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Tag: Gregoire

Gregoire OKs state employee furloughs

Gregoire OKs state employee furloughs

Governor Gregoire has signed legislation ordering many state employees to take 10 unpaid days off during the coming fiscal year – possibly starting on July 12. The furlough bill, Senate Bill 6503,  gives agencies some latitude for avoiding the “temporary layoffs” mandate.  Many agencies are exempt, such as parks, highways and ferries, pris0ns, social and health programs, and workers who make money for the state, such as liquor store and lottery employees.  Employees who make under $30k a year are exempt. …

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Something’s burning at the Capitol …

Something’s burning at the Capitol …

… or at least the fire alarm went off and emptied the whole building, including the Senate, which was in session at the time.  Biggest excitement of the day–heck, of the entire special session! So Governor Gregoire, exiting the campus for a meeting, has her car stop at the corner where her executive staff is huddled while awaiting the all-clear signal, insists she didn’t pull the alarm, just to stir things up.   She impishly added that, true, she wants the…

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McKenna, Gregoire clash over health care law

McKenna, Gregoire clash over health care law

Washington’s governor, Chris Gregoire, and state Attorney General Rob McKenna, who is widely viewed as a gubernatorial contender in 2012,  are clashing over the newly passed federal health care legislation. McKenna plans to join a multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement.  Gregoire, an ally of the president’s and sometimes mentioned as a future Cabinet pick, says McKenna “doesn’t represent the people of Washington” on this and doesn’t have her blessings to file in the name…

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Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

They’re gone, but not forgotten.  Weary Washington lawmakers are getting a long weekend off, after wrapping up their 60-day regular legislative session Thursday evening.  But their toughest, and most politically unpopular, tasks remain undone.  They’ll be back at noon on Monday for overtime session. Governor Gregoire’s proclamation says they’ll be here “no longer than seven days.”  The Constitution says special sessions are limited to “not more than 30 consecutive days.” Likewise, the governor has no authority to limit the subject…

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House tax plan: cats and dogs

House tax plan: cats and dogs

House Democrats have weighed into the tax debate in Olympia, offering an assortment of tax hikes – called “cats and dogs” in Capitol-speak – rather than a package that is anchored by a state sales tax increase. The $858 million package is closer in approach to Governor Gregoire than the Senate Democrats. The Democratic governor proposed a $605 million mix of taxes, including a $1-a-pack tax on cigarettes, a tax on pop and candy and a higher hazardous materials tax on petroleum…

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Suspending initiatives? Controversial but common

Suspending initiatives? Controversial but common

Amid considerable controversy that seems destined to spill over into the 2010 legislative races, Governor Gregoire and the Democratic-controlled Legislature have suspended a voter-approved initiative that would have required a supermajority two-thirds of both houses to boost taxes or eliminate tax exemptions. With I-960 now on hold, Olympia can approve a revenue package by a simple majority of both houses.  The Senate proposal is for $918 million worth of taxes and “loophole closures,” including a $1-a-pack tax on smokes and…

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Gregoire: Boost taxes by $605 million

Gregoire: Boost taxes by $605 million

Governor Gregoire has unveiled a $605 million tax package as part of a cut-and-tax plan to close a yawning $2.8 billion budget gap. The Democratic governor is steering clear of the Big 3 (sales, property or business and occupation taxes), and proposing higher taxes on smokes, candy and gum, soda pop, bottled water and oil products. The cigarette tax hike would be a buck a pack (to $3.05 total state tax per package, generating $89 million.) The pop tax would be…

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Gregoire: More money coming from Uncle Sam

Gregoire: More money coming from Uncle Sam

Governor Gregoire says a $435 million windfall from the feds — in the form of more money for Medicaid — will help reduce the size of a proposed revenue package. Gregoire, in a news conference called to report on the billions the state has received in federal recovery money, said she is confident that Congress will approve a healthy chunk of money requested by the White House to bail out the states’ medical assistance program. President Obama has asked for…

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Gregoire budget: All cuts, for now

Gregoire budget: All cuts, for now

Governor Gregoire has proposed, “with the greatest reluctance,” a  new Washington State budget that fills a projected $2.6 billion deficit by cutting $1.7 billion from state programs and using $900 million in “rainy day” savings and fund balances. But she says she hopes the Legislature won’t pass her own no-new-taxes budget that she was required by state law to submit. She called her proposal “balanced, but unjust” and said she’ll propose a second budget next month that restores many of…

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Gregoire, Reed certify R-71 and November returns

Gregoire, Reed certify R-71 and November returns

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed and Governor Chris Gregoire have made it official, certifying that voters turned down Tim Eyman’s latest ballot measure, but adopted the “everything but marriage” domestic partnership law approved by the Legislature last spring. Referendum 71, placed on the ballot by foes of same-sex marriage, was approved by a margin of more than 110,000 votes, or more than 6 percentage points. National media describe it as the country’s first voter-approved domestic partnership or “everything-but-marriage” law….

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