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Spin Control 2014 Washington Legislature archive

FRIDAY, JAN. 31, 2014

WA Lege Day 19: College aid bills pass

OLYMPIA -- In a display of almost blinding speed, the Senate could vote today on a bill to expand some college aid to students who are longtime residents but not citizens. Generally known as the Dream Act, it was a hot topic last year, passing...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 30, 2014

Carrot or stick to fight pot business bans?

OLYMPIA – Legislators are trying to decide whether to offer a carrot or use a stick against local governments that don’t want to let recreational marijuana businesses set up shop inside their borders. The carrot: Offering up some of the taxes those businesses will be...

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

Palouse Falls pitched for state recognition

Washtucna Elementary students ask House Government Operations Committee to name a state waterfall. OLYMPIA – Washington has a state bird, a state flower, a state tree, a state fossil and state song, and a host of other official state items. Why not a state waterfall?...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 29, 2014

Gun initiatives get second hearing 

OLYMPIA – A pair of initiatives on gun control had their second and likely last hearing Wednesday with supporters and opponents disagreeing sharply on when giving a gun to another person would require a background check. Wednesday’s hearing by the Senate Law and Justice Committee...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 28, 2014

Giffords: 'Be bold', pass gun control measure 

OLYMPIA – Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords urged legislators to “be bold, be courageous” and require wider background checks on gun sales. Gun rights advocates urged them to protect constitutional rights and pass a competing initiative. But even before testimony began in the packed hearing room...

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MONDAY, JAN. 27, 2014

WA Lege Day 15: Panel OKs tougher DUI laws

OLYMPIA – A pair of proposals for tougher drunk driving laws were sent to the budget writers Monday to figure out how the state might pay for more people serving time. One proposal would make the fourth conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol...

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WA Lege Day 15: Senate majority flexes muscle

OLYMPIA -- In the clearest example yet of what it means to have one more member of the Senate's ruling caucus, the Democratic chairman of a key committee was forced to share power with a newly elected Republican. On 26-23 votes, the Majority Coalition Caucus...

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Former Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords acknowledges members of the media Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Giffords to testify at gun initiative hearing 

Gabrielle Giffords waves to reporters earlier this month at an event to mark the third anniversary of her shooting in Arizona. OLYMPIA -- Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a shooting rampage that killed six, will testify in favor of a proposed initiative to...

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SATURDAY, JAN. 25, 2014

FRIDAY, JAN. 24, 2014

THURSDAY, JAN. 23, 2014

Medical pot bill moves to House

OLYMPIA -- A proposal to restrict medical marijuana and put it under the state Liquor Control Board was sent to the full House this morning. After adding more flexibility on the amount of the drug or number of plants a patient might have, the House...

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Panel narrowly passes Reproductive Parity Act

OLYMPIA -- With a one-vote margin, the House Health Care and Wellness Committee passed a bill that would require most insurance companies to cover abortion if they cover maternity services. HB 2148, often called the Reproductive Parity Act was denounced by opponents like Rep. Shelly...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 22, 2014

TUESDAY, JAN. 21, 2014

Medical pot bills generating rifts among patient groups 

OLYMPIA – Efforts to bring the state’s two laws on marijuana together is generating several proposals in the Legislature and rifts among the medical marijuana community. Some patients on Tuesday described a pair of bills on medical marijuana as unconstitutional intrusions, others said they were...

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MONDAY, JAN. 20, 2014

Tougher sentencing on DUI hinges on funding 

OLYMPIA – Drunk drivers could face prison on their fourth conviction – one less than Washington law currently allows – if the Legislature can find a way to pay for the extra costs for that time in state prisons and county jails. One possible source...

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WA Lege Day 8: Not a holiday in Olympia

OLYMPIA -- The Legislature meets today despite the state holiday for Martin Luther King Day. Not much floor action,but a full day of hearings on a potpourri of bills that include tougher rules for driving under the influence, changes to the state lottery, revised rules...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 17, 2014

I-522 campaign rerun on GMO salmon bill

OLYMPIA – For a while, it seemed as though someone hit the rewind button Friday in the Legislature. Last year’s ballot battle over genetically modified food was being rerun in a hearing as some fishing groups called for a ban on re-engineered salmon and others...

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OLYMPIA -- Senate Majority Floor Leader Joe Fain, R-Auburn, sports a Seattle Seahawks hood and scarf as he moves the Senate through the pro forma session Friday. A dress code that usually requires business attire on the Senate floor was relaxed to allow Seahawks jerseys and other paraphernalia or blue and green clothing. (Jim Camden)

Seahawks day at the Lege

Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, sports Seahawks attire while leading the Senate through today's pro forma session. OLYMPIA -- It is Seahawks attire day in the Capitol, where Senators and staff were allowed -- actually encouraged -- to wear team attire or team colors and a...

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WA Lege Day 5: A smorgasbord of issues

OLYMPIA -- The Legislature has a smorgasbord of issues on its hearing schedule today. Genetically modified fish. Old convictions for tribal fishing protests. Ski lift safety. EPI pens. Sexually violent predators. Crooks in body armor. All those and more will be the subjects of bills...

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