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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Legislature sends transportation bill to Inslee

OLYMPIA – A $16 billion transportation tax and fee bill with an 11.9-cent gasoline tax increase hit some roadblocks early Wednesday but eventually passed the House and Senate and was sent to Gov. Jay Inslee. Lawmakers must still pass bills that approve the list of projects and authorize the sale of bonds for some of them, but that won’t happen until they are called back to the capital sometime after the July Fourth weekend.

Washington lawmakers not done with budget squabbles

OLYMPIA – To explain the current state of the Washington Legislature, forget the philosophy of Rousseau, the ideas of Jefferson or the eloquence of Lincoln. Turn instead to the dictum of Berra: It ain’t over ’til it’s over. For the Legislature, it definitely ain’t over.

Inslee signs budgets to keep state running

OLYMPIA – With the Legislature lurching toward adjournment and some 20 minutes to spare before a partial government shutdown, Gov. Jay Inslee signed budgets Tuesday night to keep state government operating.

Will Lege swap 1351 changes for assessment tests?

OLYMPIA -- A new roadblock may be developing in the Legislature's plans to suspend parts of last year's initiative that requires small class sizes throughout the K-12 system.

Washington Legislature sends $38.2 billion operating budget to Inslee’s desk

OLYMPIA – After 165 days of partisan bickering over taxes and spending, the Legislature moved swiftly Monday to pass a $38.2 billion budget to run state government for the next two years. The Senate also passed and sent to the House a plan to spend $16.1 billion on transportation projects over the next 16 years. The state operating budget, needed to avoid a partial government shutdown on Wednesday, covers a wide array of state programs, from public schools and colleges to mental health and social services. It was the main job of the Legislature this year and forced lawmakers into a triple overtime session that started Sunday. Released to the public and most members shortly after lunch, it passed the Senate on a 38-10 vote around 6 p.m. and cleared the House on an even stronger 90-8 count just two hours later.

Senate passes $38.2 billion operating budget

OLYMPIA -- The Senate passed and sent to the House a $38.2 billion budget that would allow the state to avoid a partial government shutdown on Wednesday.

Senate begins budget debate with a bit of Zen

OLYMPIA -- The Senate began debate on the 2015-17 operating budget about 5:30 p.m., and there may be good karma for passing it and avoiding a partial government shutdown. . .

Legislature passes $38.2 billion budget

OLYMPIA -- After spending 165 days struggling to write a budget, the Legislature needed less than two hours to pass a $38.2 billion spending plan out of both chambers that boosts money for schools and mental health programs and cuts tuition at state colleges.

Budget details still being worked out

OLYMPIA -- Some details of the state's proposed $38 billion budget continue to be worked out as the Legislature prepares to vote later today.

Revived transpo package has $1 billion in Spokane projects

OLYMPIA -- The transportation package that would raise gasoline taxes to pay for major road, bridge and rail projects around the state would have more than $1 billion for Spokane-area projects. UPDATE: Budget details just posted

Washington officials announce state budget deal

OLYMPIA – College tuition would fall, teachers would get raises and mental health funding would rise in a two-year budget deal announced on Saturday after long negotiations among state leaders. But few details were revealed – indeed some numbers apparently weren’t even finalized – as officials promised in a news conference that they made a deal that will prevent a partial government shutdown scheduled to start Wednesday.

Senate passes pot tax bill

OLYMPIA – Changes to the state’s marijuana taxes and the way they will be spent received final approval from the Senate and were sent to Gov. Jay Inslee Saturday. After rejecting a proposal that would allow communities that ban marijuana to share some of the state’s revenue from the heavily taxed substance, the Senate voted 36-7 to approve the changes. The bill substitutes the current 25 percent excise tax on marijuana on the three levels of licensing – growing, processing and retail – for a 37 percent excise tax collected by the retailer. Recreational marijuana also will carry a 10 percent sales tax. That tax will be waived for medical marijuana.

Spin Control: State under high pressure to meet pot tax projections

OLYMPIA – Washington adults may have to average about 35 joints each year by 2020 for the state to hit current projections on tax revenue from legal marijuana. Or so the back-of-the-envelope figuring would suggest, based on a couple of unrelated numbers that cropped up last week. Left in the hands of reporters who have little to do because the Legislature is doing even less, numbers are dangerous things. But here’s one way to figure it: