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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Capitol Building

Special Session: Afternoon activity for Senate panel

OLYMPIA — It's a sunny day, at least outside the Capitol. As for inside, the outlook may depend on the outcome of this afternoon's Senate Ways and Means Committee hearing, where the growing list includes the operating budget passed yesterday in the House, along with a list of reforms being negotiated between the two parties.

The agenda has been fluid since the meeting was announced yesterday with both time and bills “to be announced.” The blanks began being filled in late yesterday afternoon and Chairman Ed Murray said this morning the operating budget would be added to it.

Senate Democrats are also talking about floor votes Saturday on bills that come out of that committee. But the budget may need significant revisions in order to pass. It's essentially the same one Senate Republicans and their breakway Democratic allies trashed earlier in the week.

Among the reforms being negotiated are changes to the state pension system, combining school employees' health insurance with the state system to save money and eliminating Initiative 728 (the smaller classroom size law passed in 2000 by voters).

That last one is still in the House, which has votes later today.

What do you do on Earth Hour?

Turn out the lights.

Or at least, that’s what will happen at the Capitol Building in Olympia and City Hall in Spokane from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. It’s part of a worldwide observance of Earth Hour.

Not to be confused with Earth Day, which is in April. (And considering that the Earth is, like, the only planet we have, shouldn’t it at least get a month? But don’t let’s go down that road…)

The Capitol dome lights will go off for that hour, and Washington residents are being encouraged to turn their lights off then, too, in a show of support. (At the rate the Legislature is going, one might argue the lights could stay out in that part of the Capitol for days, and no one would notice.)

Gov. Chris Gregoire will sign a proclamation supporting Earth Hour, although it’s not quite clear if she’ll sign it by candle light, kerosene lantern, or just have someone flick their lighter until it’s signed. Or everyone could just open their cell phone, and the screen glow will light the room.

Spokane City Hall, the Clocktower in Riverfront Park and the Pavilion will also be lights out at that time at the direction of Mayor Mary Verner.

So if you’re out and about on Saturday evening, and the light on a public building suddenly go off, it’s not a sign that someone forgot to pay their Avista bill.

 

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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