Legislature

Washington Special Session
6:45 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Special Session Looms In Olympia

Washington’s 105-day legislative session ends this Sunday. House Democrats took a nearly $1 billion tax vote Wednesday. But there’s still no budget deal. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins says Governor Jay Inslee stopped short of saying a special session will be necessary.

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Undercover IDs
7:28 am
Wed March 27, 2013

False IDs For Cops? Washington's Unauthorized Program Faces Scrutiny

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:51 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For decades, police officers in Washington have been able to obtain false driver licenses for undercover work. But this quasi-secret program inside the Department of Licensing only recently came to light. It turns out the confidential ID program was never approved by the legislature. Now two state lawmakers are calling for more oversight to prevent possible abuses.

As a street cop in the early 1980s, Mitch Barker went undercover to work drugs and vice. The Washington Department of Licensing helped him assume a fake identity.

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Lobbying Report
6:37 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Washington Teachers' Union Top Lobbying Spender In Olympia So Far

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 4:45 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – New disclosure reports are out on money spent for lobbying in Olympia. Who tops the list? So far Washington’s teachers’ union is spending the most to influence state lawmakers this legislative session.

The Washington Education Association has five top priorities for the 2013 legislature. The list includes more money for schools as directed by the Washington Supreme Court. The union is also pushing for competitive salaries and benefits for teachers and support staff.

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Oregon Legislature
6:02 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Critics Deride 'Nanny State' Measures, Supporters Say Laws Are Justified

Shannon Holman, Dept of Transportation and Alexandra Kocik

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:01 pm

SALEM, Ore. – Some of the fiercest debates this year in the Oregon legislature have revolved around something critics call the “nanny state.” These are bills to regulate personal behavior. The issues may change, but it’s a conversation that’s been going on for decades.

Let's start with a recent example. A measure that would ban smoking in cars when there are children present. Republican Oregon state Senator Jeff Kruse is a smoker, but that’s not why he opposes the bill.

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Oregon Lawmaker
6:53 am
Fri March 8, 2013

New Mom Is Also New State Lawmaker

Shemia Fagan

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:43 pm

SALEM, Ore. - Shemia Fagan has a new baby and a new job. Like most working moms she has to balance the pressures of taking care of a newborn with the demands of the workplace. But unlike most new mothers, Fagan also has to consider the needs of her constituents. She’s serving her first term in the Oregon legislature.

The first day of the legislative session is chaos. The Capitol is filled with suits hustling about. Among the legislators sworn in was Democratic State Representative Shemia Fagan. Age 31.

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Oregon Budget
6:59 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Budget Debate Kicks Off In Salem

Ways & Means Co-chairs Representative Peter Buckley (left) and Senator Richard Devlin (right) outline their budget proposal at a state capitol press conference.
Credit Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The stage is now set for a protracted battle over the upcoming state spending plan in Oregon. Legislative budget-writers Monday released a proposal that relies on rolling back tax breaks and reducing benefits to retired public workers. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Washington Senate
7:12 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Despite Pledge To Cooperate, Partisan Recriminations in Washington Senate

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 5:29 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Three months ago, 23 Republicans and two breakaway Democrats seized control of the Washington state Senate. At the time, Majority Leader Rodney Tom, one of the Democrats, pledged a new spirit of bipartisanship.

“The public out there is hungry for us to come together, to work together in a collaborative manner and that’s exactly what this coalition is trying to accomplish,” he said.

But as the halfway point of the legislative session approaches, the Washington state Senate has become a hotbed of partisan recriminations.

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Washington Legislature
6:28 am
Mon January 14, 2013

New Political Dynamics, Budget Challenges Face Washington’s 2013 Legislature

Washington legislative leader at a pre-session forum for reporters and editors.
Credit Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington lawmakers convene for the start of the 2013 session. They face a $2 billion budget problem, an unusual political dynamic in the state senate and hot button issues like gun control. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has this preview.

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Oregon Legislature
6:22 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Oregon Lawmakers To Be Sworn In

The Oregon state capitol building.
Credit Photo by M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon lawmakers return to Salem Monday for a legislative session that's expected to be full of debate over economic and public safety issues. Democrats will control both chambers of the legislature and the governor's office, but that doesn't mean there won't be disagreements. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Nike Tax Status
7:20 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Oregon Lawmakers Pass Bill To Give Nike Special Tax Status

The Special Session of the Oregon legislature lasted just one day. The unusual lame-duck gathering Saturday was meant to assure sports apparel giant Nike that the state would not change the way it calculates income taxes for the Oregon-based company. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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