Politics

Politics
4:54 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Seattle will shut down Nickelsville, spend $500K to house residents

The Seattle City Council has voted unanimously to shut down the homeless encampment known as Nickelsville, and to set aside $500,000 to help residents transition.

The encampment has been dug in for two years at a site in West Seattle, and the council vote means this summer will be its last. The money will go to providing to provide housing and services to the more than 100 campers who live there.

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Washington Budget
2:09 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Government shutdown? Prisons would stay open, but much of the state would not

Office of the Governor

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:10 pm

Washington prisons would stay open, but much of the state would not if there’s a government shutdown. Governor Jay Inslee met with his cabinet Wednesday to begin contingency planning if there’s no budget by the end of the month. That’s the start of the new fiscal year.

“We’re not talking about opening the prison doors because there are clear federal mandates from the federal constitution and federal laws to provide for folks that are in our care and custody,” says Nick Brown, the Governor’s attorney.

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Washington Budget
11:09 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Washington estate tax refunds halted after midnight bill signing

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 3:16 pm

There were dramatic developments in Olympia overnight. Governor Jay Inslee held a midnight bill signing to amend Washington’s estate tax. The move means the Department of Revenue will not begin to issue refund checks Friday morning to the heirs of some multi-million dollar estates.

The state of Washington was about to embark on a months-long process of refunding an estimated $140 million to more than 100 estates. This was the result of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year. The money would have come out of a fund dedicated to public schools.

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Politics
10:02 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Council gets a warning about dismantling homeless camp

Nickelsville residents and their supporters protest lack of shelter and housing options with a "die-in" at City Hall.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Homeless residents of a large Seattle tent city warn that closing down their camp will have dire consequences, while city council members left the door open to keep the camp dwellers together.

About 125 residents make their home at the West Seattle site known as Nickelsville. Advocates told members of a city council committee Wednesday that many of those tent dwellers will die on the streets if the city moves forward with threatened evictions September 1st.

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Politics
9:50 am
Thu June 13, 2013

FBI files show disdain for former Wash. Governor Albert Rosellini

Wikimedia Commons

Over his decades in public life, former Gov. Albert Rosellini helped bring Washington into the modern era, burnishing his reputation as one of the state's most effective leaders.

But FBI officials who scrutinized Rosellini's activities in the 1960s saw something else. They questioned his political associations and probed a series of allegations that Rosellini was corrupt. The Seattle special agent in charge once wrote to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that Rosellini was "a thorough scoundrel."

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Politics
4:58 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Plan to carve city council into districts likely headed for ballot

Supporters deliver their petition signatures to the Seattle city clerk's office.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Seattle voters will likely get a chance to consider a new way to elect the city council. Supporters of a district-elections amendment delivered 10 boxes of petitions to the city clerk, containing 46,633 signatures – more than enough to grab a place on the November ballot.

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Homeless Encampments
5:51 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Seattle City Council wants to disband Nickelsville tent city

Nickelsville residents speak up at a City Council committee meeting.
Gabriel Spitzer Flickr

Seattle officials want to break up the two-year old homeless encampment called Nickelsville, but residents there say that would just cause a new tent city to spring up somewhere else.

Seven city council members sent a letter to Mayor Mike McGinn Monday calling for Nickelsville to shut down by Sept. 1. The camp, made up of more than 100 homeless people, is about to begin its third summer parked near the Duwamish River in southeastern West Seattle.

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Politics
4:15 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Auditor: Record-keeping at Seattle Center parking garages is lax

The state auditor says the Seattle Center hasn't done a good job of making sure people pay at three city-owned parking garages. 

The three garages took in almost $5 million in revenue last year that went into the Seattle Center budget. State auditor Troy Kelley says he doesn’t have an estimate of how much money the Center may have lost out on, but he says his team found a lot of problems with record-keeping at the garages – one on Fifth Avenue North, one on Mercer Street and one on First Avenue North. 

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State Budget
9:01 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Time Is Nearly Up For Washington Budget Deal

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 7:55 am

Washington’s overtime legislative session ends at midnight on Tuesday. But there’s still no agreement on a state budget for the next two years.

Over the weekend, the mostly Republican senate majority passed a revised version of its own spending plan, along with a trio of controversial policy measures.

The three policy bills are not new, the Senate passed them during the regular session. The difference is two of them now have referendum clauses, meaning voters would get the final say.

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Washington Legislature
9:58 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Washington Senate majority back to 25 members

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 3:35 pm

The Washington Senate’s coalition caucus has reclaimed its majority status. Republican Steve O’Ban was sworn in Wednesday. He fills the seat of the late Mike Carrell who died last week during treatment of a pre-leukemia condition.

O’Ban’s appointment was fast-tracked in order to restore the mostly Republican coalition’s one vote majority during final budget negotiations.

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public facilities
8:01 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Seattle wants to give free-standing public toilets another go

The so-called Portland Loo is seen in this photo.
City of Portland

Five years after Seattle had to get rid of its free-standing public toilet structures, Mayor Mike McGinn wants to give it another go, this time with a new design. 

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special session agenda
3:01 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Gov. Inslee narrows special session agenda

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee holds a news conference on the first day of the special legislative session, on Monday, May 13, 2013, in Olympia, Wash
Rachel La Corte Associated Press

With the state Legislature back in session for a 30-day extra inning, Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday narrowed his agenda to three key items: the budget, a roads-and-transit funding package, and a crackdown on impaired drivers.

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lobbyists & legislators
12:05 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

State lawmakers defend frequent dinners with lobbyists

Washington state Rep. Marcus Riccelli (left) and state Senator Joe Fain have defended their frequent dining with lobbyists.

Two Washington state lawmakers are defending their frequent dinners with lobbyists. The meals show up in monthly reports filed with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission.

State Rep. Marcus Riccelli is a freshman Democrat from Spokane. On four occasions from January through March, he dined out with Michael Temple, a lobbyist for the state’s powerful trial lawyers association.

When asked Riccelli about those dinners, Riccelli joked, “I’m an Italian kid. I have a big appetite.”

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Lobbyists & Legislators
12:09 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

The influence game: Lobbyists wine, dine lawmakers after hours

Longtime business lobbyist Steve Gano and his wife often host Washington lawmakers at the house they own across from the Capitol campus.
Austin Jenkins

In the first three months of this year, lobbyists in Washington state spent more than $200,000 on entertainment. Much of that money was spent to wine and dine state lawmakers during the just-concluded 105-day session.

The spending begs the question: What are lobbyists and their clients getting in exchange for picking up the tab?

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It's All Politics
11:30 am
Sun April 28, 2013

Plan would force public companies to reveal political giving

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 8:07 am

The 2012 election was the most expensive in history, but there remain some gaping holes in our knowledge about who paid for what. The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering a proposal to add more transparency in future elections, but it won't happen without a fight.

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