Eye On Olympia archive for March 2007

SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 2007

No rest for the Senate...

It's an ambitious day for the Senate, as the more deliberative body goes to work on a long list of bills, not least among them the Senate's capital, transportation and operating budgets and the tens of billions of dollars contained therein. (Also working hard on...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2007

Budget dust: The $2.2 million typo...

Whoops.Because of a state budget-writer's typo, more than $2 million for a local project was left out of a Senate budget proposal Wednesday.After months of asking lawmakers for millions of dollars in help building a new downtown YMCA and YWCA, the project's line in the...

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THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2007

Inflammatory rhetoric...

One of the most vivid pieces of lobbying so far this year has been manufacturers' pushback against an environmentalist-backed bill that would ban certain toxic flame retardants."You wouldn't let your child PLAY WITH MATCHES," reads a mailer from a group called Keep American Fire-Safe. "So...

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2007

Road dogs...

"It kind of reminds me of that old saying about `Joe's Veterinary and Taxidermy: Either Way You Get Your Dog Back.' I think the Senate budget gives you your dog back in a lot better shape than the other alternatives."Sen. Chris Marr, D-Spokane, on the...

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MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2007

Making things more business-friendly...

For years, and with mixed results, reporters trying to make their stories relevant to average readers have struggled -- sometimes as a result of news-chain editorial edict -- to get "real people" into their stories.Public relations firms long ago realized that they could capitalize on...

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House operating budget debate: a sampler...

"This is a strong proposal for a strong Washington."-- Rep. Helen Sommers, D-Seattle."We are the largest state we've ever been in history...More people -- more things -- more stuff."-- Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish."This budget is an act of optimism. We are betting on the families...

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A sampling from the debate...

"This budget goes a long way toward keeping our promises that we made" during the 2003 and 2005 gas-tax increases. "We kept the promise by sticking to the project list."-- Rep. Judy Clibborn"It's a budget with working families in mind."-- Rep. Mike Sells, noting that...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2007

None of the Above wins again...

After weeks of discussion about moving Washington's too-late-to-matter presidential primary from May 27 to something several months earlier, a panel of top elected officials and party leaders convened under the Tiffany chandeliers of the state capitol reception room and...deadlocked.Five Republicans, including Secretary of State Sam...

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THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2007

Protection for Christian Scientists...

Interesting fact, according to the hard-working House Judiciary research staff: All 50 states grant some form of privilege for clergy-penitent communications. In other words, no one can compel a member of the clergy to tell investigators -- or anyone else -- about what is said...

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Wanting more bark in the watchdog...

"I don't want it to be collegial. I want it to be a lot more hostile." --Initiative promoter Tim Eyman, on the mutual praise between State Auditor Brian Sonntag and the state Department of General Administration during the first of a long series of new...

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More than license plates…

Three years after the state Supreme Court ruled that it's unconstitutional for companies or nonprofits to use prison-inmate labor, lawmakers want to rewrite that 118-year-old clause of the constitution.The workers are paid for their time – although more than half of that money can be...

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Seconding that thought…

"It's gone on too far. If I knock on one more door during the next election campaign and have people laughing when I talk about the North South Corridor, it won't be good."-- Sen. Chris Marr, D-Spokane, on the same topic.

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2007

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2007

Ed reform a well-trodden battlefield...

"In the year 2000, you're going to see a different education system and it's going to be better. We want our students to compete not just with neighboring districts, but with the world."That was Washington's superintendent of public instruction – 13 years ago."We are competing...

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THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2007

Another local win...

Three teens die in a fiery gas pipeline explosion. Two are minors; their grief-stricken parents sue for the pain and suffering of losing their children. Another is 18, however. And under the law, his equally grief-stricken parents are left unable to do the same thing.That's...

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2007

Night recap II...

The House went late again Tuesday night, debating until about 11:30 in a rush to try to get bills through before today's 5 p.m. cutoff.Among the things that passed: Rep. Joyce McDonald's HB 1214, which bans people from trying to text-message someone on a cell...

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TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2007

What the hell?

After months of political jousting over how to replace Seattle's decades-old Alaskan Way Viaduct, the voters there have spoken.The question: How to replace the ugly, noisy elevated highway along Seattle's otherwise-scenic waterfront? The cheaper option, although not cheap, is to simply replace it with another...

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More health coverage for kids on the way...

As curious preschoolers peered over the edge of the table (and one mugged for the camera), Gov. Chris Gregoire on Tuesday signed a new law that will provide health coverage to thousands more children in Washington.The law will expand coverage to an additional 38,000 children...

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ZZZZzzzz....

As Tuesday afternoon fades into evening -- and a likely late night as lawmakers try to beat tomorrow's bill cutoff -- it seems a good time to reflect on the sausage-making that is legislation.For all the Senate-clashes-over-something stories, many of the thousands of bills that...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2007

Another modest local win...

Sen. Bob Morton, R-Orient, scored a win this week, when the Senate passed his SB 5461.It sound like a little change: making permanent state timber officials' four-year-old authority to contract with crews to fell trees according to specific instructions, instead of the more common system...

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2007


Locals rack up some wins...

--Sen. Chris Marr's bill to dramatically expand health coverage of poor and some middle-income children in Washington passed the House yesterday, and could be signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire as early as Monday.--The Senate has passed Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown's SJM 8012,...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 2007

Praying to get out the vote...

We ask forgiveness for the over 500,000 Christians in Washington State who did not vote in the last election resulting in the current disaster in Olympia. We pray forgiveness for the many Christians who concern themselves only with their own family and church and who...

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



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