Health Care
6:09 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Oregon Tries New Health Care Benefits Model For Public Employees

Public workers in Oregon will soon receive health care under a new model that's meant to rein in costs.
Credit Alex Proimos / Wikimedia

Public workers in Oregon will soon receive health care under a new model that's meant to rein in costs. The Oregon Public Employees Benefits Board approved a plan that's similar to a type developed for Oregon's Medicaid enrollees.

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Lobbyist-Paid Meals
5:56 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Ethics Panel Gets Earful On Lobbyist-Paid Meals For Lawmakers

Washington lawmakers are allowed to accept free meals on an “infrequent” basis.
Credit Robert S. Donovan / Flickr

How often is “infrequent” when it comes to state lawmakers accepting free meals from lobbyists? Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board spent nearly two hours Tuesday taking testimony on that issue and then grappling with the answer.

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Washington Budget
4:46 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Washington Governor Directs Agencies To Identify 15 Percent Cuts

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is directing state agencies to identify 15 percent cuts in the next budget.
Credit Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is directing state agencies to identify 15 percent cuts in the next budget. The directive comes as the latest revenue forecast out Tuesday shows an ongoing sluggish recovery. State budget director David Schumacher says the budget-cutting exercise does not mean all agencies will be cut by 15 percent.

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Seasonal Access Permits
7:34 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Timber Giant Begins Selling Seasonal Permits, But Some Push Back

Vandalism and illegal dumping like this on the St. Helens Tree Farm was a key reason for the new access policy says Weyerhaeuser.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Timber giant Weyerhaeuser is joining the pay-to-play and pay-to-hunt trend. This week, the largest private forestland owner in Oregon and Washington will begin selling seasonal access permits to hunters, horse riders, hikers and other recreators. The Washington state-based company is not the first to charge access fees. But the breadth and high prices it will charge are generating more push back than before. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

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Seattle Delta Hub
7:26 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Delta Air Lines Building Hub In Seattle, Putative Partner’s Hometown

Port of Seattle fire trucks salute a Delta Airbus A330 as it departs for Hong Kong on Monday.
Credit Port of Seattle

Pacific Northwest travelers will get ringside seats to see if two airlines can be partners and rivals at the same time. One of those "frenemies" - if you will - is Seattle-based Alaska Airlines. And in the other corner is Delta Air Lines. The two are long-term contractual allies. But the relationship is being tested.

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Foster Care Case
7:19 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Idaho Woman's Fight For Foster Daughter Reveals A System Of Difficult Choices

Andrea Butler of Rathdrum, Idaho, stands in the room Dee had in her home for the four and a half years Butler fostered her.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Adoptions are usually private affairs, sealed forever in court documents and known only to the families involved. But recently, one decision by Idaho's child welfare service exploded into the public sphere. A foster mom in Rathdrum in north Idaho says the state made a terrible mistake when it took her foster daughter away after four years in her home. Correspondent Jessica Robinson brings us this glimpse into the life-changing decisions the state has to make about children – where often there are no easy answers.

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Birth Defects
6:46 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Washington Health Officials Meet To Discuss Rare Birth Defect

A rare birth defect is affecting more babies in Central Washington. After hosting a series of public hearings, regulators and health officials met Monday to talk about their next steps. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Washington Legislature
5:13 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

School Funding Lawsuit Prompts Hearing On Separation Of Powers

Republican Mike Padden is the chair of Washington’s Senate Law and Justice Committee.
Credit Washington Legislature

The Washington Supreme Court could hold state lawmakers in contempt over school funding. But is the high court overstepping its bounds? A Republican-led legislative panel held a hearing Monday on separation of powers.

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Hanford Waste Cleanup
5:11 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

State, Federal Government Continue Talks Over Hanford Tank Cleanup

Washington state and the federal government gave themselves a second 40-day deadline to develop a cleanup plan for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Credit Department of Energy

Washington state and the federal government just gave themselves a 40-day deadline. They need a clear cleanup plan for leaking tanks of radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. If you think you’ve heard that before, it’s because you have.

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Airlines
4:22 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Delta Airlines Building Pacific Hub In Alaska Air’s Hometown

Delta is adding domestic flights to its new hub in Seattle to feed traffic to the international routes.
Credit Kentaro Iemoto / Wikimedia

Delta Airlines is celebrating a new nonstop service to Hong Kong at SeaTac Airport today. The new route is another building block for a global gateway Delta is developing in Seattle.

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