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Month: January 2010

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Archives note cards 2

… Washington-themed note cards are being sold for bargain prices through the Secretary of State’s Office!?  The Archives Division recently slashed prices for three separate packages of note cards:

Early Statehood note cards are scanned images of Washington trademark designs from 1892 and 1895; this pack includes eight cards and envelopes for $3.

The Salmon Run note cards feature salmon trademark designs from1982 and 1897; eight cards and envelopes are being sold for $4.

And, the Asahel Curtis note cards display beautiful scenes of Washington landscapes taken in 1925. Twelve cards and envelopes for $5.

Proceeds go to fund Archives programs and services. To take advantage of these low prices by visiting the Secretary of State’s online store, stopping by the Archives building, or sending an email to

9th Circuit puts hold on felon voter ruling … for now ?>

9th Circuit puts hold on felon voter ruling … for now

felonsThe 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to temporarily suspend their ruling that threw out Washington’s longstanding ban on voting by felons. The court granted the request by Secretary of State Sam Reed, Attorney General Rob McKenna and Governor Chris Gregoire to place a hold on the controversial ruling while the state pursues a challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court granted the request Thursday in a three-paragraph order, agreeing to not issue a “mandate” that would have required the state and county election officials to immediately begin allowing inmates and felons on community supervision to register and to cast ballots.

State Library hosting Tacoma letterpress artists ?>

State Library hosting Tacoma letterpress artists

Library2With the centennial celebration of women’s suffrage in Washington now in full swing, the State Library has a speaking event scheduled for February 10 that continues on this monumental theme.

Tacoma letterpress artists Jessica Spring and Chandler O’Leary will discuss their work and speak in particular about their very popular collaboration, The Feminist Broadside series.

For more info, go here.

The speaking program begins at 6:30 p.m., with the doors opening at 6. The State Library is located at 6880 Capitol Blvd. SE in Tumwater.

Oregon update: Voters OK income tax hikes ?>

Oregon update: Voters OK income tax hikes

incometaxWhile Washington lawmakers and Governor Gregoire contemplate the prospect of tax hikes to help close a $2.6 billion budget shortfall, Oregon voters have upheld the Oregon Legislature’s decision to boost corporate and personal income taxes to the tune of over $730 million.

Oregon voters, balloting by mail, on Tuesday approved a pair of referenda, both by a margin of better than 53-47.  Measure 66 will raise the margin income tax rate on personal income above $125k for individuals and $250k for couples, producing $472 million for the current biennium.  Measure 67 boosts business taxes by $261 million this biennium. This includes raising the corporate income tax. (more…)

Mr. Reed visits the Legislature – twice ?>

Mr. Reed visits the Legislature – twice

Sam testifies on CFD 003While Secretary Reed regularly meets with legislators to discuss proposals and issues impacting the Office of Secretary of State, it isn’t every day that he actually testifies before a legislative committee. This week, he had one of those days.

The Secretary of State went before lawmakers not once, but twice, on a proposal to move the Combined Fund Drive, a popular workplace giving program, from the Department of Personnel (DOP) to our agency. Secretary Reed spoke before the House General Government Appropriations Committee on House Bill 2902, the House version of a proposal jointly requested by our agency and DOP. Hours later, he and DOP Director Eva Santos (pictured here) appeared before the Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee to speak in favor of the Senate version, SB 6540. (more…)

Parties still don’t like Top 2 Primary ?>

Parties still don’t like Top 2 Primary

toon10Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Washington political parties are back in court, hoping to take down the state’s voter-approved, Supreme Court-approved Top 2 Primary.

The parties have long objected to the state’s tradition of wide-open voting that allows us to “vote for the person, not the party” when we pick our finalists for the November General Election.  First, they and their brethren from California brought down the time-honored “blanket primary” that allowed voters to pick their favorite for each office, splitting their tickets if they like.  The Legislature passed a Top 2 system back in ’04; Governor Locke vetoed it, leaving a backup plan for a Montana-style primary that restricted voters’ to one party’s candidates. Voters widely disliked it and quickly passed a plan by the state  Grange and Secretary Reed, Initiative 872, that created a system that winnows the field to two per office, rather than specifically nominate an R and a D. (more…)

2010 initiative season underway ?>

2010 initiative season underway

petitionIt looks like 2010 could be a busy year for ballot measures. We’re getting word that initiative activist Tim Eyman is already in the field with his anti-tax I-1053, after picking up the unusually early endorsement of the state GOP over the weekend.   This follows the recent filing of two controversial initiatives by well-connected groups – legalizing marijuana and privatizing the state-run worker’s comp insurance program.

Eyman’s latest plan presumes the Democrats will suspend his previously approved I-960 and raise taxes in Olympia by simple majority this winter.  His new initiative would restate I-960’s requirement for a two-thirds supermajority vote in both houses for higher taxes, and requiring legislative approval of any fee increases. (more…)

Oregonians to decide fate of income tax hikes ?>

Oregonians to decide fate of income tax hikes

waandoregonWhile Washington lawmakers cogitate over how to close a $2.6 billion budget gap, our neighbors to the south are deciding whether to go along with the Oregon Legislature’s decision last year to boost income taxes to fill a $733 million hole.

Oregonians, voting by mail over the last couple of weeks, get final say on two referenda.  One raises the personal income tax rate for the richest taxpayers and the other would boost the state’s minimum corporate inc0me tax, now $10. Ballots must be received by elections offices by Tuesday in order to count.

Polls showed a fair degree of support for both, despite heavy unemployment and slow recovery of the economy.  Governing Magazine noted that the ballot-box test is being watched as one indicator of public attitudes about government and taxes. (more…)

Mahre family poster just in time for Olympics! ?>

Mahre family poster just in time for Olympics!

Steve and Phi for webWith the Winter Olympics set to begin up in Vancouver and Whistler in a few weeks, the State Library has a new Washington Reads poster featuring two Olympics heroes from our state: the Mahre twins.

At the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, Phil and Steve Mahre captured the gold and silver medals in the men’s slalom. The Mahres, who honed their skiing skills at White Pass, were among several Washingtonians who medaled at those Olympics. Others included gold medalist Debbie Armstrong in the women’s giant slalom and silver medalist Rosalynn Sumners in women’s figure skating.  Steve’s son, freeskier Andy Mahre, is also featured on the poster.

Due to budget constraints, there are no free printed copies of the new poster available. But you can acquire it in one of two ways: If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader software, you can download it for free here. You can also buy 11” x 17” print quality posters for a small fee from the Washington State Department of Printing General Store. The order and cost information is provided on the store’s Web site here.

Unraveling the “Ruddell Riddle” ?>

Unraveling the “Ruddell Riddle”

UPDATE: Sorry! Due to a large number of RSVPs for the event, we are now at capacity and no longer accepting registrations. Please e-mail our development team if you would like to be part of events like these in the future. Ruddell Riddle Logo

If you live in the Olympia area, chances are you’ve driven on Ruddell Road. But do you know the history behind the Ruddell name? On Saturday, January 30, you can find out.

Come to the “Ruddell Riddle,” a free event that sheds light on one of Thurston County’s prominent pioneer families. Dozens of Ruddell family descendants have indicated they’ll attend, and we’re encouraging them to share stories and photos. (more…)