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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

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

TUESDAY, JAN. 27, 2009

Lunchtime reading for you...

What we're reading:-This analysis, by a private think tank called the Washington State Budget and Policy Center, of the differences between House Democrats' recent cost-cutting plan and a similar proposal from Gov. Chris Gregoire. Researcher Jeff Chapman concludes that the House would reduce the budget…

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House passes first bills...

Local Reps. Matt Shea and John Driscoll made their opening floor speeches Monday, making the case -- although it didn't have to be made, judging by the unanimous voice vote -- for passage of a resolution honoring the state's National Guard troops.Shea, a former company…

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MONDAY, JAN. 26, 2009



How the neighbors are doing...

CNN has an interesting map up this morning, showing unemployment rates by state.The upshot: We're no Wyoming or North Dakota (when did you last hear that?), but Washington's still doing the best on the West Coast.

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SUNDAY, JAN. 25, 2009


From the notebook...

"At this very moment, we're not losing anybody, because where would you go?" -Attorney General Rob McKenna, telling a state salary commission that he'd like to pay his lawyers more, but that the recession has curtailed turnover for now."I've never been flipped off more times…

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From the bill pile...

...comes this one, one of several dozen from Sen. Ken Jacobsen, D-Seattle:Senate Bill 5520: "An act relating to requiring agencies to provide truthful information to legislators."

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SATURDAY, JAN. 24, 2009

What we're reading...

This story, from the New York Times, notes Great Britain's diversity of unintentionally naughty place names, starting with a matter-of-fact resident of Crapstone and moving on to, well, Butt Hole Road. The latter being a reference to a barrel, thank you very much.It's a great…

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Higher ed: Cut us and it'll cost ya...

Go to any budget committee in Olympia and it will quickly become apparent that the near-universal argument for anyone seeking state money is this: "Spend on this worthy program now. You'll save money down the road."At the moment, some of the bigger voices in this…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 23, 2009

Brandland: add teachers to the state health plan...

Saying it would probably save money for schools, teachers and state government, Sen. Dale Brandland, R-Bellingham, wants to put school employees onto the state health plans.Schools would pay the same rate that state agencies do to cover their employees.As things stand now, Brandland says, schools…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 22, 2009


Pine Lodge gets a reprieve, at least...

Officials at the state Department of Corrections are backing away, at least for now, from a plan to close the only women's prison east of the Cascades: Pine Lodge.S-R writer Lisa Leinberger has the story. From it: The Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women may…

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Supremes on public records...

Justice Debra Stephens writes the majority opinion this morning in a public records case out of the state Supreme Court. Rules for the requestor in a complex case. Justice Barbara Madsen dissented, saying the ruling would upset a delicate balance between penalties for violators and…

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21, 2009

Dairy Day takes on new meaning...

From former colleague Jim Hagengruber, now at the Christian Science Monitor:REYKJAVIK, Iceland – Protesters hurled dairy products and rage at their elected leaders here during increasingly violent demonstrations this week over the handling of the country’s collapsing economy.Parliament was suspended Wednesday and the prime minister’s…

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And none for judges either...

A push to give judges a 2 percent pay raise next year died, 6 votes to 8, so the salary commission is recommending no raises for any state elected officials for the next two years. Next up: hearings around the state. But with most state…

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