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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control: Fast-and-furious memos do no good

Transparency in government is a great ideal, but like so many things it can be somewhat less than ideal in practice. Take, for example, the edict of Initiative 960 that the Office of Financial Management let the public know the cost of legislation that could tap the state treasury. Excellent idea, because one never knows what the Legislature will dream up when all that brainpower is assembled in Olympia.

Disputed analysis of I-1185 will stay

OLYMPIA – The fiscal note on the latest initiative requiring a supermajority in the Legislature for tax increases will remain in the state voters’ guide, even though it is different from a nearly identical initiative that passed in 2010, a judge ruled today. That might not have much effect in the upcoming election, but it could be a point of contention in the Legislature next year if Initiative 1185 passes, sponsor Tim Eyman said.

I-502’s fiscal result remains hazy

SEATTLE – The state’s latest financial analysis says legalizing and taxing marijuana could bring Washington as much as nearly $2 billion over the next five years – or as little as nothing. The Office of Financial Management released its fiscal impact statement for Initiative 502 on Friday, and the results track closely with its earlier analysis, released in March.

OFM: Spokane still No. 2 in population

OLYMPIA -- Washington saw slow population growth in the last year, and Spokane remained the second largest city, new state estimates show.

State cellphones squander $500,000

SEATTLE – A state audit has found Washington is wasting money on 2,000 idle state employee cellphones. The audit report, released Friday by state Auditor Brian Sonntag, found the state paid more than $500,000 in a year on phones that weren’t being used, the Seattle Times reported.

Panel rejects liquor plans

OLYMPIA – It’s apparently all in or all out for Washington state’s involvement in the liquor business. After studying two proposals to take over the state’s liquor distribution system, the Office of Financial Management is calling for a pass on both. Voters could still order that system sold, and remove the state’s involvement in wholesale and retail liquor sales, by passing Initiative 1183.

Coaches lead state’s payroll

OLYMPIA – The best-paying jobs in state government are in academia. And of those, the very best are in athletics. The 55 highest-paid state employees – and 948 of the top 1,000 – work for state colleges or universities, according to a list released Wednesday by the Office of Financial Management.

State asks agencies to prepare for cuts

OLYMPIA – State agencies will prepare plans to cut their spending by as much as 10 percent as Washington braces for the prospect that the next state economic forecast could be worse than the last one. Orders were sent Monday to agencies that rely on the state’s general fund to identify what they would cut if their budget was reduced by 5 percent, and what they would cut if it was dropped another 5 percent beyond that.

Doug Clark: Sticking it to Tacoma chases blues

Spokane has been officially reaffirmed as Washington’s second-largest city, once again snuffing our nemesis Tacoma like a cigarette butt under a biker’s boot heel. The numbers were unveiled last week by the state Office of Financial Management.

Forum will hear budget ideas today

Got a thought on how to help solve the state’s budget woes? Today is your chance in Eastern Washington. That’s when the Office of Financial Management brings its road show to the Lair Student Center auditorium at Spokane Community College, 1810 N. Greene St., for two hours, starting at 5 p.m.

Washington’s population still rising, but pace abates

OLYMPIA – We’re still growing, but it’s slowing. That was the verdict Monday from Washington’s Office of Financial Management, which churns out annual population estimates for the state, cities and counties.