Eye On Olympia archive for March 2006

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2006

State to appeal felon-voting decision...

Secretary of State Sam Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna said Wednesday that the sate will appeal a recent King County Superior Court ruling allowing voting by felons who've served their prison time and probation but still have unpaid fines or other court debts. (See...

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MONDAY, MARCH 27, 2006

Cancer strikes Yakima lawmaker...

Rep. Mary Skinner, R-Yakima, was diagnosed with colon cancer on Friday, her office announced today. She's slated for surgery on Thursday at a Yakima hospital. Intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments will follow in April.In a statement, Skinner said she hopes to be back at work...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2006

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2006

FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2006

THURSDAY, MARCH 16, 2006

Teachers union wins Supreme Court case...

The state Supreme Court this morning upheld the Washington Education Association in a five-year-old case over whether the union was improperly using non-members' fees for politics.In a 6-3 ruling, the court ruled unconstitutional a state law banning unions from spending non-members' fees on politics.The majority...

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TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 2006

2006 Legislative session, by the numbers...

It was a short session this year, but it didn't act like one.Lawmakers proposed, debated, then killed or passed 2,640 bills this session, including a broad array of big-issues items: dozens of sex offender bills, three budgets, a massive Columbia River water storage program, etc.As...

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THURSDAY, MARCH 9, 2006

Bizarre ending to Senate's year...

What a weird way to end things.On Wednesday night, lawmakers in the normally fractious House of Representatives were pouring on the bipartisan, obviously heartfelt praise for retiring Rep. Don Cox, R-Colfax.In the normally collegial Senate, however, the year ended on a bitter note. According to...

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Snow falling on solons...

Perhaps it was a sign from God for lawmakers to get the hell out of town -- or, for those who have to brave the mountain passes to get home, an attempt to try to keep them in Olympia.Either way, shortly after the gavel fell...

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2006

A nailbiter of a bill nears the finish line...

Late Tuesday night, the state Senate approved a slightly-toughened version of Rep. John Ahern's felony DUI bill. This bill, which has been repeatedly on the verge of failing, only to be revived by an unlikely alliance of House Democrats and House and Senate Republicans, now...

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TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 2006

Budget compromise: a first look...

The House and Senate today inked a budget compromise that includes millions of dollars for local programs and projects.Among them:-$10 million for Washington State University to start construction on a $63 million new bioscience lab complex in Pullman.-$2 million for repairs to Avista Stadium.-$2 million...

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Speaking of which...

The Senate later this morning is expected to pass Sen. Lisa Brown's still-unnumbered resolution "recognizing the talent and hard work of the Gonzaga University Bulldogs men's basketball coaches and players."A sampling:"Whereas, Gonzaga University's basketball bans are the self-proclaimed `Zag Nation,' and the Bulldogs keep giving...

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Dollars versus a potential voter veto...

It must have pained some fiscal conservatives, but Republican leaders last night argued against a provision that would add an estimated $10 million more to state coffers without additional taxes or fees on anyone.At issue was Senate Bill 6896, which sets up a series of...

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MONDAY, MARCH 6, 2006

E-waste bill headed to governor for her signature...

In a victory for environmental groups (and anyone with an old computer monitor gathering dust in the attic) the Legislature on Monday voted to require electronics manufacturers to set up a collection and recycling program for computers, TVs and monitors.In Washington State alone, according to...

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$5 million farm fuel tax break inked by governor...

Wasting no time, Gov. Chris Gregoire on Monday signed into law a $5-million-a-year diesel tax break passed Friday.The change, which includes an emergency clause, takes effect immediately.For years, Washington has exempted red-dyed diesel for farm use from the regular state fuel tax. Instead, users paid...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 2006

Restrictions on bogus degrees...

The Senate on Friday unanimously passed a bill to crack down on diploma mills and bogus college degrees.House Bill 2507 was amended to include language from a now-defunct bill by Sen. Mark Schoesler to make it a class C felony to knowingly grant false academic...

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Voting early, if not often...

Both the House and Senate have approved moving Washington's primary election date (that's the election in September) to four weeks earlier, starting next year."This victory has been years in the making," said Secretary of State Sam Reed.Really? Really. A similar proposal died last year, wrapped...

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THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2006

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2006

Electrasol smuggling?

The Senate on Wednesday passed a modified version of Rep. Timm Ormsby's bill to sharply limit phosphates in automatic dishwashing detergents. Assuming that the House and governor agree, it would be the first state ban in the nation.In the Senate version, the ban would be...

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




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