government

MathTeacherGuy / flickr

The state of Washington paid out nearly $50 million last fiscal year to people who were somehow harmed by the state. The numbers were released Tuesday in an annual report on “tort claim payouts.”

Photo credit: Wikimedia user Jay8g / Wikimedia Commons

California billionaire Tom Steyer is poised to help Democrats try to win back control of the Washington Senate. But first, his NextGen political action committee had to satisfy a quirk in the law. Call it the ten-ten rule. In Washington, political committees have to jump a small hurdle before they can play in Washington’s political sandbox.

Washington State Legislature / http://www.ltgov.wa.gov/

Washington Lt. Gov. Brad Owen has agreed to a $15,000 ethics fine. The settlement announced Friday stems from the five-term Democrat’s use of state resources to operate a non-profit with his wife.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The Washington Supreme Court has its first openly gay, Asian-American, Latina justice. Former King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu was sworn-in Tuesday. Yu will run in November to finish out the term of retiring Justice Jim Johnson. Like a lot of appointed judges this year, Yu faces no opposition on the ballot.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Ralph Nader has never been elected president, but his new book has a broad-based coalition of endorsements that range from Grover Norquist on the right to Robert Reich and Cornel West on the left, in which Mr. Nader finds in a partisan time the outlines of a new political force that crosses all party lines. His new book is "Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance To Dismantle The Corporate State." Ralph Nader joins us in our studios. Thanks so much for being with us.

RALPH NADER: Thank you very much, Scott.

According to a National Park Service report, towns around national parks lost an estimated $414 million during the partial government shutdown last October.

Robert S. Donovan / Flickr

Washington’s ethics boards should define how often lawmakers can dine out at lobbyist expense. That’s the consensus of nearly a dozen state senators. They’ve signed onto a proposal that would direct legislative and executive ethics panels to clarify the rules for lobbyist-paid meals.

The political divide is already on display in the Washington state capitol as lawmakers convened for their 60-day election year session.

Republicans are lining up for the chance to take on Oregon Democratic U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. Portland doctor Monica Wehby tossed her hat into the ring Tuesday.

Federal workers in Oregon who were furloughed during the partial government shutdown won't get extra pay for that time off after all.

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