Eye On Olympia archive for Jan. 2007

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 31, 2007

TUESDAY, JAN. 30, 2007

MONDAY, JAN. 29, 2007

FRIDAY, JAN. 26, 2007

New Viaduct? Tunnel instead? Tunnel Lite?

(Background for Eastern WA readers who haven’t been following the drama: Gov. Chris Gregoire and key lawmakers are very, very reluctant to spend the extra money replacing Seattle’s elevated Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel. They fear Big Dig-style massive cost overruns. It would be...

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Initiatives as piecework...

Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, wants to ban paying signature-gatherers by the signature. It encourages fraud, she said, since the going rate for ballot measures is $2.50 to $5 a signature."To me, that is pretty obscene," she said at a House hearing a few minutes ago....

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THURSDAY, JAN. 25, 2007


The Speaker speaks...

Excerpts from House Speaker Frank Chopp's weekly meeting with capitol reporters Wednesday:-The House likes a proposal to let school districts pass levies (typically for a few years at a time and typically used for maintenance and operations) with a simple majority of voters but wants...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 24, 2007


MONDAY, JAN. 22, 2007

THURSDAY, JAN. 18, 2007

The fog of war...

The fight over the Viaduct is producing the legislative version of Greek choruses, with various alliances of lawmakers trying to stake out their positions with increasingly opaque joint statements:First came this, from Gov. Chris Gregoire, House Speaker Frank Chopp, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, Sen....

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<b>HEY! </b>Get off that couch!

"The economy of the future is going to require that every citizens of Washington State function at their maximum potential. Everyone. We do not have the luxury of having anyone not perform at their maximum."Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup

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Goodbye, Seattle's tunnel?

Flexing her political muscles – and making some Seattle leaders very unhappy, Gov. Chris Gregoire has given the Emerald City an ultimatum: agree to a simple $2.8 billion replacement of the crumbling Alaskan Way Viaduct or the money will go elsewhere*.Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels has...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 17, 2007

Some state workers trying to oust unions...

In the opening salvo of a statewide fight this year, critics of a two-year-old policy forcing state workers to pay union dues or similar fees are trying to vote themselves out of union representation."We believe the unions have literally sold out workers' rights in order...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 16, 2007

More WASL reprieves in the works?

As the Everett Herald's Jerry Cornfield and Eric Stevick report this morning, some lawmakers are proposing a broader reprieve for the Class of 2008.So far, Gov. Gregoire and legislative leaders have proposed delaying for three years next year's requirement that students pass the math portion...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 12, 2007

Why reading the bill title isn't enough...

The bill: SB 5130, sponsored by Sen. Ken Jacobsen, D-Seattle.How the short title printout and website describe it: "Expanding hunter access to certain private lands."What you discover, though, if you actually read the bill: That the bill would expand access and preserve habitat -- by...

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Income tax proposed...

Unfazed by years of talk about how a state income tax is the third rail of Washington politics -- touch it and you die – Senate veteran Rosa Franklin has launched Senate Bill 5150, proposing a state income tax starting at 2.2 percent for individuals...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 11, 2007

The pay raise whose name shall not be spoken...

For obvious PR reasons, it’s hard for elected officials to tell the public that they (and, in fairness, their successors) deserve larger paychecks. Nonetheless, most of those who testified before the salary commission this week ended up – diplomatically -- at that conclusion.One of the...

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Who earns what...

What state officials are paid now:Gov. Chris Gregoire: $150,995Attorney General Rob McKenna: $137,268Supreme Court Justices: $145,636Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown: $44,311Lt. Gov. Brad Owen: $78,930What some of their peers are paid:Tacoma City Manager: $189,444Richland City Manager: $150,756King County Prosecutor: $168,372Spokane Mayor: $138,768Spokane Valley City Manager:...

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Eyman, Fagans draw their paychecks...

With a big assist from Woodinville investor Mike Dunmire, initiative promoter Tim Eyman says he'll draw a political paycheck this year of $86,742.On Dec. 12, according to state campaign finance reports, Dunmire and his wife ponied up $100,000, nearly half the $209,000 that supporters contributed...

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MONDAY, JAN. 8, 2007

FRIDAY, JAN. 5, 2007

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




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