Legislature

Oregon Legislature
5:58 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Deal Reached On Two Of Kitzhaber's Legislative Priorities

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
Photo courtesy Oregon Governor's Office

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers and Governor John Kitzhaber say they've reached a last-minute deal on two of the Governor's legislative priorities. The agreement paves the way for a possible adjournment Thursday or Friday. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Health Insurance Exchange
6:00 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Washington Proposes Health Insurance Exchange

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- If you buy your own health plan, you probably go through an insurance broker. By next year you’ll be able to shop through a health insurance exchange. Most states are creating their own marketplace for people to compare and shop for health plans. Reporter Ruby de Luna has a preview of what Washington's exchange could look like, and what to expect.

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Washington Supermajority Rule
7:41 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Wash. Democratic Lawmakers Seek To Overturn Supermajority For Taxes

Washington Representative Laurie Jinkins' official photo.
Photo courtesy Washington State Legislature

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington voters consistently send Democratic majorities to the statehouse. But four times over the past 20 years they’ve also voted to require a supermajority of the legislature to raise taxes. Most recently, in 2010. Now a group of Democratic lawmakers and their allies are challenging the constitutionality of that two-thirds rule. Oral arguments are scheduled for March 9th. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins previews the case.

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Oregon Legislature
6:34 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Oregon Session Nears Halfway Point With Key Votes Looming

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
Photo credit Oregon Governor's Office

SALEM, Ore. – Halfway into a month-long legislative session in Salem, Governor John Kitzhaber’s key policy proposals face a major test as soon as Tuesday. As Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports, there have been a few bumps along the road.

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Washington Gay Marriage
6:35 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Clears House Committee

Same-sex marriage passed the Washington House Monday.
Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. - One more vote by the full Washington House is all that remains before same-sex marriage goes to the governor's desk in Olympia. In a narrow vote Monday, a House committee moved the gay marriage bill forward. A floor vote could come as early as Wednesday night.

In testimony Monday, gay rights activist Charleen Strong introduced a panel of lawmakers to her newborn daughter.

"And it is my hope that she will know that her moms have the right to be married and to be a family, just as many other Washington families have," Strong said.

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Oregon State Budget
6:30 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Oregon Lawmakers Will Tackle Revenue Shortfall In February Session

The Oregon Legislature will face lower revenues than expected this year.
Owen Wikimedia Commons

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers return to Salem on Wednesday with a fiscal challenge on their hands. Expected revenues have fallen sharply since the legislature created the current spending plan last summer. As Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports, Lawmakers expect to hear more bad news soon after they arrive back in town.

Oregon lawmakers plan to be at the capitol for about a month. One of the first things they'll do is get the latest predictions about the state's revenue picture.

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State Budget
7:25 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Wash. Lawmakers Consider Budgeting Education First

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For years, Republicans in the Washington legislature have demanded that state lawmakers vote on the education budget first. Democrats have generally rejected that idea. But this week, for the first time, a “fund education first” proposal will get a public hearing. Azusa Uchikura has more from Olympia.

What’s fueling the decision to consider the education budget first is a ruling earlier this month by the Washington Supreme Court. In McCleary v. Washington, the justices said state lawmakers are not adequately funding education.

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Convicts instead given life sentences
6:25 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Lawmakers Consider Abolishing Death Penalty To Save Money In Wash.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a plan to save money by abolishing the death penalty in the state. That idea got a hearing today in Olympia. Karil Klingbeil testified in support of the ban. Her sister, Candy Hemmig, was murdered 30 years ago in Olympia. The killer, Mitchell Rupe was dubbed “the man too fat to hang.” He initially got the death penalty, but after 20 years of appeals, received a life sentence instead. Klingbeil testified about the anger she used to feel.

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WA Gay Marriage
6:56 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Wash. Gay Marriage Proposal Gets Decisive 'Yes' Vote To Pass

The Washington State Capitol Building
Wikimedia user: Tradnor Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington lawmakers say they now have the last “yes” vote they need to pass same-sex marriage in the state.

Cheers from gay rights supporters filled the room as state Senator Ed Murray announced that news at a press conference Monday in Olympia. The 25th vote comes from Democratic State Senator Mary Margaret Haugen.

Opponents of gay marriage want to put the idea to a vote of the people. So even though the legislative votes are there, Murray says same-sex marriage is not a done deal yet in Washington.

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Same-Sex Marriage
1:57 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Gay Marriage One Vote Shy In Washington State Senate

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Supporters and opponents of gay marriage plan to descend on Washington’s capitol on Monday . That’s when House and Senate committees are scheduled to take public testimony on legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry. It now appears sponsors in the state Senate are just one vote shy of passage.

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