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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2005

Give 'em some credit...

Gov. Christine Gregoire signed into law this week a bill that would require colleges to exercise more control over who's marketing credit cards to their students on campus."Where were you when I was in college?" Gregoire said to the bill's sponsors as she signed the…

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THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2005

Ed-gar...

For better or for worse, "love" is not a word that makes it into many statehouse speeches. Yet it -- and many other fond words -- came up when the most beloved Seattle Mariner stopped by the capitol recently for a resolution in his honor.Edgar…

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King for a day, or two...

Spokane gets a new state senator this week, if only for a couple of days.The guy who'd normally be in the seat -- Sen. Brad Benson -- will trade his legislative suit and tie for chem gear as he reverts to Maj. Benson at his…

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, 2005

Giving it the old college try...

Washington State University supporters tried Wednesday morning to tack an amendment onto the House construction budget to fund WSU's top priority: a $57 million biotech research center in Pullman."We are, I think, making a tremendous error in this budget in not funding the bio/life-sciences building…

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FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2005


Senate flares over stem-cell research...

The state Senate -- which, like most senates, has the reputation of being the cooler-headed "more deliberative" chamber -- nonetheless turned quite hot on Friday morning when the topic turned to embryonic stem cell research. Below is an abbreviated version of the floor debate.The bill…

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Gas pains...

"There's never a shortage of people to come and praise raising taxes when they know they're on the receiving end." --- Sen. Brad Benson, R-Spokane, on support from mass-transit groups and road contractors for a $9 billion transportation tax hike proposed by the state Senate.

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TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2005

Google in your back yard...

The online search company Google has put searchable satellite photos online at http://maps.google.com/ . (Type a location into the search box and click on "satellite.")The images vary in resolution. If you're looking for a photo of the state capitol, it's pretty blurry. But the images…

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On the hazards of the links...

"Golf clubs coming out and acting like spears, all kinds of things could be happening." -- Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, explaining why she voted against EHB 1246, which requires motorists who mount household stereo speakers in their truck bed or car back seat to bolt…

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FRIDAY, APRIL 1, 2005

Mooooving the budget...

"A herd of sacred cows is still grazing on the lawn here." -- Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, on the Democrat-written Senate budget proposal. Republicans had argued unsuccessfully for more budget cuts.

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The state of the estate...

Here's a fact that's rarely mentioned in the debate over reinstating Washington's estate tax: very few people would actually have to pay it.The state Supreme Court in January tossed out the tax, saying it was based on a federal version that's now suspended. Gov. Gregoire…

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We could not help but notice...

The "Education Governor's" legacy took a hit last week, as Senate budget writers axed not one but two of former Gov. Gary Locke's pet programs. They also pared down a third.The Reading Corps, a program that matches struggling students with volunteer tutors, was eliminated completely…

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FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2005

Drink up...

One of the most interesting things Gov. Christine Gregoire mentioned in a meeting last week with the Spokesman-Review's editorial board was that until a week and a half ago, her budget proposal included a tax on soda pop.It's not a new idea. Former Gov. Gary…

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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2005

Welcome to our e-mail in-box...

"Gregoire budget reverses some cuts to state's most vulnerable""New taxes, gimmicks in Gregoire budget disappoint Republican fiscal leaders""Governor's budget a `half step' in the right direction""Gregoire breaks campaign pledge, moves to raise taxes""Gregoire plays budget shell games to avoid vote of the people""Gregoire budget contains…

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THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2005

Of monkeys and fear...

"Sure we monkeyed with it. Both sides of the aisle monkeyed with it. But we did it with fear and trepidation." -- Sen. Dan Swecker, R-Rochester, acknowledging the fact that both Republicans and Democrats have stretched the state's spending limit in recent years.

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A tax menu...

Late last November, the state Department of Revenue prepared a document called "Estimated Impact of Major Revenue Alternatives" for lawmakers.The five-page document is essentially a menu of 156 possible tax increases: if you do X, it generates $Y.Here are a few of the examples that…

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Re: the ratio of generals to privates...

"Some of it has been favoritism, some of it has been empire-building, and some of it has been `Well, we think they should have higher status.'" -Tim Welch, spokesman for the Washington Federation of State Employees, on the union's theory of why the state's Washington…

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THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 2005

Getting a tax break -- and then some...

"It turns out that in our zeal to look out for taxpayers, we've sometimes given them two tax exemptions for one activity."Rep. Jim McIntire, D-Seattle, urging colleagues to vote to repeal a dozen outdated and redundant tax breaks.Among them: an exemption from penalties for late…

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Batting one in...

After four years of watching every bill he proposed founder and die, Rep. John Ahern this week managed a victory.The House of Representatives has passed his House bill 1453, which would erase any statute of limitations for first- and second-degree rape of a child. State…

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MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2005

What was left on the cutting-room floor...

As legislative deadlines hit, more and more bills are getting killed. Here, for example, is a sampler of (largely-Republican) bills that have died in the Senate:-SB 5905: To allow immediate eviction of tenants committing crimes or "unlawful civil disruptions."-SB 5078: Canceling all voter registrations and…

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TUESDAY, MARCH 1, 2005

But sorry, still no Prada...

Want to give your favorite state elected official or state worker a nice gift, but just can't seem to find anything under $50?You're in luck. The state House of Representatives is considering HB 2089, which would raise the bar for such gifts to $75. As…

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MONDAY, FEB. 28, 2005

The dogs of war may get their day...

Twenty state senators are asking the president and Congress to authorize a war dog memorial in the nation's capital.Tens of thousands of such dogs were trained for scouting, guarding, tracking, detecting mines, flushing out tunnels, carrying messages and sniffing out bombs from World War I…

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Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.