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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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Town of Tekoa condemns proposed closure of John Wayne Trail stretch

Well, pilgrim, we’ve got ourselves a bit of trouble in this here town of Tekoa. A part of the John Wayne Trail might be closed and some folks hereabouts are pretty riled up. That may be how the cross-state trail’s namesake would describe a controversy in Tekoa, where local officials recently learned the state might abandon a section of the trail from the Columbia River to Malden. Tekoa Mayor John Jaeger said the plan came as a complete surprise and the City Council passed a resolution this week to send a message of “Whoa!” to a chief supporter of the closure, Rep. Joe Schmick.

Inslee open to special session if schools plan emerges

OLYMPIA – A fourth special session of the Washington Legislature could be called for mid-November to deal with legal questions surrounding public schools and their financing. Gov. Jay Inslee said he’d be willing to call one starting Nov. 19, when legislators will be in Olympia anyway for “committee days” in advance of the 2016 regular session.

Teacher strikes are illegal, but…

OLYMPIA – Teacher strikers are not legal under Washington law. That doesn’t stop them from happening, although it sometimes stops them from continuing.

Why teacher strikes aren’t legal, yet happen anyway

OLYMPIA – Teacher strikes are not legal under Washington law. That doesn’t stop them from happening, although it sometimes stops them from continuing. The problem with that law, say Republican legislators who have tried unsuccessfully to change it, is there's no defined penalty for breaking it.

9th Lege District: Lathim lead holds up in recount

OLYMPIA -- The recount of the 9th Legislative District House race confirmed that former Franklin County Sheriff Richard Lathim will run against appointed Rep. Mary Dye in the general election.

Shawn Vestal: Lawmakers have authority to fund schools, not necessarily ability

The Washington Supreme Court has diagnosed the illness correctly. But the justices must wish they could prescribe a different treatment. The court has held the Legislature in contempt of court for its failure to produce a stable, long-term funding plan for the state’s schools. The justices ruled in 2012 that lawmakers were violating their constitutional obligation to amply fund the schools – violating the rights of the state’s children, in essence.

Sunday Spin: Legislators balk at Supreme Court order

OLYMPIA – With a significant part of the state in flames and entire towns being evacuated, this is no time to throw the word “crisis” around lightly. So it must be noted first and foremost that when the group that runs the state Senate invoked the “C” word Friday, they mean a crisis of a more theoretical nature.

State Supreme Court stands firm in dispute with Legislature over education funding

OLYMPIA – Enough already with promises to fix the state’s schools, the state Supreme Court told the Legislature on Thursday. Until the Legislature establishes a concrete plan, it’ll cost the state $100,000 a day, the justices ruled. The court strongly suggested lawmakers return to the Capitol for a fourth special session, saying it would void the fines if that results in a plan for the remaining obstacles to meeting a constitutional mandate to treat public education as the state’s paramount duty.

Inslee puts proposed water quality rules on hold

OLYMPIA -- A major rewrite of the state's clean water rules was put on hold today as Gov. Jay Inslee ordered the Department of Ecology to "reassess" the plan he proposed in 2015 year but did not pass this year's Legislature. The department may draft a new set of rules for pollution and fish consumption standards.

Washington gas tax goes up Saturday

Washington's gasoline tax goes up 7 cents Saturday but your price at the pump won’t automatically jump by that amount at 12:01 a.m. It could go up that much or more. Or less. Or it could stay the same. Or go down.

Beekeepers now designated as farmers under Washington law

Washington’s newest official farm livestock has wings, not hooves, and travels in swarms, not herds or flocks. A change in state law this month officially designates beekeepers as farmers, something the industry has sought for years. It’s not an idle change in title. It makes beekeepers eligible for the same tax exemptions as those who farm the crops their bees pollinate. Before that, they were classified under state tax code as a service, like doctors or lawyers.

Inslee to avoid ‘poison pill’ with tougher enforcement of existing laws

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee believes he’s found a way to cut carbon pollution without activating a “poison pill” that would cut state money for mass transit, bike and pedestrian projects. Inslee said Tuesday he was ordering the state Department of Ecology to step up enforcement of current pollution laws and develop a regulatory cap on carbon emissions in an effort to meet limits set by the Legislature in 2008. The department was directed to find ways to make substantial reductions in the emissions using existing authority.

Grading the Legislature

OLYMPIA -- Lobbyists give the Legislature a slightly better grade than voters in new Elway Polls.