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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control: State’s petition process remains unchanged

Left in the legislative ash heap last week was a bill to revise rules for initiative campaigns by charging as much as $500 to file a ballot measure and putting stricter rules on people paid to gather signatures. Like previous attempts to change ballot measure rules, SB 5297 brought out Tim Eyman and other initiative entrepreneurs who understandably don’t want the Legislature messing with a system they’ve figured out.

Assessor discusses recovery from eye cancer

People who look closely might notice that one of Spokane County Assessor Ralph Baker’s eyes doesn’t move with the other. They might even figure out that his left eye is a Plexiglas prosthesis. Children and dogs notice, but most adults don’t, Baker said Monday.

New food taxes start Tuesday

If you drink bottled water or beer, eat candy or chew gum, this weekend would be a good time to stock up. Those items – or at least some brands – are either being taxed, or taxed more, starting Tuesday. That’s the day that a series of “temporary” taxes will begin on items the Legislature agreed could become a source of extra money for Washington state’s out-of-balance general fund. The taxes are set to expire June 30, 2013, although voters will be asked in November to extend the bottled water tax indefinitely to pay off bonds for energy retrofits at schools and colleges.

Group seeks legal review of initiatives

Initiatives proposed by the Spokane Patriots, a conservative activist group, will get a legal review from city attorneys before supporters start gathering signatures.

Festival preaches political action

Linda Rhoads is fed up with the elected officials representing her state’s interests in the nation’s capitol. The 67-year-old Spokane Valley woman wrote to Washington’s two Democratic senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, urging common-sense health reform to assist senior citizens who rely on Medicare and Social Security.

Governor signs I-960 suspension

OLYMPIA – There was no drama, but plenty of theatrics, as Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill Wednesday making it easier for the Legislature to raise taxes. Gregoire signed a 16-month suspension of some provisions of Initiative 960 as its prime sponsor Tim Eyman looked on, at one point holding his nose and pointing one thumb down.

Citizens’ tax curb on block

OLYMPIA – Senate leaders want to make it easier for state lawmakers to raise taxes. Democrats will begin a move today to suspend the supermajority required to raise taxes that was approved by voters two years ago.