Washington State Legislature

Washington State Legistlature
10:42 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Washington lawmakers aim for some cuts before holidays

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Chris Gregoire appears to have given up hope of a balanced budget on her desk by Christmas. Instead, this week her budget director sent lawmakers a shorter wish list to get done before they adjourn for the holidays.

The protesters have gone home. So have many lawmakers.

But majority Democrats in the Washington legislature say they will be back next week with a goal. Cut the $1.4 billion budget shortfall down by, say, $500 million.

The secret list

Read more
Budget crisis
3:47 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Olympia eyes new plan as Wenatchee agency defaults

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A Wenatchee-area agency is defaulting on its debt but still may get support from the state Legislature.

Democratic Rep. Ross Hunter said Thursday that his committee will consider a measure that would make a belated payment on the $42 million bond debt.

Read more
Business
2:36 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Businesses get a $350M break from state worker programs

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington businesses will get some unexpected tax relief next year – to the tune of $350 million. Governor Chris Gregoire made the announcement Thursday in Olympia.

“There will be no overall increase in workers’ compensation rates in 2012 and an actual reduction in unemployment insurance rates for all rate classes," Gregoire said.

Read more
Budget surprises
9:59 am
Thu December 1, 2011

Dirty dome, budget cuts blamed for Washington Capitol leaks

The state's Capitol dome is leaking and budget cuts have been blamed.
Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A dirty dome is blamed for leaks at the Capitol in Olympia.

State Department of Enterprise Services spokesman Jim Erskine says with cleaning postponed by budget cuts, it's possible mold and grime are widening cracks in the mortar and allowing water into the building.

Read more
Budget crisis
6:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Protesters continue disruptions at Washington Legislature

Washington State Troopers remove members of the “Occupy” movement who disrupted a senate budget hearing in Olympia.
Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – State troopers arrested ten people at the Washington state capitol Tuesday. Four of them after protesters disrupted a Washington legislative committee.

Read more
Budget crisis
12:45 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

6 troopers injured in demonstration at state Capitol

Washington State Patrol troopers use tasers to control a crowd of protestors who rushed at the locked doors of the Capitol and attempted to let people inside after the building was closed, in Olympia, Wash., on Monday.
Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. — After compiling reports on Monday night's demonstration at the Capitol in Olympia, the Washington State Patrol says a total of six troopers were injured in clashes with protesters, five more than first reported.

Read more
Budget crisis
3:57 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Arena-debt bailout on Washington legislature’s agenda

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A panel of state lawmakers is considering a $42 million bailout package for a Wenatchee-area agency.

The Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District has been unable to pay off short-term debt for the Town Toyota Center arena.

Read more
Budget crisis
3:26 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Protesters disrupt start to Washington special session

Protesters demonstrate against budget cuts, Monday inside the House chamber at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., on the first day of a special legislative session. ---------------------------------------------------
Ted S. Warren The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Protesters disrupted the start to Washington's 30-day special session. Lawmakers have returned to the Capitol to deal with a $1.4 billion budget shortfall.

Students and others associated with the Occupy movement took over the House and Senate galleries and delayed a budget committee hearing.

Read more
Budget crisis
12:20 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Washington Poll: Majority inclined to support sales tax hike

A new poll shows that 64 percent of Washington voters are likely to support a temporary sales tax increase to mitigate cuts to education and social services.

Read more
Budget crisis
9:20 am
Mon November 28, 2011

Special legislative session to begin in Olympia

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Lawmakers return to the state capital for the start of a 30-day special legislative session called by the governor to address a projected $1.4 billion deficit.

Read more
Budget crisis
5:23 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Cuts and new revenue state budget proposals set for Monday

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is set to propose a mix of cuts and new revenues to close a $1.4 billion budget shortfall. The Democrat has scheduled a news conference Monday morning.

Read more
Budget crisis
11:58 am
Thu October 27, 2011

Gregoire proposes $2 billion in cuts; new taxes still on the table

Wash. Gov. Chris Gregoire Says She’s Open To “Revenues” At Offset Another $2 Billion In Cuts
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says it’s time to look for new sources of funding for the state budget. That’s a major shift from her position a year ago. The Democrat’s comments today came after she proposed another $2 billion in cuts.

Read more
Washington state legislature
10:50 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Coroner: Heart condition caused state senator’s death

A Washington state senator found dead in his hotel room Friday died of heart failure – the result of a previously undiagnosed enlarged heart. That’s the finding of an autopsy this weekend.

Democrat Scott White was 41 years old. A public memorial is planned possibly later this week.

Read more
Budget crisis
4:29 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Cut teacher salaries, release prisoners: Lawmakers talk budgets

OLYMPIA, Wash. — State lawmakers have started assessing potential ideas on how to fix the state's budget situation.

A Senate committee heard proposals Monday that would further reduce teacher salaries, release prisoners early and eliminate virtually all substance abuse services.

Read more
Washington state legislature
3:28 pm
Mon September 26, 2011

Washinton Democrats may put taxes back on the ballot

OLYMPIA, Wash. – There are fresh signals that majority Democrats in Olympia may try to send a tax measure to voters this spring. House Democrats met behind closed doors Monday.

With a special session scheduled for late November, time is of the essence. State Representative Kathy Haigh chairs the House education appropriations committee. She says getting Democrats on the same page to fill the new $2 billion hole in the budget won't happen overnight.

Read more

Pages