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  • House group OKs estate tax rewrite

    OLYMPIA – With less than two weeks left in the special session and Gov. Jay Inslee urging them to “pick up the pace,” legislators showed some slight progress but faced …


  • Three issues at forefront of session

    OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee has shortened his top priorities on the Legislature’s “to do” list for the special session to three things: Pass an operating budget. Pass a new …


  • Washington Legislature adjourns without budget

    OLYMPIA – For the fourth time in as many years, the Legislature will go into overtime to figure out how to spend the money it collects, and how much it …


  • Washington Supreme Court rejects tax initiative

    OLYMPIA – Legislators have waited months for the Washington Supreme Court to answer a political question that has roiled the state for two decades: Can voters force them to round …


  • Gov. Jay Inslee offers jobs outline

    OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee added some specifics to his campaign themes of generating more jobs in key industries, releasing a package Wednesday of tax breaks and spending projects designed …


  • Washington school safety funding wins OK

    OLYMPIA – Washington state would spend $10 million over the next two years to protect schools as part of a construction proposal that moved quickly through the state Senate on …


  • Capital gains tax would fund school reform

    OLYMPIA – The Senate’s top Democrat will propose asking Washington voters to approve a capital gains tax on the wealthy to help pay for better schools and more affordable college …


  • New Washington state governor is sworn in

    OLYMPIA – The first day of Jay Inslee’s governorship was marked by agreement that Washington needs more jobs but not more taxes, and some disagreements over environmental and social issues.


  • Republican finds himself as head of coalition majority

    An evening last March in the state Senate was definitely a milestone for Mark Schoesler, and possibly a foreshadowing. With the help of a few defecting Democrats and a parliamentary …


  • Republicans to lead Washington Senate

    OLYMPIA – In a move variously described as an exciting opportunity for bipartisanship or a political coup, a pair of Democrats announced Monday they are joining forces with the Senate’s …


  • GOP takes control of state Senate

    A coalition of 23 Republicans and two Democrats said today they plan to take control of the Senate when it convenes next month.


  • Senior legislator Morton to retire at end of year

    OLYMPIA – Eastern Washington lost its most senior legislator Wednesday but held onto a leadership position as members of the Senate began preparing for the 2013 session. State Sen. Bob …


  • Budgeters put tough decisions on hold

    OLYMPIA – For two weeks, legislators have heard emotional, sometimes angry testimony against major cuts to state programs and in favor of raising taxes. Monday, it became apparent they will …


  • Legislative re-districting suggests impact on incumbents

    OLYMPIA – A special panel redrawing the state’s political boundaries fired the first four shots last week in the coming political battle over legislative districts. Four commissioners offered their best …


  • Some legislators opt to cut pay in solidarity

    OLYMPIA – About half of the 15 members of the Spokane-area legislative delegation have volunteered for the same 3 percent pay cut they imposed on state workers. Many who have …


  • Landers: Sportsmen fee hikes loom in Olympia

    Many loose ends still need to be tied in Olympia, but as the Washington Legislature tries to wrap up, it’s at least clear that cougar hunting with hounds has been …


  • Health care splinters GOP in Washington

    OLYMPIA – Federal health care reform may be among the most controversial issues in the nation. In many ways Washington state could be considered ground zero for that partisan debate. …


  • Suburan growth pushes legislative redistricting

    Spokane-area legislative boundaries could change significantly by next year to make up for population shifts from the city’s urban core to the suburbs. While much of the attention so far …


  • Caldwell: State lawmakers take aim at pension shortfalls

    Washington state Treasurer James McIntire last week followed through on a pledge made last fall: He and a bipartisan group of sponsors submitted a proposed constitutional amendment to the Legislature …


  • Senate delays vote on unemployment insurance rate hike

    OLYMPIA – Senate Democrats had to delay a vote Wednesday on a plan to spare businesses from millions in higher unemployment insurance taxes after Republicans said the plan didn’t help …


  • Washington has hefty agenda, but financial concerns top list

    Washington’s Legislature starts Monday with a single-mindedness even some of its most senior members have never seen. Across party lines, and between the chambers, among freshmen and veterans, few will …


  • Senate OKs sales, business tax hikes

    OLYMPIA – The Senate passed increases in state sales and business taxes Friday afternoon, sending a slightly pared-down version of its original tax package to the House, which had rejected …


  • Town’s flag honoring lauded

    OLYMPIA – The town of Fairfield takes the American flag seriously – arguably more seriously than any place else in the country. Thursday, the state saluted Fairfield for its 100 …


  • Washington Senate narrowly approves tax plan

    OLYMPIA – With not a vote to spare, Washington Senate Democrats on Sunday approved an $805 million tax package that includes hikes in sales and business taxes, sending it to …


  • Senators spar over tax hike package

    OLYMPIA – After more than four hours of sometimes contentious debate over a proposal to raise taxes on consumers and a wide range of businesses, Senate Democrats and Republicans put …


  • Senate delays vote on tax plan

    OLYMPIA – After more than four hours of sometimes contentious debate over a proposal to raise taxes on consumers and a wide range of businesses, Senate Democrats and Republicans put …


  • Senate panel OKs tax hike

    OLYMPIA – Despite warnings of wrath from voters in November, Senate Democrats moved a step closer to a vote on some $890 million in tax increases to fix the state’s …


  • Income tax put forward

    OLYMPIA – Senate Democrats may offer voters a choice: a higher sales tax or an income tax on people making more than $200,000 a year. With very short notice, the …


  • Senate Dems: Swap some sales tax for income tax on rich?

    Senate Democrats may offer voters a choice of which tax they like better: a higher sales tax or an income tax on people making more than $200,000 a year.


  • 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 …

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