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SEATTLE – Gov. Chris Gregoire’s goal of not raising college tuition over the next two years is not sitting well with the leaders of Washington’s universities, who say the proposal fails to recognize the budget problems they face. A decade ago, state dollars paid about 70 percent of the cost to educate an undergraduate student and tuition covered most of the rest. Those numbers have now flipped.
OLYMPIA – Gov.-elect Jay Inslee has hired an Olympia headhunting firm to find the best people to lead Washington’s top agencies in his administration. Inslee has told all of Gov. Chris Gregoire’s Cabinet members that they will need to reapply for their jobs if they want to continue leading a state agency, the Olympian reported Saturday.
SEATTLE – People in Washington decided that marijuana, long derided as a dangerous drug that could lead to more harmful addictions, wasn’t so bad after all. Initiative 502, legalizing pot for adults, was easily approved in November and that sweeping change to drug policy was voted the state’s top news story of 2012 by Associated Press member editors. The other top news items of the past 12 months included another vote by Washingtonians, this one affirming gay people’s right to marry, as well as the expensive, hard-fought governor’s race, a local soldier accused of massacring civilians in Afghanistan and large, destructive wildfires in central and Eastern Washington.
Attorney General Rob McKenna plans to join a private law firm after he leaves office in January and says it’s too early to say whether he might make another run for governor.
OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire proposed two lame-duck budgets Tuesday for her successor and the next Legislature to consider. One cuts programs to stay within the revenue the state expects to collect; the other adds some programs it may need to improve public schools, and would need some extra tax revenue. Neither her successor, Jay Inslee, nor the 2013 Legislature are obligated to follow either plan; on Tuesday they showed little interest in the proposed tax increases.
OLYMPIA – Even without the final spending tallied, this year’s Washington governor’s race was the most expensive in state history, and outside independent groups spent record amounts trying to persuade residents to vote against Jay Inslee or Rob McKenna. Post-election reports filed this week with the state Public Disclosure Commission show the Inslee and McKenna campaigns spent a combined $25.7 million to be Washington’s next governor. Including other candidates that were eliminated in the primary and money spent by incumbent Chris Gregoire before she opted out of the race, spending hit nearly $26.2 million, passing the record set in 2008 by nearly $1 million.
SEATTLE – If pollster Matt Barreto is right, then Latino voters in Washington were one of the key factors in Gov.-elect Jay Inslee’s win over Republican candidate Rob McKenna. Barreto estimates that about 140,000 Latinos voted in these past elections. While there were no wide-ranging exit polls conducted here, by pooling polls Barreto roughly projects that Latinos in Washington broke similarly – about 3 to 1 – for the Democrat Inslee as they did for President Barack Obama.
If pollster Matt Barreto is right, then Latino voters in Washington were one of the key factors in Gov.-elect Jay Inslee’s win over Republican candidate Rob McKenna.
A familiar post-election refrain, as predictable as swallows returning to Capistrano or Cougar fans pinning their Apple Cup hopes on bad weather in Pullman, sounded last week. The amount of time Washington takes to count its ballots and settle elections predictably irked several politicians. The Secretary of State-elect Kim Wyman, Washington’s election chief in waiting, wants to require all ballots to be in elections officials’ hands by Election Day. State Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, said she’d introduce legislation to do just that.
OLYMPIA – Washington faces a $900 million budget hole through 2015, a slightly smaller one for the Legislature to fill than previously thought, thanks to a slowly recovering economy. Gov.-elect Jay Inslee, a Democrat, reiterated Wednesday he plans to do that without a tax increase, a sentiment seconded a few hours later by Republicans on the state’s Economic Forecast Council when it received the latest projection of money coming into and going out of the state coffers for the next four years.
Former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, who promised to help solve Washington’s budget woes and boost its economy by trimming government and targeting industries of the future, will be the state’s next governor. Although elections officials may not know the final results of Inslee’s high-stakes battle with Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna for more than a week, McKenna acknowledged Friday evening that he would not be able to close the gap.