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  • Lean budget squeaks by Senate

    OLYMPIA – With the bare minimum votes needed and debate over taxes yet to come, Senate Democrats passed a general fund budget Saturday designed to close the state’s $2.8 billion …


  • ‘People’s will’ reigns in lawmakers’ locution

    OLYMPIA – Three weeks of debate over suspending Initiative 960 can be distilled to this: If you change an initiative, you are crushing the will of the people. Not if …


  • Governor signs I-960 suspension

    OLYMPIA – There was no drama, but plenty of theatrics, as Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill Wednesday making it easier for the Legislature to raise taxes. Gregoire signed a …


  • Gregoire approves suspension of anti-tax law

    Gov. Chris Gregoire has approved a measure that will temporarily suspend the tax-limiting constraints placed on lawmakers by voter-approved Initiative 960.


  • Balancing the budgets: Governor, House and Senate proposals

    Washington’s Legislature must reconcile differing proposals regarding cuts and taxes. Note: Amounts may not add exactly because of smaller additions and subtractions.


  • Legislature begins reconciling budgets

    OLYMPIA – With just over two weeks remaining in the session, Democrats in both houses of the Washington Legislature released plans Tuesday to cut programs and raise taxes to fill …


  • Senate Dems: Sales tax hike would help balance cuts

    Senate Democrats unveiled a budget proposal that calls for a three-tenths of 1 cent sales tax hike for the next three years, an extra $1 per pack for cigarettes and …


  • Senate OKs curb on I-960 for third time

    OLYMPIA – For the third time in three weeks, the state Senate voted to suspend a state law that requires a two-thirds majority for any tax increase. The arguments from …


  • Transportation panel opposes tax increase

    OLYMPIA – Leaders of the Senate Transportation Committee added their voices Monday to the chorus opposing a tax increase that could add 3 cents to a gallon of gasoline. A …


  • State senate approves I-960 suspension for the third time

    OLYMPIA — The Washington state Senate voted for the third time to suspend some requirements of Initative 960, including the two-thirds supermajority needed to raise taxes.


  • Spin Control: Focused taxes will fix budget crunch

    OLYMPIA – The Legislature is moving toward a fight over taxes that will ultimately come down to which ones to raise. Although Republicans and some Democrats will say “none,” odds …


  • State’s health fund shrinks

    OLYMPIA – The fund that covers state workers’ health care is strapped for cash because the state cut its premium payments by hundreds of millions of dollars, using that money …


  • Wash. state workers’ health care fund strapped

    OLYMPIA – The fund that covers state workers’ health care is strapped for cash because the state cut its premium payments by hundreds of millions of dollars, using that money …


  • U.S. rep. gives budget warning

    OLYMPIA – Washington state should not use federal stimulus money to fill its budget gap, a Republican congresswoman said this week. Instead, it should make tough choices to cut or …


  • Gregoire lays out tax plan

    OLYMPIA – Washington should tax candy, bottled water and soda, and raise taxes on toxic substances like petroleum as part of a “balanced approach” to the worst economic times in …


  • House votes to suspend I-960

    OLYMPIA – Debate over the need for supermajorities to raise taxes stretched into its second night Wednesday in the House of Representatives and invoked everything from the Gospel to the …


  • House votes to suspend I-960

    Debate over the need for supermajorities to raise taxes stretched into its second night Wednesday in the House of Representatives and invoked everything from the Gospel to the law of …


  • Wash. Senate approves tuition control to 3 schools

    The state Senate voted late Monday to hand its tuition-setting authority over to the leaders of the three largest universities.


  • Budget forecast darkens

    OLYMPIA – The state’s projected budget gap grew by about $200 million Friday. Chief economic forecaster Arun Raha said revenue won’t be off that much, but the state is expecting …


  • Washington House bill limits patients’ outings

    OLYMPIA – A unanimous House on Wednesday restricted outings by patients confined to state mental hospitals if those patients have been found not guilty by reason of insanity. The legislation …


  • House bill seeks sales tax increase

    OLYMPIA – A proposal to raise the state sales tax by 1 cent, and tie it to high levels of unemployment, was introduced Thursday in the state House of Representatives. …


  • McCaslin hospitalized, may miss remainder of session

    OLYMPIA – Bob McCaslin, the state senator and Spokane Valley city councilman, was hospitalized Thursday after experiencing shortness of breath and dizziness. He needs an aortic valve replacement and may …


  • Senate votes to suspend I-960

    Over vocal objections from Republicans, Senate Democrats suspended all provisions of Initiative 960 through July 1, 2011.


  • Senators wrangle into night on I-960

    OLYMPIA – The Senate was forced to work late into the night to fix a self-inflicted problem in the Democrats’ key bill thus far this legislative session. After voting Tuesday …


  • Senate suspends part of I-960

    OLYMPIA – The Legislature would be able to raise taxes this session and next with a simple majority vote under a bill approved Tuesday in the state Senate. In the …


  • Wash. Senate OKs lowering hurdle for tax raises

    The Legislature would be able to raise taxes this session and next with a simple majority vote under a bill approved Tuesday in the state Senate.


  • Panel OKs tax increase reform

    OLYMPIA – A plan that would make it easier to raise taxes cleared a key Senate panel Monday and is ready for its first full floor debate. Republicans on the …


  • Costly study didn’t list Pine Lodge for closure

    OLYMPIA – Last year, the Legislature spent $500,000 for a consultant to tell Washington state which prisons should close and which should stay open. The consultant released his study in …


  • Bikers push bill banning profiling past House panel

    OLYMPIA – One of the surest things about this legislative session is that police officers will be honored. The only real question is how many proposals – from better pension …


  • Wash. Senate toughens state cell phone driving law

    The Washington state Senate has taken action against distracted drivers, passing a measure Friday that makes it easier for police to ticket people who are driving while either texting or …

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