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Inslee budget: $1.4b in new revenue, mostly for K-12

Inslee budget: $1.4b in new revenue, mostly for K-12

The Battle of the Budgets has begun. Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat in the third month of his tenure, unveiled his $34.4 billion budget blueprint in a lengthy televised news conference at the Capitol on Thursday. Headline: He would generate about $1.4 billion in new revenue by extending expiring taxes and by closing or reducing a variety of tax exemptions.  The new money would mostly go for education, a $1.2 billion down-payment on the state addressing a state Supreme Court…

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After 45 years in public life, Sam Reed bids farewell

After 45 years in public life, Sam Reed bids farewell

(Photo courtesy of  Legislative Support Services Photography) Secretary of State Sam Reed bade a fond farewell to the people of Washington Tuesday after 45 years in public life, including 35 years as a state and county elected official. Addressing a joint session of the Legislature, Reed brought along a special reminder of his family’s long connection to Washington politics and government — his grandfather Sam Sumner’s battered leather briefcase.  Exactly 100 years earlier, Sumner, a state GOP chairman and longtime…

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Our new Native American exhibit is up!

Our new Native American exhibit is up!

Over the past couple of weeks, some of our staffers have shown off their interior design and home improvement skills as they’ve transformed our office’s front lobby. The sounds of hammers and power drills have been commonplace, as have scenes of co-workers standing high on ladders to remove displays and patch holes in walls. All of this has been done to take down one interesting exhibit and replace it with another that is sure to capture the attention and amazement…

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Slade talks redistricting, 9/11, Senate and more

Slade talks redistricting, 9/11, Senate and more

John C. Hughes and former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton sign copies of the book that Hughes recently wrote about the longtime statesman. Former state Attorney General and U.S. Senator Slade Gorton was the featured guest at a forum and book signing Thursday in the Legislative Building’s State Reception Room. More than 50 attendees heard Gorton speak about his enduring and prominent career in state and national politics.  Gorton is the subject of a recent biography entitled “Slade Gorton A Half-Century…

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3, 2, 1…we have a book launch!

3, 2, 1…we have a book launch!

Our Legacy Project has produced some outstanding biographies and oral histories since it began in 2008, and Thursday night in Seattle saw the official launch of its latest offering. John C. Hughes, chief historian for The Legacy Project, has penned a new book about the long, influential political career of Slade Gorton. Entitled “Slade Gorton: A Half Century In Politics,” Hughes’ book goes back to the start of Gorton’s political career in Washington as a Republican state representative from Seattle…

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WA lawmakers button down hard-times session

WA lawmakers button down hard-times session

Washington lawmakers are heading back to their home districts after completing a brutal recession-era 135-day session.  Budget cutbacks, including salaries of state employees and teachers and budgets of virtually every area of government, were the rule of the day as lawmakers grappled with a budget gap of billions. Cuts and freezes totaling $4.6 billion will affect K-12, higher education, “safety  net” programs, and a variety of state services, from parks to prisons.  The $32 billion two-year budget takes effect July…

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State budget deal: cuts and more cuts

State budget deal: cuts and more cuts

As Washington struggles to emerge from the deepest recession in 80 years, lawmakers have reached an 11th-hour budget deal for the next two years, cutting expenses in virtually every sector of state government. The $32.2 billion plan, hammered out behind closed doors by negotiators from all four caucuses, relies on nearly $4.6 billion in spending cuts, including $1.2 billion saved by not funding two voter-approved education initiatives.  Other monster cuts are higher education, $535 million, offset by an expected $376…

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That’s General Reed to you

That’s General Reed to you

Decked out in a Union general’s uniform from the Civil War, Secretary Reed addresses the crowd gathered Tuesday night for the grand opening of the new, privately funded exhibit on Isaac Stevens, Washington Territory’s first governor who later was a Civil War general.  The exhibit will be displayed through February 2012. Please follow and like us:

Red ink: House offers $32 billion cut-laden budget

Red ink: House offers $32 billion cut-laden budget

Majority House Democrats have unveiled a $32.4 billion state budget that incorporates $3.2 billion in assorted cuts, a 3 percent salary reduction and higher medical contributions for public employees, pension reforms, and more. The no-new-taxes budget for the next two years was the first draft to surface in the Legislature since a new revenue forecast knocked another $800 million hole in the budget last month, bringing the total gap to over $5 billion.  Tax collections have lagged as the state and…

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Who plays Isaac Stevens: Pitt or DiCaprio?

Who plays Isaac Stevens: Pitt or DiCaprio?

Now that our new Civil War sesquicentennial exhibit featuring the first Washington territorial governor, Isaac Stevens, is up and ready for everyone to see in our office’s front lobby, one recurring comment made by some office staffers is that Stevens bared a strong resemblance to actor Brad Pitt, who, as one female co-worker put it, “is Mr. Dreamy.” Another colleague remarked that Stevens looks a bit like Mr. Titanic himself, actor Leonardo DiCaprio. So, not wanting to miss out on…

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