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Tag: Washington Legislature

Countdown for WA Primary 2016!

Countdown for WA Primary 2016!

Washington’s state Primary voting period is winding down, with Top 2 slots on the line for all nine statewide offices, U.S. Senate, Legislature, courts and assorted local races. Although voters have been super-engaged in the national presidential contest, response to the state Primary has been tepid in the  days leading up to the Tuesday deadline.  As of the weekend, the 39 counties reported receiving 583,489 ballots, or 14.3 percent of the 4,092,951 issued. None were processed over the weekend. Here…

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Budget breakthrough means no shutdown

Budget breakthrough means no shutdown

Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative leaders from both parties and both houses on Thursday announced the good news that had eluded them for weeks — a budget deal that will avert a partial government shutdown. The state is closer to the budget deadline than ever before — and the phrase “government shutdown” had moved into the state lexicon as anxious state employees, their managers and the public wondered if it could happen here. With just three days before the June…

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Bills passed: how Legislature compares to earlier years

Bills passed: how Legislature compares to earlier years

With the 2013 Legislature taking a two-week break to catch its collective breath between the end of the 105-day regular session and the special session starting May 13 to pass a new operating budget and other items, it’s worth taking a look back to see how many bills were passed by the Legislature in previous odd-year “long sessions” and compare the bill production to this year. This chart was compiled by office staffer (and legislative history buff) Patrick McDonald and…

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Eyman files ‘Super Bowl’ of anti-tax initiatives

Eyman files ‘Super Bowl’ of anti-tax initiatives

UPDATE: Note that last paragraph recasts the original language… Initiative activist Tim Eyman has filed what he called the “Super Bowl” version of his long line of ballot propositions aimed at blocking taxes and requiring a supermajority to pass tax hikes in Olympia. It will have to be a hurry-up offense for Eyman, since there is little more than two months before his July 5 deadline to submit well over 300,000 petition signatures to secure a place on the fall…

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House advances new deadlines for voter registration

House advances new deadlines for voter registration

Washington’s voter registration deadlines might be changed under a bill passed by the House, one of several elections-related measures  approved by the chamber. Engrossed House Bill 1267 extends the time period for voter registration closer to Election Day. Under current law, the online and mail-in registration deadlines are 29 days before an election and the in-person deadline is eight days prior. The original bill sought to allow people to register even on Election Day, but county auditors voiced strong opposition,…

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Secretary Wyman certifies I-522 to lawmakers

Secretary Wyman certifies I-522 to lawmakers

The second of two initiatives to the 2013 Legislature has cleared the signature check process. The Secretary of State’s Election Division finished the review of Initiative 522 late Thursday afternoon. The official certification was then signed by Secretary of State Kim Wyman. I-522, sponsored by Chris McManus, concerns the labeling of genetically engineered foods. The initiative, also known as “The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, seeds and seed stocks,…

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House D budget: Cuts, delays, but no sales tax hike

House D budget: Cuts, delays, but no sales tax hike

Majority House Democrats launched the endgame of the election-year 2012 legislative session Tuesday, unveiling their plan to close a billion-dollar budget gap. They propose doing this by shifting $405 million in K-12 payments into the next biennium; creating a few new taxes; shedding some revenue-sharing with local government; and cutting higher education, social and health services, inmate supervision, parks, State Archives and other programs. The proposal includes some new revenue, including $18 million from a new tax on mortgage bankers…

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FAQ on pending gay-marriage referendum

FAQ on pending gay-marriage referendum

UPDATE:  Washington’s gay-marriage legislation, Senate Bill 6239, easily cleared the House 55 to 43 Wednesday after 2 1/2 hours of emotional debate. It now heads to  Gov. Chris Gregoire for her signature, probably in a big ceremony next week. And challengers already are making plans for a ballot challenge. How would that work? What’s the timeline?  What does the filing of a referendum mean to people who were thinking about a summertime wedding? Here is a look at how a…

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Special session adjourns after trimming budget $480m

Special session adjourns after trimming budget $480m

Washington lawmakers have adjourned their unprecedented 17-day November-December emergency session designed to start trimming the state budget to size. But they won’t be gone for long.  The regular 2012 session, supposedly limited to 60 days, is just around the corner — Jan. 9. The Democratic-controlled Legislature didn’t do the complete $2 billion budget-and-tax deal that Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire had strongly recommended when she called the session.  They gave strong bipartisan agreement to a plan, House Bill 2058, that begins…

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Gregoire proposes sales tax hike, budget cuts

Gregoire proposes sales tax hike, budget cuts

Gov. Chris Gregoire has proposed a $2 billion all-cuts rewrite of the ailing state budget, along with a plan to ask the voters to OK a three-year state sales tax hike of a half-cent to head off some of the cuts. The Democratic governor said the Legislature already has slashed the state budget by $10 billion in the past three years, “shredding” the state safety net and whacking K-12, higher education and other areas.  She said her latest list of…

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