Eye On Olympia archive for April 2003

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 2003


Putting in his five cents' worth....

"Things are going to have to be done in a new way. We know that tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives." State Secretary of Transportation Doug MacDonald, vowing to improve the agency's accountability to taxpayers as it spends a proposed...

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'Cause he's the tax man....

"I will enjoy not hearing that song anymore." Rep. Jeff Gombosky, who chairs the House tax committee, complaining about lawmakers singing The Beatles' song "The Tax Man" to him, over and over.

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SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2003

Update...

Setting up a facedown with the state Senate, Democrats in the state House of Representatives narrowly passed a budget late Saturday night that includes more than $270 million in new taxes and revenue.``I stand with a caucus who dares to care,’’ said Rep. Dawn Morrell,...

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FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2003

Tie score...

"He consistently wears the ugliest ties I have ever seen." Sen. Dale Brandland, R-Bellingham, on Sen. Don Carlson's tropical electric-pastel tie earlier this week.Carlson's response: "No respect..."

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Of "trucker bombs" and other foul finds...

The Legislature has passed a bill that broadens the definition of "potentially hazardous litter."Provided that Gov. Locke signs the bill, that means that people littering with lit cigarettes, glass, nails, tacks, bottles, hypodermic needles or "raw human waste" will face up to a $500 fine.Raw...

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THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2003

Getting closer...

Some House Democrats say they're getting very close to settling on a package of state budget cuts and new taxes. Agreement is also very close between the House and Senate, according to Gov. Gary Locke, on a gas tax increase and other taxes and fees...

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MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2003

FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2003

No longer skirting the issue...

Stung by public ridicule over a tit-for-tat legislative standoff, the Senate on Thursday night finally passed HB 1001, which bans photography up the skirts of unsuspecting women. The bill -- which now goes to the House for a vote -- fixes a loophole in the...

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Gambling war, Part II...

On Wednesday, House Democrats proposed coming up with more money for health and schools by increasing the state's Keno lottery game from once a day to once every five minutes.Within 48 hours, anti-gambling forces opened fire in a joint statement signed by more than two...

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Better Locke the door...

As of this writing, there are eight days left in this year's Legislative session. It's widely expected to go into overtime.Before everyone goes home, here are some of the key things Gov. Gary Locke says he wants done:-Required statewide high-school graduation standards for math, reading...

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Small-forest owners win...

The state Senate this week trimmed controversial new forest-road maintenance rules, saying the regulations were intended for timber companies, not mom-and-pop forest owners.These so-called RMAP rules are a big issue in northern and northeastern Washington, which sent dozens of small-forest owners to Olympia this year....

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2003

Just fishin'...

With tempers and tension heating up in the statehouse this week, we particularly appreciated this headline, from the Longview Daily News:"State Senate passes three fishing bills: No one complained about any of them."

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TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2003

Budget in the House....

House Democrats were huddled Tuesday, putting the finishing touches on a budget that's reportedly gentler than the no-new-taxes version the Senate's suggesting.Here's how: the Associated Press is reporting that the House's version includes about $670 million in new taxes, including a sales tax boost, candy...

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MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2003

Midnight oil, please...

The Senate was working into the night Monday, breaking for a quick dinner and then heading back to the Senate floor at 7:30 p.m.Most of the late afternoon was dominated by arguments over tax breaks. Republicans successfully renewed several tax breaks, including measures for call...

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FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2003

THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2003

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2003

TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2003

A moment of truth...

"I know none of you are reading any of these amendments...But I wish you'd pay just a little bit of attention to this one." ---Sen. Shirley Winsley, R-Fircrest, to the Senate during debate on the state budget. (Her amendment, raising the cost of a marriage...

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A fine fix...

As lawmakers struggle with a $2.6 billion budget hole, they're getting a bit of help from, of all people, a travel insurance company in Pennsylvania.Insurance Company of North America has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle state charges that it sold tens of thousands of...

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The Legislative body...

Several lawmakers are out sick these days, a phenomenon that's not too surprising considering the close quarters and all that hand-shaking. It's like an adult version of daycare.Among the sick: Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington, was home with the flu Tuesday. Rep. Alex Wood, D-Spokane, is...

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2003

Close but no cigar...

Despite negotiations that lasted until 3 a.m. Wednesday, Gov. Gary Locke and key Democratic and Republican lawmakers couldn't quite agree on a new transportation tax plan. They're close, though, various red-eyed or hoarse lawmakers reported Wednesday morning.All three plans are anchored by a 3-cent to...

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TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2003

Senate releases budget proposal...

Apparently tired of waiting for House Democrats to agree on their budget proposal, the state Senate this afternoon plans to release its version. The Republican-written Senate plan is heavy on budget cuts.We're working on a story about this for Wednesday morning's paper...

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Bring your jammies...

Not an April Fool's joke: Gov. Gary Locke, trying to pressure lawmakers to agree on new transportation taxes, is calling key lawmakers to his office Tuesday to negotiate late into the night."I'm prepared to stay up all night to make this happen," Locke said.If lawmakers...

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Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.




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