Washington Budget
4:56 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Higher Tax Collections Lowers Pressure On Washington Lawmakers To Raise Revenue

File photo of the Legislative Building on the Washington State Capitol campus in Olympia.
Tradnor Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 3:05 pm

In Olympia, legislative budget writers got a shot of good news Friday regarding tax collections.

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Hanford Cleanup
7:26 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Obama’s Budget Shifts Cleanup Focus At Hanford

President Barack Obama budgets $2.3 million for clean up of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation that would cut $100 million from the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations office.
Credit AP Images

President Barack Obama’s budget would spend $2.3 billion on cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in 2016. But it shifts the focus of cleanup. The proposed budget would spend more on cleanup of the tank waste and a massive plant meant to treat that sludge. The President’s proposed budget would cut about $100 million from the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations office.

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Child Welfare Lawsuits
7:32 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Lawsuit Payouts Top $150 Million As Washington CPS Requests More Workers

CPS investigator Xyzlora Brownell says one of the hardest parts of her job is deciding to remove children from their parents.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The agency that oversees child welfare in Washington wants to hire nearly 100 more child protection workers.

But the budget request comes after years of lawsuits that cost the state more than $150 million. Now the question is whether Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services has taken adequate steps to learn from child welfare cases that went awry.

Part of the problem is fresh reports of child abuse and neglect keep pouring in – up 10,000 over the last two years.

'It truly is a crisis'

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Oregon Budget
3:57 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Kitzhaber Unveils $18.6 Billion Spending Plan

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber unveiled his 2015-2017 spending plan during a press conference at the state capitol in Salem.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has unveiled an $18.6 billion spending plan for the next two years. The Democrat outlined his proposal at the state capitol Monday. Roughly half of the money is marked for education.

Kitzhaber mentioned his budget also includes tax relief for low-income workers.

"To ensure that hard work is actually rewarded with a better life…to ensure that when you get more wages, when your income goes up, you actually have more money, not less money in your pocket," Kitzhaber said.

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Washington Budget
5:23 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Washington State Employees Negotiate First Pay Raises In Six Years

Washington State is expected to take in nearly $3 billion more in revenues in the next two years.
Credit Piutus / Flickr

Washington state employees have not had a cost-of-living raise in six years. But that could change in the next budget cycle.

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Public Health Services
7:21 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Oregon County Turns Public Health Function Over To State

Counties across the Northwest are heavily dependent on timber revenue from federal lands have been struggling to provide public health services. Now, one county in Oregon has told the state it will no longer provide those services. That's left state officials scrambling to figure out how to cover the gap. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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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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Washington Budget
4:47 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Budget Deal Struck In Washington Legislature

This budget deal represents a compromise between the Democratically-controlled Washington House and mostly Republican majority in the state Senate.
Credit Tradnor / Wikimedia Commons

Washington public schools will get an additional nearly $60 million, but teachers will not get a cost of living raise this year. That’s the upshot of a budget deal that’s being announced at this hour at the Capitol in Olympia.

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Washington Budget
6:05 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Washington Senate Budget Includes Nearly Two Dozen Tax Breaks

The Washington Senate is proposing the creation or extension of nearly two dozen tax breaks.
Credit Cacophany / Wikimedia Commons

The Washington Senate is proposing the creation or extension of nearly two dozen tax breaks – mostly for businesses. Governor Jay Inslee supports the largest of those tax incentives. But overall the Senate package unveiled Monday runs counter to the Democratic governor’s push to eliminate several tax exemptions to pay for education.

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5:21 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Obama Backs Idaho, Oregon Senators' Plan To Fund Firefighting Like Disaster Aid

The Beaver Creek Fire near Sun Valley, Idaho, covered more than 100,000 acres in 2013.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Fighting wildfires would be funded more like hurricane and flood response under a proposal out of the Northwest that won President Obama's endorsement . The plan is being advanced by a bipartisan team of Oregon and Idaho senators in reaction to the growing cost of massive wildfires.

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