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Gopher’s ‘endangered’ status irks property rights leaders

Gopher’s ‘endangered’ status irks property rights leaders

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized Endangered Species Act protection on Wednesday for four subspecies of Mazama pocket gophers and designated 1,607 acres of protected critical habitat in Washington’s Thurston County, including at the Olympia Airport. The decision was part of a landmark settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity requiring the agency...
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Inslee still won’t rule out climate change executive action

Inslee still won’t rule out climate change executive action

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee continued his war of words this week with Senate Republicans over transportation and potential environmental policies. Speaking on Tuesday at a climate-change forum at the University of Washington, the governor once again refused to discount the possibility he could impose cap-and-trade restrictions, a low-carbon fuels standard or a carbon tax by...
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Whatcom County settles suit with ex-deputy, whistle-blower

Whatcom County settles suit with ex-deputy, whistle-blower

The Washington Counties Risk Pool (WCRP) last week agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of former Whatcom County Deputy Paul Murphy against the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. The suit alleged Sheriff William Elfo terminated Murphy after he made public statements on Facebook in opposition to Elfo’s re-election. Murphy’s...
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Ruling lets lawmakers delegate fee-setting to bureaucrats

Ruling lets lawmakers delegate fee-setting to bureaucrats

An opinion issued on Friday by the Washington Attorney General’s Office allows legislators to delegate the job of imposing fees and tolls to unelected bureaucrats, effectively negating the second of two provisions called for under 2012’s Initiative 1185. The measure, passed by 65 percent of the state’s voters in 2012, also required all tax...
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State’s Obamacare enrollment numbers ‘too low, unreliable’

State’s Obamacare enrollment numbers ‘too low, unreliable’

With the March 31 deadline approaching for Washingtonians to sign up for private health insurance plans through Washington Healthplanfinder, officials here continue to tout enrollment statistics that suggest more enthusiasm for Obamacare than their neighbors in other states are demonstrating. But according to at least one analyst, Washington’s numbers would be on the low...
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Corporations make early commitment to Tom’s campaign

Corporations make early commitment to Tom’s campaign

As one of two Senate Democrats currently siding with Republicans to form the self-described Majority Caucus, Medina’s Rodney Tom can expect financial support from neither major party in his November re-election bid. Then again, if early fundraising totals are any indication, he may not need it. According to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission,...
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Justice Johnson steps down from state Supreme Court

Justice Johnson steps down from state Supreme Court

In a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, Washington Supreme Court Justice James M. Johnson announced today that he will resign from the bench effective April 30, 2014. “This has been a difficult decision, as it has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of the State of Washington for the past 10 years...
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State AG probing whether O’Reilly defied gay marriage law

State AG probing whether O’Reilly defied gay marriage law

For The Olympia Report The Washington State Attorney General’s Office today filed a petition in King County Superior Court to enforce a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) issued to O’Reilly Auto Parts. After receiving a consumer complaint, the Attorney General’s Office is investigating O’Reilly to determine if the company is refusing to provide healthcare benefits...
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Senate GOP: ‘Inslee lied, broke confidentiality agreement’

Senate GOP: ‘Inslee lied, broke confidentiality agreement’

Gov. Jay Inslee’s characterization of Washington State Senate Republicans as having been unwilling to compromise during negotiations over a multi-billion-dollar transportation package during the 2014 legislative session are an outright lie, GOP leaders say. They also accuse Inslee of having violated a confidentiality agreement between the two sides and, to prove the point, on...
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Dems likely to target first-term Republicans to retake Senate

Dems likely to target first-term Republicans to retake Senate

  With the 2014 legislative session nearly in their rear-view mirror, Washington state politicians will soon turn to their prime objective every year – getting themselves re-elected. As has been the case in every election for the past decade or so, most of the focus this November will be on the Senate, where Democrats...
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