Eye On Olympia archive for March 2008

MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2008


And after you get a refill...

-- The latest edition of the Building Industry Association of Washington's newsletter is dedicated largely to Sen. Brian Weinstein, D-Mercer Island, and the builders' victory over a Weinstein bill that would have made it far more easy to sue builders and contractors.The builders mention Weinstein...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2008

Gregoire sits down with The Inlander...

Spokane's weekly The Inlander sat down for half an hour with the governor on a recent trip.Among the topics: Her superdelegate pick of Obama over Clinton, the tenor of the looming campaign with Dino Rossi, the Sonics and several local issues.Read the interview transcript here.

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THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2008

Winter sunshine's hard to find in Olympia...

After months of work, the state's "Sunshine Committee" this week recommended that finalists for government jobs should be made public and that more information should be released from investigations into child deaths.It's been slow going for the committee, a mix of attorneys, lawmakers, journalists and...

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Session in review: 4th District...

For the three lawmakers who represent eastern Spokane County in the statehouse, this year's legislative session was an exercise in frustration and eking out some quiet wins.All three are Republicans in a Legislature that tilts Democratic nearly 2-to-1. They introduced few bills. Not one passed.But...

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Session in review: 9th District...

It was a challenging year for lawmakers from the 9th Legislative District, a sprawling triangle that covers much of the Palouse. Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, was a freshman appointee, staying up late at night reading bills for fear that he would accidentally approve something that...

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A candidate I-1000 backers would rather not see...

It’s not often that we Washingtonians pay much attention to congressional races in Michigan, but you can rest assured that there are some folks very unhappy with a certain independent’s recently-announced long-shot campaign.Dr. Jack Kevorkian, 79, says he’ll run for a seat representing the Detroit...

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Roach flap one of many...

From our suburban editions this morning:Republican Sen. Pam Roach caused a lot of consternation for Senate GOP leaders last week, when she blasted them in an e-mail to more than three dozen journalists.A quick review: The clash occurred shortly after Republican leaders banned Roach from...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2008

Lieutenant governor to be knighted...

His name's Brad, but you can call him Don.Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, the second-longest-serving elected official in the statehouse, is about to be granted The Royal Order of Isabel la Catolica on behalf of his majesty the King Juan Carlos I de Borbon.Translation: Owen will...

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THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2008

A loyalty oath?

I really didn't plan to write about this again, but it turns out that state Sen. Pam Roach was dsciplined for excessive demands on Senate staffers and apparently asking them to vow an oath of loyalty to her.Really.Click here for the story, from the TNT.

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2008

Olympia, Spokane among Forbes' best...

Olympia is the eighth best place in the country for business and careers, and Spokane is ninth, according to new rankings from Forbes.com. Seattle's 20th, and Tacoma's 43rd.The ratings were based on the cost of doing business, job growth, and the educational attainment of residents,...

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Even after the session, SB 6900 lives on...

As lawmakers prepare their post-session fliers – paid for by you – you can expect to yet again hear scary things about a bill that would have charged Washingtonians a yearly fee based on engine size.Senate Bill 6900, as I've written here before, was dead...

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TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2008

"Exposed his backside" allegations "factually deceptive"

The Tacoma News Tribune's Niki Sullivan tonight posted excerpts from a unusual e-mail apparently sent by Sen. Pam Roach. It blasts Republican leaders in the Senate, notably Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla.Roach says her caucus leaders are attacking fellow Republican senators "to stifle...

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WOW....

From The Associated Press:The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld the state of Washington's open primary election system, a setback for the Republican and Democratic political parties in the state.By a 7-2 vote, the court says the state may use a primary system that allows the...

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MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2008

And it's a wrap...

After a three-month flurry of activity, much of the state Capitol is back to the ghost-town-like atmosphere is exudes for much of the year.Gone are the lobbyists who crowded around the House and Senate doors, frantically scribbling notes to lawmakers. Gone are the rallies on...

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TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 2008

To confirm, Orr not...

In Washington, the governor appoints hundreds of people to all manner of boards and commissions. There's the affordable housing advisory board, the Interagency Committee of State Employed Women, even a committee charged with looking after the capitol furniture.Many must be confirmed by the state Senate....

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Of clam chowder, explosives, and towel fees...

All of which you'll get to if you click on the jump link below.From this morning's print edition:Maybe it's not a coincidence that House Bill 3381 mentions the word "explosives" 16 times.State lawmakers Monday night found themselves faced with an unpalatable prospect in a big...

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MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2008

Budget deal details trickling out...

The House and Senate have just about agreed on a final budget deal, key lawmakers say.Some of the main points:How much to leave in state savings: For months Gov. Chris Gregoire and legislative budget writers have been weighing how much to leave in savings this...

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Among the proposed tax breaks: one for newspapers

A labor lobbyist just emailed, challenging capitol reporters to write about a tax break for their own industry: newspapers. Fair enough.House Bill 2585 would give newspaper companies a $946,000 tax break in this budget cycle, rising to $1.4 million annually next year, according to state...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 7, 2008

Meanwhile, in Aisle 5...

Think of it: You go to the supermarket, and en route from the carrots to the fish sticks, you stop and…Drink some beer.Yup. Barring an unexpected legislative hiccup, a handful of grocery stores across the state will offer shoppers free wine and beer samples, starting...

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THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2008


Trying not Toulouse the order...

The surest legislation in Olympia: The House economic development committee will on Friday hold a hearing on late-breaking HB 4034, a request for the president and Congress to halt the Air Force's move to order dozens of foreign-made tankers and "reconsider" the order "in the...

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 2008

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




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