legislature

Lobbyist Dinners
8:03 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Washington Lawmakers Defend Frequent Dinners With Lobbyists

Two Washington state lawmakers are defending their frequent dinners with lobbyists. The meals show up in monthly reports filed with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has been digging into those reports.

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Washington Lobbyists
7:05 am
Wed May 1, 2013

The Influence Game: Wining And Dining Washington Lawmakers After Hours

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:39 pm

In the first three months of this year, lobbyists in Washington state spent more than $200,000 on entertainment. Much of that money was spent to wine and dine state lawmakers during the just-concluded 105-day session. But what are lobbyists and their clients getting in exchange for picking up the tab?

After the legislative day ends up at the Capitol, it’s pretty common for some of the players to decamp. They go to one of a handful of usually higher-end Olympia establishments. This is where – over a meal, perhaps a bottle of Washington wine – the work continues.

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Logging Protests
3:53 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Lawmakers Want To Crack Down On Logging Protests

US Forest Service

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 3:17 pm

Oregon lawmakers want to increase penalties for protesters who disrupt logging on state-owned forestland. The Oregon House Monday approved a measure that makes it a crime to obstruct timber operations. But the bill would still allow protests that don't actually block logging crews.

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Washington Legislative Session
7:59 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Washington Legislature Adjourns, But Not For Long

The Washington Legislature adjourned Sunday night.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The Washington legislature has adjourned after a 105-day session. The final gavels fell just after six o’clock Sunday night.

Owen: “The 2013 regular session of the 63rd legislature is adjourned Sine Die"

But the adjournment won’t last long. Governor Jay Inslee immediately called a special session for two weeks from now because the House and Senate failed to come to agreement on a two-year budget. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

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Political Fundraising
4:01 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Washington Special Session Has Political Fundraising Implications

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 3:42 pm

An expected special session of the Washington legislature would mean another freeze on political fundraising. State law prohibits lawmakers from soliciting contributions while they are in session. For most members that’s probably not a huge concern since this is an off-election year. But a few legislators will be on this year’s ballot.

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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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Pledge of Allegiance
6:17 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Lawmakers Vote For Daily Public School Pledge

Oregon lawmakers want to give students the chance to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day.

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Shipping And Handling
4:39 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Oregon Lawmakers Want Shipping And Handling Charges Disclosed

Alan Levine Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:05 pm

Oregon lawmakers want to make sure you know how much you'll ultimately pay for those nifty gadgets hawked on TV. The Oregon House Wednesday passed a measure that would require companies to fully disclose shipping and handling charges in advance.

Ever drift off to sleep on your couch and wake up to this type of pitch?

"Order during this commercial and we'll give you a complete second set of Samurai Shark and Shears absolutely free of charge. Just pay the shipping and handling!"

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Principal Veto Power
5:21 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Washington Educators Pan Bill Aimed At Teacher 'Dance Of the Lemons'

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 4:54 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – It’s an idea that’s catching on around the country: give school principals the power to reject a teacher assigned to their building. Giving principals veto power has already passed the Washington Senate. But at a public hearing in the House Friday the idea faced opposition – and not just from teachers.

In the education documentary “Waiting For Superman” they talk about the dance of the lemons.

Waiting For Superman: “Principals have their lemons. These are teachers who are chronically bad: they know it, the other teachers know it …”

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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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