Senator could threaten to alter the balance of power in that legislative chamber. The majority is now potentially short a critical vote.

Republican Mike Carrell is home battling a blood disease and is a candidate for a bone marrow transplant. His condition is serious enough he was recently hospitalized. With Carrell gone, the mostly Republican Majority Coalition Caucus has just 24 members – one shy of an actual majority.

In a statement, Democratic leader Ed Murray sent wishes for a “speedy recovery.”

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