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  • Washington lawmakers submit big cellphone bills

    OLYMPIA – During last year’s wrangling with budget troubles, Washington state Sen. Jerome Delvin racked up a cellphone bill that would make most users recoil – $309.21 in a single …


  • Shawn Vestal: No second thoughts for Lisa Brown

    It’s been a few weeks since Lisa Brown set off the most intense political scramble in years, when she unexpectedly announced that she would leave the state Senate. Since then, …


  • Government of the many, by the few

    Is the supermajority constitutional? A judge in King County said no this week, ruling that Initiative 1053, which requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise any tax, violated …


  • Majority leader Lisa Brown won’t seek re-election

    OLYMPIA, Wash. — Sen. Majority Leader Lisa Brown announced Thursday that she won’t run for re-election and will leave her seat in the state Legislature after her term expires at …


  • Spin Control: And please take your tired turns of phrase with you

    OLYMPIA – Now that the Legislature has wandered, bleary-eyed, out of town, would it be too much to hope they took some of their overworked phrases with them and didn’t …


  • Gregoire reading fine print

    OLYMPIA – Some state spending that legislators approved shortly before dawn Wednesday as part of a package deal to end the session may not survive the veto pen. Gov. Chris …


  • Both sides win issues in hard fought state budget

    OLYMPIA – For almost 91 days the Legislature wrestled with a looming budget problem. For the first 90, it was even odds, at best, whether the Legislature would win. The …


  • Shawn Vestal: Disability ‘lifestyle’ must not apply to senator

    Ever wonder who, exactly, “the most vulnerable” are? We’ve all heard of them. The “most vulnerable” are the folks who Republican budgeteers in Olympia vow to protect while they cut …


  • Search for budget deal continues on last day

    OLYMPIA — Legislative leaders and the top budget writers huddled with Gov. Chris Gregoire on the last day of the special session, continuing the search for an agreement on the …


  • Spin Control: Readers’ impasse fix: Cut off lawmakers’ pay

    OLYMPIA – The longer the Legislature goes, the more readers call with suggestions on how to make it stop. Last week even featured a candidate for lieutenant governor suggesting that …


  • Budget impasse testing tempers

    OLYMPIA – With no budget agreement and time running out in an extended session, tensions boiled over Friday evening as Senate leaders of both parties accused the other side of …


  • House Democrats pass budget proposal

    OLYMPIA – Admitting it’s not the final solution to the state’s fiscal problem but a way to “move the process forward,” House Democrats passed and sent to the Senate a …


  • Deal on state budget remains elusive

    OLYMPIA – With less than a week remaining in a special session designed to solve a billion-dollar budget problem, House Democrats pushed out a new state spending proposal and a …


  • First public action in weeks on Washington budget

    OLYMPIA – With barely a week left in the special session, most legislators return to the Capitol today for the first public budget action since the special session started March …


  • Spin Control: Gregoire relents, signs scores of bills

    OLYMPIA – In the list of threats a Washington governor can hurl at a recalcitrant Legislature, “I won’t sign your bills” has proved to be among the least menacing. Gov. …


  • Budget deal may be near

    OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire lifted her self-imposed boycott of bill signings Thursday and said legislators could be close to reaching a deal on cuts to the state’s operating budget. …


  • Gregoire inks health reform

    OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire and other Democratic officials marked Friday’s second anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act – which Republicans prefer to call Obamacare – with …


  • Special food aid on state cutting block

    OLYMPIA – For 15 years, Washington has helped thousands of people the federal government wouldn’t, providing food assistance to legal immigrants struggling to survive in America. That includes residents of …


  • Spin Control: ‘Media’ negotiations are only problem when they don’t work

    OLYMPIA – “I’m not going to negotiate in the news media.” Politicians at all levels love to utter that sentence – when it’s to their advantage.


  • Senate GOP unveils new budget plan

    OLYMPIA – For the first three days of Washington’s special session, everything involving the state’s troubled budget was done behind closed doors. That went by the wayside Thursday. Senate Republicans …


  • Special session gets going

    OLYMPIA – With no fanfare and few lawmakers present, the Washington Legislature began its special session Monday to find a way to fill a hole of about $1.5 billion in …


  • Legislature braces for remaining budget work

    OLYMPIA – For all the criticism heaped on the Washington Legislature for what it didn’t do – fix a yawning gap of more than $1 billion in the state’s main …


  • Both sides guilty of budget-balancing gimmickry

    Amid all the talk of gimmicks wafting out of Olympia these days, it’s important to remember that everybody hates them. Everybody loves sound budgeting, everybody hates a gimmick, and everybody …


  • Lawmakers at budget impasse

    OLYMPIA – The Legislature is headed into overtime over its troubled budget, although like most things dealing with spending this year, there are significant disagreements on the whats and whens …


  • Senate budget includes funds for Sally’s

    Funding for the Salvation Army’s Sally’s House, a safe harbor for children who have been abused or neglected, or whose parents have been jailed, was included in a budget passed …


  • Bill protects charity aid for eyes, ears

    OLYMPIA – The Legislature gave final approval this week to a bill that will allow charities like the Union Gospel Mission to distribute used eyeglasses. After several trips back and …


  • Special session now looms

    OLYMPIA – The Legislature seemed headed for a special session Monday as leaders of both parties agreed it will be all but impossible in the time remaining to negotiate a …


  • Washington Senate OKs GOP budget

    OLYMPIA – A $30 billion budget drafted by minority Republicans passed the Senate early Saturday morning after more than nine hours of sometimes contentious debate and parliamentary maneuvering. That spending …


  • Beaver relocation effort garners bipartisan support

    OLYMPIA – Beavers making a nuisance of themselves in Western Washington could be relocated to areas in Eastern Washington that need their help in damming streams, but the furry critters …


  • Senate Democrats offer state budget

    OLYMPIA – Democrats in control of the state Senate want fewer cuts in key programs than there were in the budgets proposed last year by Gov. Chris Gregoire and earlier …

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