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Archive for February, 2012

Breaking: House GOP members to unveil budget at noon

February 17, 2012
Breaking: House GOP members to unveil budget at noon

Following up on their “solutions-oriented” approach from last year, and their Fund Education First proposal from earlier this month, minority party House Republicans will release the first supplemental budget of the 2012 legislative session at a news conference in Olympia on Feb. 17. The event will begin at noon in the House Republican Caucus...
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Police, firefighter pension plans clash over proposed merger

February 17, 2012
Police, firefighter pension plans clash over proposed merger

Old policemen and firefighters never die — they just have their pensions raided. At least that’s how it feels to many members of the Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters Pension Plan 1 (LEOFF1), which covers close to 8,000 retired and soon-to-be-retired police, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters statewide. The Washington State State Senate Ways and...
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State’s revenue forecast $96 million better than it had been

February 16, 2012
State’s revenue forecast $96 million better than it had been

Washington’s revenue shortfall — the difference between how much money the state expects to collect and how much of it lawmakers plan to spend — got a little smaller on Thursday as budget analysts adjusted income projections upwards by around $96 million over the next two years. Based primarily on manufacturing strength fueled by...
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Bill requiring health insurance cover abortion passes Senate

February 15, 2012
Bill requiring health insurance cover abortion passes Senate

The Washington state House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill that would require that any insurance policy sold to state residents for maternity coverage also require policyholders to pay for coverage of abortions. The House voted by a 52-46 vote to pass HB-2330 and send it on to the state Senate despite strong...
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Senate OKs bill allowing out-of-state insurance purchases

February 15, 2012
Senate OKs bill allowing out-of-state insurance purchases

The Washington State Senate on Tuesday addressed one of the factors Republicans have long believed contributes to the high cost of healthcare by approving a bill that would allow Washington consumers to purchase health insurance plans across state lines. Sen. Linda Evans Parlette (R-Wenatchee) is the bill’s prime sponsor. “Washington’s health insurance market consists...
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Senate gives go-ahead to bill authorizing tolls on CRC project

February 14, 2012
Senate gives go-ahead to bill authorizing tolls on CRC project

A bill to authorize tolls on the Columbia River Crossing won approval in the Washington State Senate on Tuesday morning, despite two aborted attempts to make the project dependent on a vote of the people. A third amendment capping the cost of the project at $3.14 billion, however, was adopted. “This is by far...
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Same-sex marriage foes file referendum to overturn measure

February 14, 2012
Same-sex marriage foes file referendum to overturn measure

Moments after Gov. Christine Gregoire signed legislation redefining marriage, a coalition of groups officially filed referendum papers to begin the process of presenting the issue to voters in November. The newly formed group, Preserve Marriage Washington, filed the referendum with the Secretary of State’s Office. “Marriage is the union of one man and one...
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Governor signs same-sex marriage bill; referendum to come

February 13, 2012
Governor signs same-sex marriage bill; referendum to come

Declaring she is “proud of who and what we are as Washingtonians,” Gov. Christine Gregoire on Monday signed legislation making Washington the seventh state in the union to legalize same-sex marriage. “Historians will mark as a milestone in the state’s history,” she said, “the day we stood up for equality. I’m proud that Washington...
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Republican-sponsored higher education reforms pass the House

February 10, 2012
Republican-sponsored higher education reforms pass the House

A pair of  higher education bills received unanimous support before the House of Representatives on Thursday. Both bills were introduced by sponsored by Rep. Hans Zeiger (R-Puyallup), who termed them “common-sense updates to current higher education statutes.” House Bill 2259 would eliminate certain higher education reporting requirements that duplicate federal reporting requirements. House Bill...
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Marijuana legalization initiative backers, opponents weigh in

February 9, 2012
Marijuana legalization initiative backers, opponents weigh in

Washington state lawmakers, meeting in what Rep.  Sam Hunt (D-Olympia) conceded was an ironically termed “joint session,” heard testimony Thursday on both sides of a contentious legislative initiative to legalize marijuana. Initiative 502 was submitted to the Secretary of State last summer with roughly 341,000 signatures and will be introduced in the Legislature during...
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