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Spin Control 2014 Washington Legislature archive

FRIDAY, FEB. 14, 2014

School bills move through Legislature

OLYMPIA -- Washington schools would be required to protect students against emotional bullying, keep more data on homeless students and test out whether extra days would help some students retain more from one year to the next under bills that advanced Friday. . . To...

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WA Lege Day 33: V-Day, as in votes 

OLYMPIA -- Legislators are spending Valentine's Day moving as many bills as possible through their respective chambers. Eastern Washington members may not be home in time for a romantic dinner with their significant others, but may get the rest of the weekend off. Why the...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 13, 2014

Senate majority offers roads package 

OLYMPIA -- The coalition controlling the Senate released a $12 billion transportation package that would raise gasoline taxes by 11.5 cents over three years and finish several major projects, including Spokane's North-South Freeway. They said they have support from 13 of their members -- or...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 12, 2014

Execution moratorium misuse of power, Republicans say

OLYMPIA -- Legislative Republicans accused Gov. Jay Inslee of misusing his power by announcing a blanket moratorium on all executions during his term. "It's the Legislature that decides whether (capital punishment) is an appropriate policy," Sen. Steve O'Ban, R-University Place, said, while a governor has...

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OLYMPIA -- Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, calls for support of a bill that would require state agencies to use products free of PCBs when they are available. (Jim Camden)

Do yellow highway stripes contain PCB?

Sen. Andy Billig plugs bill limiting products with PCBs. OLYMPIA -- State agencies would be required to buy products that are free of cancer-causing PCBs if they are available under a bill approved today by the Senate. The proposal is a way to reduce the...

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OLYMPIA -- Washtucna Elementary School students ask a House Committee to name Palouse Falls the official state waterfall. (Jim Camden)

House passes Palouse Falls bill

Washtucna elementary students pitched Palouse Falls at House committee hearing last month. OLYMPIA -- Palouse Falls would become the official state waterfall under a bill receiving unanimous approval in the House today. The proposal originated with students at Washtucna Elementary School as a way to...

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WA Lege Day 31: A day of votes

OLYMPIA -- Both chambers are expected to spend much of Wednesday voting on bills that have been sent to them by the various committees that spent the first half of this session reviewing legislation. Initial lists from the Senate call for votes on ski lift...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 11, 2014

WA Lege Day 30: Halfway mark

OLYMPIA -- The Legislature hits the midway point today, which is also the final day for bills that cost money or affect taxes to get out of the committees in charge of those topics. Any legislation that doesn't make that deadline is likely dead for...

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MONDAY, FEB. 10, 2014

Oil transport bill gets committee OK

OLYMPIA -- The public would have access to more information about crude oil moving through the state by rail or barge under a proposal sent to the House Monday. On a mostly partisan 18-12 vote, the House Appropriations Committee sent HB 2347 to the committee...

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WA Lege Day 29: Left-turning motorcycles

OLYMPIA -- Motorcyclists could turn left at an intersection if the traffic light doesn't give them the green arrow after a complete cycle under a bill that received strong support from the Senate. SB 5141 would change state traffic laws to account for a problem...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 8, 2014

Sunday Spin: Representation v. judgment 

OLYMPIA – For about 30 minutes last week, the Senate rang with debate on an issue at the very heart of our democratic republic. The resolution at hand was a constitutional amendment requiring the Legislature to come up with a two-thirds supermajority to enact tax...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 7, 2014

Tuition caps for state colleges rejected

OLYMPIA -- An effort to put firm limits on future tuition hikes at state colleges and universities was scuttled Thursday as a key Senate committee replaced the idea with a task force that could make recommendations to the governor. Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, proposed Senate...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 6, 2014

Signature gatherers could need to register

OLYMPIA -- Paid signature-gatherers for statewide ballot measures would need to register with the Secretary of State and their employers would need to conduct background checks before hiring them under a bill approved Thursday by a House panel. They would have to sign a statement...

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2/3rds for taxes amendment fails in Senate

OLYMPIA -- The Senate turned down a proposed constitutional amendment that would have required a two-thirds majority to raise taxes, failing to give it that same two-thirds approval on the vote. Supporters insisted "the will of the people" dictated that the Senate pass the amendment...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 4, 2014

Legislature wrestles with oil train proposals

OLYMPIA – The Legislature took some tentative steps Tuesday to demand more information and develop stricter controls on crude oil moving through the state by rail and barge. But unlike the Spokane City Council, which Monday night voted unanimously to request more controls on the...

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WA Lege Day 23: Health care, oil trains, minimum wage

OLYMPIA -- Legislators have a full day of hearings with a wide range of topics today,including proposals for health insurance changes, restrictions on oil trains and minimum wage. The Senate Health Care Committee considers several bills on insurance, including one that would allow Washington residents...

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MONDAY, FEB. 3, 2014

Committee moves bill to cut high court down to 7  

OLYMPIA – A plan to reduce the size of the state Supreme Court by two justices was praised as a money saver and criticized as payback for decisions some legislators don’t like. The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, would cut the nine-member court...

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WA Lege Day 22: An unelected insurance commissioner?

OLYMPIA -- Clashes over Obamacare helped spawn a proposal to end Washington state's 65-year-old system of electing an insurance commissioner, replacing it with an appointed board who would select someone for the job. Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville and the chairwoman of the Senate Health Care...

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Telephone town hall tonight in 7th Lege District

The 7th Legislative District's delegation is the most recent group to schedule a telephone town hall meeting. They'll be phoning in tonight. The district's three Republicans, Sen. Brian Dansel of Republic, and Reps. Joel Kretz, Wauconda, and Shelly Short, Addy, will be on the line...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 1, 2014

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