Eye On Olympia archive for Feb. 2003

THURSDAY, FEB. 27, 2003

It's the water...

In spring, where April showers bring mold, shoe-sucking mud, and batallions of slugs, we often wonder how the state's founders settled on this mossy burg for their capital.Here's the answer, according to the archivists of the Secretary of State's office:From the 1850s throught the 1920s,...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 26, 2003

The Mustard Bug is Back...

The Spokane Conservation District's well-traveled Volkswagen beetle, fueled by mustard-seed "biodiesel," has been spotted around the Capitol recently.District spokesman Jim Armstrong's trying to prod lawmakers into passing tax incentives for the vegetable-oil-derived fuels, which can be burned in regular diesel engines. Two bills would also...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 19, 2003

Oh, Harold, we miss ya...

Former Sen. Harold Hochstatter, a Moses Lake Republican famous for perplexing quotes and obscure references, has compiled a list of dozens of his best statements, and we're once again reminded how much we miss his ability to spice up a Legislative debate.We'll let him take...

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Gay marriage bill...

Some House lawmakers are proposing a bill to allow same-sex civil unions. Washington's Legislature has the second-highest number of openly gay lawmakers in the nation (four), second only to California's five.The bill, proposed three days after Valentine's Day, is House Bill 1939

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Ergo sum...

The Republican-led Senate, which has made pro-business bills a priority this year, on Tuesday voted to make compliance with the state's controversial workplace-ergonomics rules VOLUNTARY, essentially leaving the rules toothless. Businesses have been battling the rules, saying that adjustable cash registers, tables, special lifts and...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 13, 2003

Gambling issue is heating up...

The battle's getting hotter in Olympia over whether to allow taverns, mini-casinos, bowling alleys and fraternal clubs to have the same slot-style machines that Indian casinos now have. Proponents say tribes have an unfair monopoly on the machines.On Thursday night, the coalition seeking the machines...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 11, 2003

Trouble in the Senate Republican camp...

A simmering dispute over whether a state Senate staffer improperly snooped in colleagues' emails has turned into a bitter staredown between Senate Majority Leader Jim West, R-Spokane, and Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn.Last week, the Senate suspended new Roach legislative assistant Kelly Hinton as part of...

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MONDAY, FEB. 10, 2003

What's cooking...

Senate Democrats are releasing a jobs-stimulus proposal today, and the week's long list of hearings includes this surprise: Senate Bill 5571, which would ban human cloning in Washington and back it up with a $100,000 fine.

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THURSDAY, FEB. 6, 2003

A hardy perennial...

Saying Eastern Washington has more in common with Eastern Oregon and Idaho than with mossy Puget Sound, two local state senators have -- once again -- proposed a law that would lay the groundwork for cleaving the state of Washington in two. Senate Bill 5663...

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Targeting skirt-peepers and murderers...

The House and Senate have overwhelmingly passed a bill that allows people to be convicted of felony murder if victims die from what would otherwise be considered an assault. After a state Supreme Court ruling last year, lawmakers were worried that 300 murderers in Washington...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 4, 2003

MONDAY, FEB. 3, 2003

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




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