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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Richard Roesler

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News >  Business

Governor seeks storm help for businesses

Gov. Chris Gregoire is asking the federal government to declare a statewide “economic injury disaster” for Washington’s businesses due to the heavy snow storms in December.

Fee on workers would fund family leave stipends

OLYMPIA – In 2007, jubilant Democratic lawmakers approved $250-a-week stipends to workers who take unpaid time off to bond with a new baby. Two years, later without paying anyone a dime, paid family medical leave has stalled.

News >  Spokane

Senators push ‘green jobs’ plan in Olympia

OLYMPIA – Echoing similar plans in the other Washington, Senate Democrats in Olympia Tuesday detailed their plans to combine “green jobs” with a renewed push for conservation and alternative sources of power.
News >  Pacific NW

Attorney General wants Avista to lower rates

The state attorney general’s office says that a Dec. 29 legal settlement between the power utility Avista, state regulators and others contains critical flaws that cost ratepayers millions of dollars more than should be allowed.
News >  Pacific NW

House Democrats eye more than $600 million in cuts

Rushing to save money before Washington’s budget woes worsen, House Democrats on Monday proposed cuts and other changes that they said will save $640 million by July. Among them, spending reductions of $10.5 million from WSU and $2.8 million from EWU.
News >  Spokane

Senator proposes bill to let people be buried with their pets

Barely a week into this year’s legislative session in Washington, state Sen. Ken Jacobsen has proposed an airline passenger’s bill of rights, allowing pet dogs in bars, designating a state oak tree, and giving tax breaks to taverns that install on-site breathalyzers. On Monday, he argued for his latest proposal: allowing people to be buried with their pets.
News >  Spokane

Gregoire pushes jobs plan, calls for reform

Calling it “our time to show courage,” Gov. Chris Gregoire today urged lawmakers to back her plan to create 20,000 new jobs, boost unemployment benefits, and use the economic crisis to forge a more nimble state government.
News >  Spokane

Washington Democrats unveil jobs plan

OLYMPIA _ Trying to spark job growth, Democrats in Washington’s state Senate on Tuesday proposed a “middle class jobs package” focused on re-training, environmental jobs and building infrastructure like statewide high-speed Internet access.
News >  Spokane

Inaugural ball goes on as planned

OLYMPIA _ Thursday, state lawmakers will resume their pick-and-shovel work with the state budget, trying to find the least painful ways to bridge a massive $6 billion budget shortfall. But first, some tapenade with smoked tomato crostini. In a tradition dating back to the mid-1800s, thousands of gown- and tuxedo-clad revelers will flock to the Capitol tomorrow for Gov. Chris Gregoire’s second inaugural ball.
News >  Spokane

Legislature begins high-stakes session

OLYMPIA – Washington’s lawmakers on Monday kicked off a high-pressure legislative session with prayers, a pledge, and vows to not let today’s budget crisis eclipse tomorrow’s hopes.
News >  Spokane

In Olympia, huge repair job awaits lawmakers

OLYMPIA – Each January, by tradition, Washington’s top lawmakers choose theme songs for the upcoming session. Most are lighthearted. Speaking to reporters last week, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown read from a Bob Dylan song.
News >  Business

Boeing to cut 4,500 jobs in 2009

Boeing says that it’s Commercial Airplanes workforce will shrink by about 4,500 jobs in 2009 “as part of an effort to ensure competitiveness and control costs in the face of a weakening global economy.”
News >  Spokane

Eyman files tax-cap initiative

Undeterred by voters' rejection of his last ballot measure at the polls in November, initiative pitchman Tim Eyman -- baby in hand -- today filed his "Lower Property Taxes Initiative" for this year.
News >  Voices

Group takes heat over Rossi support

OLYMPIA – The Building Industry Association of Washington spent more than $7 million on politics this year, most of it trying to replace Gov. Chris Gregoire with Republican challenger Dino Rossi. The group’s latest newsletter looks like the kind of thing that would have haunted the nightmares of BIAW officials during the campaign: “Rossi loses gov bid,” is one headline. “What happened on Election Day?” is another. Then there’s “Ecology set to hike fees” and “Costs of a clean Puget Sound dumped on builders.”
News >  Pacific NW

Gregoire pushing deep cuts over tax increases

Sticking to her campaign pledge, Gov. Chris Gregoire on Thursday unveiled a no-new-taxes budget plan that would fix a nearly $6 billion deficit by whacking spending, suspending voter initiatives and borrowing some money. "I hate it," Gregoire said of her own proposal.
News >  Spokane

Thousands of budget suggestions submitted

OLYMPIA – Think back to the last time you renewed your driver’s license. Do you remember the shoes on the person behind the counter? Of course not. But here’s a little known fact about those shoes: you probably paid for them. Washington taxpayers provide a $97-a-year “shoe allowance” for the 330 folks working at more than 60 driver licensing offices across the state. You also pick up the tab for the state-logo-bearing shirts, pants, sweaters, jackets and hats worn by those employees, as well as a $27-a-month stipend for dry cleaning. Now, with Washington’s government facing an unprecedented $5 billion to $6 billion budget shortfall over the next two years, people, including many state employees, are trying to find new ways to save. Doing away with the clothing allowance was among the nearly 2,000 ideas submitted over the past few weeks to Gov. Chris Gregoire, who today will release a budget proposal expected to include deep spending cuts.
News >  Spokane

Candidate faces filing fine

OLYMPIA – After a contentious hearing, the state’s campaign-finance watchdog has fined a statehouse candidate $300 for failing to file any reports after months of campaigning. Republican Chris Bowen, who’s challenging state Rep. Alex Wood, D-Spokane, told investigators that he put the reports in the mail and that’s all he’s required to do. It’s not his problem, he said, if the state Public Disclosure Commission didn’t get them or lost them.