legislature

Undercover Driver's Licenses
5:55 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

GOP Lawmakers Have Concerns About Undercover Driver’s License Program

Two Washington state lawmakers are raising questions about a quasi-secret program inside the state’s Department of Licensing. For decades, the agency has issued false IDs to undercover police officers. But the legislature never approved the program.

Read more
Public Pension Proposal
5:42 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Oregon Democrats Prepare For Backlash Against Public Pension Proposal

Oregon State Capitol in Salem
Credit Jessica Paterson / Flickr

Democrats in the Oregon legislature are bracing themselves for a backlash against a public pension cost cutting proposal they released Monday. The plan would create a sliding scale to cap cost of living increases for retired public workers. Budget-writers hope to apply the savings to education funding.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Oregon County Clerks
5:46 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

County Clerks Could Be Appointed Instead Of Elected

A case of ballot tampering occurred in Clackamas County last fall.
Credit Northwest News Network

County clerks in Oregon would be appointed rather than elected under a measure in the Oregon legislature. A Committee in Salem heard testimony today on a proposed constitutional amendment.

Read more
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.

Read more
Death Penalty Bill
4:37 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

House Committee Takes No Action On Death Penalty Bill

A House Committee in Olympia took no action Wednesday on a bill that would eliminate the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life without parole.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

 A House Committee in Olympia took no action Wednesday morning on a bill that would eliminate the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life without parole.

Read more
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.

Read more
Oregon Education Funding
5:38 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Education Leaders See Potential For "Adequate" School Funding, But Cuts Possible, Too

The latest state budget plans released Monday in Salem are drawing mixed reviews from the education community.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages