Government and Politics

Wash. Budget Signed
4:44 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Wash. Gov To Candidates For Gov: New Education Tax Needed

Governor Chris Gregoire Poses For An Official Photo With Lawmakers After Signing The Newly Rebalanced State Budget
Photo credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has a message for both leading candidates to replace her next year. The state will need to find a new, dedicated source of funding for education. The Democrat made her comments Wednesday at a ceremony to sign a newly rebalanced state budget.

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RYO Tax
6:21 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Lawsuit Likely Over Roll-Your-Own

Governor Gregoire to sign roll-your-own cigarettes tax.
Northwest News Network

The burgeoning roll-your-own cigarette industry in Washington is preparing to do legal battle against the state. Governor Chris Gregoire is expected to sign into law Wednesday a new tax on do-it-yourself smokes. That will likely trigger a lawsuit.

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Wash. Liqour
5:38 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Mini-Mart, Gas Station Owners Win Piece Of Wash. Liquor Business

Smaller sized liqour stores auctioned by Washington State could operate like a mini-mart.
Photo Credit: Tom Banse

Backers of last year’s initiative to privatize liquor sales in Washington said the new law would avoid a raft of new corner booze outlets. But in this week’s auction of state run liquor stores, mini-mart and gas station owners won a piece of the action.

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GOP Infighting
6:31 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Book Details Infighting Between Idaho Rep And GOP Leaders

Republican Congressman Raúl Labrador of Idaho holds a press conference with fellow conservative freshman members in February.
Photo Credit: labrador.house.gov

A new book coming out Tuesday contains an inside account of Idaho Congressman Raúl Labrador’s conflict with ranking members of the House. The Washington Post reports the book details the rift between GOP leadership and freshman Republicans pursuing a Tea Party agenda.

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Oregon Taxes
5:34 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Corporate Kicker Opponents Collect Initiative Signatures

Oregon initiative activists begin gathering signatures this weekend for a measure to do away with a corporate tax rebate.
Photo credit: Elizabeth Jenkins/ Flickr Northwest News Network

Oregon initiative activists begin gathering signatures this weekend for a measure to do away with a corporate tax rebate. It's known as the kicker because it's triggered when tax revenues exceed projections by more than two percent.

There's also a personal tax kicker, which this initiative would not touch. The labor-backed group, Our Oregon is sponsoring the ballot measure. The proposal would send money from the corporate kicker to schools. Spokesman Scott Moore says currently most of the refunds go to companies headquartered outside of Oregon.

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Sec. Reed Civics Tour
5:08 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

WA Secretary of State Sam Reed on Final College Civics Tour

Photo of Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed.
Courtesy of the Office of Secretary of State

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed has been on his final college civics tour before he retires next January.
For the past several years, Reed has taken time out every spring to visit college campuses around Washington to engage students in a variety of activities designed to encourage them to register to vote, and to help them become informed voters.

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Washington Campaign Financing
4:26 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Role-Reversal: Now It's Wash. Lawmakers' Turn To Ask Lobbyists For Help

Nathan Gorton with Washington Realtors gets more than a dozen campaign finance solicitations a day this time of year.
Photo credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Lobbyists have been pounding down the doors of Washington state lawmakers for the last several months. But now that the legislature has adjourned, the roles have suddenly reversed. Just ask lobbyist Nick Federici who advocates for human services organizations.

Nick Federici: “It is a little bit ironic that in a week’s time they went from ‘oh my God I don’t want to talk to you ever again’ to ‘oh, by the way, could you send me a check?’”

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Washington Ethics Complaint
6:10 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Solar Guru In Washington Target Of Ethics Complaint

The “father” of Washington’s solar industry faces a state ethics complaint filed by Republican State Senator Jim Honeyford.
Photo credit: Wikimedia userPujanak Wikimedia Commons

A man some call the “father” of Washington’s solar industry faces a state ethics complaint. Former Washington State University employee Mike Nelson is accused of using his state position to help a solar company win an important state certification. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports Nelson then went to work for the company.

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KKK Mailing
6:07 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Lawmaker Uses KKK Mailing To Discuss Bigotry In Idaho

Idaho State Representative Cherie Buckner-Webb.
Photo credit: Buckner-Webb campaign Northwest News Network

The African-American lawmaker in Idaho who received a flier from the KKK says she’s using the incident as an opportunity to talk about bigotry in the state. State representative Cherie Buckner-Webb and four other Idaho lawmakers have reported getting the mailings at home.

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Bank Tax
5:16 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

In Wash. A “Hollow” Victory For Tax Break Foes

For liberal activists in Washington, it has become the Holy Grail of tax breaks. We’re talking about a deduction banks can claim on some mortgages. Last week, the Washington legislature voted to end this tax exemption for large, out-of-state banks. But now some on the left are calling it a “hollow” victory.

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