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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control archive for April 2013

MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013

Cost of a special session? It depends

OLYMPIA – Before a special session was called Sunday for the Legislature to finish such important tasks as setting the state’s two-year operating budget, legislative leaders and Gov. Jay Inslee seemed to agree on one thing: it would cost taxpayers $11,000 a day. If history…

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Two forms of ID, please 

WASHINGTON — A change in Pentagon security procedures almost derailed Spokane's most recent formal pitch for new refueling tankers to land at Fairchild Air Force Base. A group of city business and political leaders were in Washington, D.C. last week to meet with lawmakers and…

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SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 2013

Lege adjourns, but they'll be back

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 should collect. Gov. Jay Inslee said he wants budget negotiators to stay in Olympia to…

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Senate OKs change to I-502 

With remarkable speed, the Legislature approved a technical change in the state’s new legalized marijuana law that takes the plant’s chemistry into account. The biggest obstacle may have been the reading of the bill title in the Senate, where official reader Ken Edmonds stumbled over…

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FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 2013

House passes quick fix to pot law 

OLYMPIA -- Working with uncharacteristic speed, both chambers cleared the way for a special vote to change in the state's marijuana, and the House gave the bill near-unanimous approval. The problem with the state's legal definition of marijuana was discovered in the last week, as…

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House votes to take up pot definitions

OLYMPIA -- Time is running out in the session, but the House voted overwhelmingly today to consider a new bill to fix a problem with the state's new marijuana law. As explained in a previous post, the definition from Initiativee 502 of what makes a…

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WA Lege Day 103. . . and counting

OLYMPIA -- With a special session all but a foregone conclusion, some legislators might be wishing they were anywhere but here. Partially granting that wish, it is Hawaiian music day in the Capitol, with guitars and ukeleles strumming, hula dancers in the Rotunda, and leis…

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Wolf control rules expected Friday

OLYMPIA – New rules for dealing with wolf attacks on livestock and domestic animals, which seemed stalled in the Legislature, may be announced as early as today a result of action by key legislators and a state commission. Today, the House gave final approval to…

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Some pot prosecutions in doubt 

OLYMPIA -- Prosecutions in some marijuana cases are grinding to a halt in Washington, a result of a glitch in a new law, a lack of equipment at the state crime lab and the basic chemistry of the oft-discussed weed. The Washington State Patrol Crime…

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House passes tax bill

OLYMPIA -- Democrats in the House pushed through a $900 million package of tax changes they say is designed to improve public schools, but Republicans insisted were job-killers. On a 50-47 vote, it passed and sent to the Senate a bill that repeals or narrows…

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House takes up tax bill

OLYMPIA -- The House is debating a package of tax changes that would raise about $900 million over the next two years by closing or reducing some tax exemptions, credits and preferences. There are only a few amendments. The first, by Democrats, to give non-residents…

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GOP: We could still finish on time. Maybe.

OLYMPIA -- The Legislature might still finish on time Sunday, even though the House and Senate have two very different budget proposals and disagreements on some key policy issues, Republican leaders of the Legislature and the Democrat who heads up the Senate's majority coalition said…

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OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee tells reporters a special session will likely be needed to finish the Legislature's work. (Jim Camden)

Inslee: Odds favor special session

Gov. Inslee explains why he thinks Legislature will need more time. OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee all but conceded the Legislature will need a special session to finish work on budgets and key issues like education. "I think we'd have to draw to an inside…

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Beer tax hike among those dropped by House

OLYMPIA – Some businesses and their customers could see higher taxes starting this summer as the state tries to increase the money it spends on public schools, but beer makers and the folks who consume their product aren’t likely to be among them. A key…

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WA Lege Day 100: Autopsy bill passes

OLYMPIA – Spokane County’s medical examiners may soon have no legal barrier that stops them from talking about the results of investigations into deaths that involve actions by law enforcement officers. A unanimous Senate Tuesday passed a bill allowing them to discuss the results of…

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House panel revises, passes tax hikes

OLYMPIA -- Democrats on the House Finance Committee approved a $900 million package of tax increases this morning designed to pay for increases in public school programs. Republicans voted no, saying the state should increase money for schools without raising taxes. On an 8-5 vote,…

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MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

Council considers blocking citizen initiatives 

Signatures on petitions in support of two proposed citizens’ initiatives in Spokane will be counted and verified. But council members hinted Monday that they may block the proposals from the ballot even if activists collected enough support. The Spokane City Council voted 6-0 on Monday…

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Senate votes to shift school funds

OLYMPIA -- The Senate voted to tap a trust fund set up for school construction to help pay for other education programs and make its budget proposal balance, despite warnings it was full of "gimmicks." Minority Democrats tried unsuccessfully to block some of the accounting…

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Close vote on changes for part-time state workers 

OLYMPIA -- A proposal to allow the state and local school districts to have their part-time workers get medical insurance through "Obamacare" barely cleared the Senate today. Senate Bill 5905, which allows the state and school districts to bargain with their part-timers to be switched…

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SUNDAY, APRIL 21, 2013


Sunday Spin: Parity bill cut off at cutoff

OLYMPIA – The Legislature has a variety of deadlines designed to winnow down the thousands of bills introduced in any given session to a few hundred that actually require everyone to cast a vote. These deadlines, known as cutoffs, generally require a bill to prove…

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.

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