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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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With Initiative 1433, Washington voters could increase minimum wage to $13.50 and mandate paid sick leave

The effects of raising the minimum wage through I-1433 are hard to predict.

O’Quinn deserves second term

O’Quinn is a strong defender of the collaboration between GSI, which represents business interests, and the county’s economic development efforts

Mike Volz, Lynnette Vehrs grapple for House seat left vacant by Rep. Kevin Parker

After a tumultuous primary race, a retired nurse and the chief deputy treasurer for Spokane County are competing for the seat formerly held by four-term lawmaker Kevin Parker.

Crapo calls on Trump to quit race, McMorris Rodgers still supports nominee

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who has been critical of Donald Trump’s statements about women, continued that criticism Friday after audio was released by The Washington Post of the Republican nominee talking about groping women. The congresswoman did not say she’d withdraw her support for the candidate.

Retain Judges Tompkins and Sypolt

In the Superior Court races, only two of the 12 sitting judges are facing challenges. Position 10: Challenger Ward Andrews is a Gonzaga Law School graduate. He’s worked as a trial attorney in civil litigation for more than 25 years. He says he would add that expertise to the court.

McMorris Rodgers, Pakootas talk Trump, veterans’ health care and guns in televised debate

Cathy McMorris Rodgers defended her record of supporting veterans as a member of the House of Representatives against claims by Joe Pakootas she was “privatizing” the military’s health care, while Pakootas made the case for a $22 per hour minimum wage and attacked the congresswoman for her tacit support of Donald Trump.

Madsen, Yu, Larson for Washington Supreme Court

Looming large in the three Washington Supreme Court races are two rulings: One on basic education funding; the other on charter schools. Two of the incumbents, Chief Justice Barbara Madsen and Justice Charles Wiggins, sided with the majority in the 2012 McCleary ruling, which said the state was not meeting its constitutional obligation to provide ample funding for basic education. Justice Mary Yu was appointed in 2014 and was elected to a two-year term later that year. Position 1: Retired Gonzaga Law Professor David DeWolf is challenging Justice Yu. He says the court ruled incorrectly on McCleary and in the charter school case. He claims the state constitution doesn’t offer a “positive right” on education funding, calling the “ample funding” provision a preamble not a mandate. He says the entire issue should be left to legislators.

In race for central Spokane senate seat, incumbent Andy Billig faces Libertarian James Apker in friendly contest

There can be a lot of vitriol in American politics, but a race for a seat in the Washington State Senate has been amicable, mostly. “It’s refreshing that we have two candidates who have very different political views, but really get along well personally,” said Democratic Sen. Andy Billig, who is up against Libertarian James Apker in the 3rd Legislative District, covering central Spokane.

Spokane County Commission candidates debate jobs, justice, housing … and Matt Shea

In one of their first debates Monday, Shelly O’Quinn sought to defend her record on the Spokane County Commission while challenger Andrew Biviano criticized a lack of “urgency” in the county’s efforts at criminal justice reform.

6th Legislative District: Lynnette Vehrs and Mike Volz agree on the need to fully fund education, but little else

The two candidates vying for the 6th Congressional district positioned themselves as representing a continuation of Rep. Kevin Parker’s eight-years in office, and new, more liberal leadership focused largely on health care reform, Monday.

Nation’s first carbon tax on the ballot in Washington

Washington voters will decide whether to approve the nation’s first carbon tax in November. Initiative 732 has divided environmentalists and is opposed by business and labor groups.

Attorney, ex-Navy officer seek state public lands post

Washington’s next public lands commissioner will be expected to preserve forests, water and habitat in the face of more intense wildfires and a changing climate, while also ensuring revenues from logging, land leases and other operations for school construction and other projects.

Lawmaker, former Rogers teacher compete for Washington state superintendent post

Randy Dorn is stepping down after eight years as state superintendent of public instruction, and two Democrats are vying to replace him as head of Washington’s K-12 public education system. The nonpartisan job pays $132,000 a year and oversees some $9 billion in education spending.

Voters, tell us what’s on your mind this election season

The Spokesman-Review is inviting residents of Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District to submit short essays about the goals and concerns that will shape the way they vote this year. We’ll publish as many as we can.

Initiative 1433: Pro: Wage increase means more customers for businesses

I opened my coffee shop and restaurant in downtown Spokane almost two years ago. From the beginning, I knew that the most important assets of my businesses are my employees. Caring for their well-being and treating them with respect have been the best decisions I have made. As a result, they love their jobs, take great care of my businesses and continue to contribute beyond my expectations.

Initiative 1433: Con: Heed warnings on Seattle wage hike before changing law

This fall, voters will decide whether the state’s minimum wage should be increased to $13.50, and if employers should provide paid sick leave for every worker. Before casting their ballot on Initiative 1433, voters should heed the warning of the University of Washington researchers who have studied the impact of Seattle’s new $15 minimum wage law.

Sue Lani Madsen: Supreme Court races are under-the-radar but can change lives in big ways, so vote

Washington voters are faced with competitive races for not one but three seats on the Washington Supreme Court. And last Wednesday night, all six candidates appeared on the Gonzaga campus at a forum organized by the League of Women Voters. The McCleary decision on school funding and the ruling to block charter schools inspired a small bipartisan group of legislators, including former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, to recruit challengers.

Voters, tell us what’s on your mind this election season

The Spokesman-Review is inviting residents of Eastern Washington’s 5th Congressional District to submit short essays about the goals and concerns that will shape the way they vote this year. We’ll publish as many as we can.

Davidson is safe choice for treasurer

Policy aside, a look at each candidate’s resume tips the scales to Davidson. He received the endorsements of every county treasurer, except for one who remained neutral.

Mumm, Kerns face off in debate for McLaughlin’s Spokane County Commission seat

The two candidates vying to replace Spokane County Commissioner Nancy McLaughlin squared off in a debate Thursday afternoon at the Spokane Club.