Olympia

Court keeps Tim Eyman initiative on November ballot

Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1366 survived a request for an injunction Friday that would have kept it off November's ballot. I-1366 gives the Washington State Legislature a…

A move in Olympia to impeach Troy Kelley

Two Republican state representatives want to impeach indicted State Auditor Troy Kelley for illegally (they allege) turning his office over to an unelected deputy while…

Guest Opinion: The sorry, stagnant state of local and national politics

This week we will pass the midway point in the legislature’s first 30 day special session. In Washington, DC, we are approaching the midpoint in…

Tunnel Expert Review Panel: Project won’t exceed $3.1 billion budget

The annual Bertha Report is in. The Expert Review Panel (ERP) tasked with assessing the finances, schedule, management and risks of the Alaskan Way Viaduct…

Lawmakers pull all-nighter – and some shenanigans – over budget

The Washington Senate Democrats say their Republican colleagues purposely stacked the deck in passing the GOP’s 2015-2017 operating budget proposal. Why? To protect Sen. Andy…

Video: Parties divided as state budget negotiations get underway

In Olympia this week, Republicans promised no new taxes and lower college tuition costs. Now that both parties have staked out their positions, both chambers head…

Inslee wants answers from auditor Kelley

Embattled State Auditor Troy Kelley replied Wednesday to Gov. Jay Inslee's request for information on the federal investigation into Kelley and part-time auditor's office employee…

GOP budget: no new taxes, gimmicks and pot revenue

Washington Senate Republicans unveiled Tuesday, March 31 a $38 billion operating budget for the 2015-2017 biennium that features a significant drop in state university tuitions…

Olympia minimum wage bill killed

A bill to increase Washington's minimum wage to $12 an hour, a mandatory sick leave bill and a gender pay equalization bill all died late…

Capital gains and losses debated in Olympia

Sonya Campion of Seattle's Campion Foundation would pay a capital gains tax if Olympia puts one into law. And she wants to pay it. "It…

Olympia this week: Zombies and other movie folks

Zombies will invade the Capitol campus in Olympia Tuesday. The question is, if they hunt for brains to eat, will they find any? The undead…

Field Notes from Olympia: What if lawmakers were more like the people they serve?

Observing the state legislature, I am struck by how different most lawmakers are from the constituents they represent. Washington’s senators and representatives are largely white,…

Pam Roach says she has highly placed enemies

Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, says that the Republican caucus leaders want to get her out of the Washington Senate. Talking to reporters Tuesday, she also…

Olympia: Death penalty in the docket this week

The state's death penalty goes on trial again Wednesday. That's when the House Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on a bill by Rep.…

Senator takes a new shot at Bertha tunnel work

Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, is taking a second swing at Bertha. And this time, he's got a lot more company. Baumgartner introduced a bill Wednesday…

Opinion: State neglects funding of long-term care

The focus of the 2015 legislative session is on funding K-12 education, to a level that will avert further Washington Supreme Court sanctions. The session’s…

In defense of expensive initiatives

The Legislature has taken a bipartisan dislike of initiatives, viewing them as troublesome, annoying and downright uppity. The initiatives either go too far, or not…

GOP senators offer options on energy and carbon reductions

Some state senators want to tweak Initiative 937 to encourage new efforts at reducing carbon emissions in Washington. The proposed change to the 2006 voter-approved…

Should oil trains’ schedules be public knowledge?

Should the public know when oil trains come through and what type of oil they are carrying? That question was debated Tuesday at a Washington…

Lawmakers eye tax break extension for state’s last 2 aluminum plants

In the 1980s, Washington had 10 aluminum smelting plants employing roughly 10,000 people. Today, the state has two Alcoa plants in Ferndale and Wenatchee that…

Splitting state in two? An invitation to talk

“The Western part of the Territory appears to the people of this valley like some foreign land, and it is about as little talked of…

Mixing and mashing to ease strain on pot issues

It's a Washington House bill that likely will be mangled, sliced, diced and Cuisinart-ed into one or more legislative smoothies. Eighteen House marijuana bills have…

Olympia: An extra long time for pot

Pot. Pot. And more pot. The Capitol Dome would be a pretty mellow place this week if all the expected speakers are allowed to smoke…

Teen wage bills to get new examination

The public will get to have its say Wednesday on two bills to allow teens to be paid slightly less than the minimum wage for…

South Seattle lawmakers want to split Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools would split into two separate districts under a bill filed Friday by Reps. Sharon Tomiko Santos and Eric Pettigrew, both south Seattle…