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Eye On Olympia archive for Jan. 2006

TUESDAY, JAN. 31, 2006

Tue., Jan. 31, 2006, 8:26 p.m.

One way to cut costs...

Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup, has proposed Senate Bill 6871, "Removing Members of the Legislature from State Health Care Coverage."None of the other 146 lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors. A hearing's slated for Thursday.

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Tue., Jan. 31, 2006, 12:18 p.m.

Signed into law...

"A generation from now, citizens will wonder what took us so long. " -- Gov. Chris Gregoire, who on Tuesday signed a bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Liberal lawmakers had been trying to pass the bill for 29 years.

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MONDAY, JAN. 30, 2006

Mon., Jan. 30, 2006, 10:17 a.m.

Yup...

Ballot measure promoter Tim Eyman says that he'll file an initiative and a referendum this morning related to House Bill 2661, the recently-passed bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.Based on Eyman's preliminary info e-mailed to reporters, the measures look like a second...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 27, 2006

Fri., Jan. 27, 2006, 1:06 p.m.

Gay-rights bill headed to governor's desk...

The bill passed the Senate, was rushed over to the House, which voted overwhelmingly to concur, and it's headed for the governor.At a jubilant press conference, Gov. Christine Gregoire said she intends to sign the bill into law on Tuesday morning.Bill sponsor Ed Murray said...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 26, 2006

Thu., Jan. 26, 2006, 5 p.m.

Here we go again...

With the Superbowl faceoff between the Seahawks and Pittsburgh looming, Gov. Christine Gregoire made a bet this week with Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell.Gregoire staked the following on a Seahawks' victory: a bushel of apples, Ivar's clam chowder, and Applets and Cotlets.Rendell's bet: -A box of...

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Thu., Jan. 26, 2006, 11:01 a.m.

Felony DUI...

After years of trying, lawmakers may actually pass a law that makes chronic drunk driving a prison offense.Always, the rub has been: But what would it cost? Incarcerating a person costs more than $25,000 a year, and lawmakers feared a flood of drunk- and drugged...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 25, 2006


Wed., Jan. 25, 2006, 11:45 a.m.

State sues spyware company...

Washington state on Tuesday filed suit in U.S. district court in Seattle, accusing White Plains, New-York-based Secure Computer and associates in the United States and India of marketing software that renders computers more susceptible to spyware attacks.State Attorney General Rob McKenna said the software falsely...

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Wed., Jan. 25, 2006, 9:32 a.m.

House considers price-gouging legislation...

Nineteen lawmakers have proposed a bill to make illegal "excessive and unjustified increases in retail prices" during disasters like the Gulf Coast faced last year with Hurricane Katrina. More than a dozens states have similar laws."We want to put a tool in the tool chest...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 24, 2006

MONDAY, JAN. 23, 2006

Mon., Jan. 23, 2006, 5:39 p.m.

Mandatory green energy...

On Wednesday, environmental and labor groups, farmers and alternative-energy companies plan to file an initiative requiring large utility companies to buy more energy from renewable sources like solar power or wind farms.The as-yet-unnumbered "Energy Security Initiative" would require large energy companies to gradually increase their...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 20, 2006


THURSDAY, JAN. 19, 2006

Thu., Jan. 19, 2006, 4:38 p.m.

Real wine v. Cheerwine...

With the Seahawk-Panthers faceoff looming Sunday, Gov. Christine Gregoire on Thursday bet Washington's bounty against the best, we guess, that North Carolina has to offer.Gregoire's offer: Smoked salmon, potatoes, Yakima Valley cherries, Walla Walla wines and Wenatchee apples.N.C. Gov. Mike Easley's version, according to a...

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Thu., Jan. 19, 2006, 10:51 a.m.

A big controversy that's going nowhere, for now...

Among the nearly dozen ballot measures filed this year by Tim Eyman and his ballot measure associates, Spokane's Mike and Jack Fagan, is one that Eyman's calling "The Civil Rights Act." Unlike most of Eyman's measures, this one doesn't target taxes.Initiative 914 would ban racial,...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 18, 2006

Wed., Jan. 18, 2006, 1:52 p.m.

Welcome to Olympia...

Even in a town used to political showdowns, it's rare to see the kind of full-on shriek-a-thon that took place around 1 p.m. on the sidewalk near a local sub shop.Two middle-aged men were walking downtown after an annual anti-abortion rally at the capitol. One...

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Wed., Jan. 18, 2006, 12:37 p.m.

But please, no caning...

State Rep. Glenn Anderson, R-Fall City, says he's found a great way to make Washington students competitive in math: steal a page from the best.Anderson's House Bill 2506 notes that in 2003, America ranked below "at least 10 other countries" in math scores by elementary...

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Wed., Jan. 18, 2006, 11:54 a.m.

A peek through the curtain...

Years ago, we're told, state lawmakers and legislative staff would annually trek from Olympia and Puget Sound into the wilds of Eastern Washington for a days-long round of hearings and meetings.It's time to return to that, says Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup. Last year, he promised...

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MONDAY, JAN. 16, 2006

Mon., Jan. 16, 2006, 4:48 p.m.

How'd you mark the day?

Gov. Christine Gregoire marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a discussion among her top staffers of King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." It was assigned reading for the governor's cabinet members, who were told to look for lessons of King's leadership in the famous...

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Mon., Jan. 16, 2006, 4:39 p.m.

A big check for Olympia?

Making the point that many college students are graduating with vast amounts of debt, students from Washington State University on Monday planned to present lawmakers with a $7.5 million check. That's the total debt that WSU's Young Democrats came up with in a survey of...

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Mon., Jan. 16, 2006, 9:03 a.m.

No rest for the lawmakers...

One of the quirks of state legislatures is that they tend not to notice holidays. Washington's constitution predates most modern holidays, so one the session clock starts in January, there's no stopping for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, or other days off.

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 11, 2006

Wed., Jan. 11, 2006, 12:15 p.m.

First bill out of the gate...

Moving with rare speed, the Legislature is rushing through a bill to steer $7.6 million more into home heating assistance for low-income families.The House of Representatives passed House Bill 2730 Wednesday morning, handing off the bill immediately to the Senate. Gov. Gregoire -- who has...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 10, 2006

Tue., Jan. 10, 2006, 3:14 p.m.

And more bills...

-House Bill 2495, by Rep. Derek Kilmer: launching a toll-free "state government efficiency hotline."-House Joint Memorial 4025, by Rep. Larry Haler: Asking the feds to build a new nuclear power plant at the Hanford nuclear reservation.-Senate Bill 6265, by Sen. Ken Jacobsen: Requiring emergency workers,...

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MONDAY, JAN. 9, 2006

Mon., Jan. 9, 2006, 6:47 p.m.

Paying the tab...

Three state troopers camped outside the doorway of the Secretary of State's office? What can it be?Yup, a Tim Eyman-versus-critics press conference. Eyman on Monday filed his as-yet-unnumbered initiative to cap vehicle registration fees at $30 a year, repeal anything above that and to base...

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



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