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WA Lege Day 9: Marches and budgets

OLYMPIA -- The Legislature and the people who want it to do something will be kicked into a higher gear today as abortion opponents and social activists will both hold marches in the afternoon.

House Democrats will release their counter to Gov. Chris Gregoire's supplemental budget, which will cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the general operating budget in an effort to keep it out of the red.

Gregoire and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will hold a conference call with reporters to explain why they think it would be a bad idea for the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal last year's health care reforms, a law which Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna is among those challenging in federal court.

The annual March for Life starts at noon on the Capitol's north steps. (Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to the sponsor. The event is sponsored by Washington State March for Life.) There appears to be a problem with the formal announcement sent out over the weekend, which appears as though it was cut and pasted from last year without any editing. It mentions Art Coday and Clint Didier running against Sen. Patty Murray and  describes John Ahern as "running to regain  his seat". 

The Service Employees International Union will gather at 1 p.m. on the other side of the Capitol, at the sundial, and march to the offices of the Association of Washington Business to protest cuts to state social programs that aren't being matched by any plan to cut tax breaks for businesses.

Meanwhile, the state Ground Water Association has a rig set up on the Capitol Campus for what it refers to as "Ground Water Day on the Hill."

In other news, the four voting members of the state's Redistricting Commission were sworn in this morning and will hold their first official meeting. They have to pick a fifth non-voting member to serve as chairman or chairwoman.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.