Governor Gregoire

State Budget
11:04 am
Wed February 2, 2011

State cuts benefits to welfare families


In a single day, Washington cut more than 5,000 families from the state's welfare-to-work program. That's because a strict, five-year limit on benefits kicked in. It's a cost-cutting measure ordered by the Governor.

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News Roundup
6:57 am
Tue February 1, 2011

Tuesday morning's headlines

Making headlines this morning around the Northwest:

  • Another Prosecution in Afghan War Crimes
  • Local Reaction to Health Bill Ruling
  • Seattle Schools Audit: Rules Not Followed

 

Army To Prosecute Fifth Stryker Soldier

The Army will prosecute Spc. Michael Wagnon, the fifth Stryker Brigade soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord accused of war crimes against Afghan civilians. The News Tribune's Adam Ashton reports Wagnon is accused of a variety of crimes, including murder, conspiracy and drug use:

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Crime
6:11 am
Tue February 1, 2011

Questions linger over prison guard's killing


Governor Chris Gregoire has ordered flags to fly at half-staff in memory of a slain prison correctional officer. Gregoire has also initiated an outside review of the murder of Officer Jayme Biendl over the weekend.

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Crime
2:40 pm
Mon January 31, 2011

Gregoire orders investigation into murder of prison guard

Washington's governor has ordered an independent investigation into the killing of a prison guard at the Monroe Correctional Center on Saturday night.  Veteran officer Jayme Biendl was strangled at her post in the prison chapel. Her body was discovered after she failed to turn in her keys at the close of her shift.

An inmate who was missing during a routine count earlier Saturday evening, Byron Scherf, is considered the 'prime suspect' of Monroe Police, according to Seattlepi.com's Chris Grygiel:

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Law & Justice
7:48 am
Thu January 27, 2011

More learned about man who threatened Gregoire

A man who says he was upset over losing state benefits has been arrested and charged with making threats against Governor Chris Gregoire and her family. 51-year-old Robert Ray Locke was arraigned on one count of felony threat and pleaded not guilty.

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Law & Justice
12:46 pm
Wed January 26, 2011

Man arrested for allegedly threatening Gregoire

A Pierce County man is in custody for allegedly making an online threat to Governor Chris Gregoire. The Washington State Patrol picked up Robert R. Locke, of the Graham area, on Tuesday afternoon. 

In a statement, the patrol reports Gregoire's office received the still unspecified threat early Tuesday morning. The message was traced to Locke, and he was picked up while walking on a Pierce County street about six hours later. 

Detectives reported their arrest took place without incident. 

Locke was booked into Pierce County jail, where he's charged with one felony count of threatening the governor or the governor's family.

License Debate
10:50 am
Wed January 26, 2011

Gregoire supports citizenship checks for driver's licenses

Governor Chris Gregoire says she supports citizenship checks for driver's licenses. Washington is one of the last states in the nation that still issues driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Gregoire says ending that practice is a matter of national security:

"The job of being governor has changed dramatically since I came into office in 2005 and security has become one of the top priorities for every governor in this country."

There are several proposals in the legislature to require the Department of Licensing to confirm an applicant's "legal presence" in the country. Gregoire says if the legislature sends her a bill, she’ll sign it.

The governor's statement comes after a public radio report earlier this week on the issue. 

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Basic Health Plan Budget
7:12 am
Wed January 19, 2011

House Democrats unveil plan to save basic health

These are uneasy times for the 56,000 Washingtonians on the Basic Health Plan. The state-subsidized health insurance program is tentatively slated to end March 1st. But House Democrats presented a Hail Mary proposal to possibly save it.

Washington's current two-year budget is still $600,000,000 out of whack. Finding hundreds of millions of dollars in savings between now and the end of the fiscal cycle in June is no easy task.

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Ferry Funding Crisis
2:20 pm
Fri January 14, 2011

Governor's Puget Sound ferry authority proposal a no-go in legislature

Legislators on both sides of the aisle are rejecting Governor Gregoire's proposal to fix the state ferry system's chronic deficit by making it into an independent taxing district. 

At a House Transportation Committee hearing yesterday, lawmakers nixed the idea, saying they don't think it has the votes to pass.  And as John Stang of the Kitsap Sun reports, the Chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee says she won't even give the proposal a hearing

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State Government
6:16 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Gregoire urges lawmakers to bust status quo

State lawmakers must embrace change and "be bold." That was Governor Chris Gregoire's chief message Tuesday in her State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature. 

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State Ferries
3:59 pm
Thu January 6, 2011

Gregoire: Counties should take over state ferries

It’s sink or swim time for Washington state ferries. That’s the message from Governor Chris Gregoire. The nation’s largest ferry system is under water financially. 

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News Roundup
6:48 am
Thu January 6, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

Making headlines this morning:

  • Flap Over Govenor's Education Proposal Intensifies
  • Domestic violence victims face system "failures"
  • Governors meet to discuss Columbia River coal-shipping terminal

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Education
6:00 am
Thu January 6, 2011

Superintendent fumes over Gregoire’s education plan

Washington voters elected him state superintendent of public schools. Now Governor Chris Gregoire wants to takeover his portfolio. Randy Dorn is fuming over the Governor’s proposal to create a cabinet-level Department of Education.

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Higher Education
7:00 pm
Mon January 3, 2011

Governor wants more private funding for public universities

Governor Chris Gregoire says she has a plan to make higher ed funding more stable and boost the number of students who earn degrees, but it could be a long shot.

The governor's plan would let schools decide when to increase tuition and by how much.  She says colleges and universities know best what they’re worth. 

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State Budget Crisis
8:09 am
Thu December 16, 2010

Advocates rail against proposed budget cuts

A hue and cry has erupted in response to Washington Governor Chris Gregoire’s proposal to slash billions more in anticipated state spending. The Democrat Wednesday unveiled her plan to close a $4.6 billion budget shortfall.

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