Washington

Washington Refinery Strike
6:33 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Tentative Labor Deal Averts Western Wash. Refinery Strikes

ConocoPhillips oil refinery at Cherry Point, Washington.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

FERNDALE, Wash. -- The United Steelworkers Union has reached a tentative deal with oil companies to avert a possible strike at dozens of refineries, including three important ones in the Northwest. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

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Northwest Regional News
5:29 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Bill Personal For Chief Sponsor

State Sen. Ed Murray (right) and Michael Shiosaki (left)
Courtesy of Washington Senate Photo Services Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – When the Washington Senate votes on same-sex marriage Wednesday, the issue will be personal for the chief sponsor. Democratic Senator Ed Murray says if the bill becomes law, he plans to marry his partner.

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Northwest Regional News
3:52 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Western Wash. Oil Refineries Face Possible Strike

Sign making at a United Steelworkers local in Ferndale, WA.
Courtesy of USW Local 12590 Northwest News Network

Bargaining is going down to the wire on new labor contracts at three of the five big oil refineries in the Northwest. Union members have been told to prepare to strike as early as Wednesday. Correspondent Tom Banse has more details.

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Washington Credit Rating
6:44 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Two Ratings Agencies Lower Wash. Credit Outlook

Standard and Poor's recently downgraded Washington State's credit outlook.
Beyond My Ken Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Two credit rating agencies have delivered a warning to the State of Washington to get its financial house in order. The ratings agencies lowered the outlook for Washington state debt, citing the magnitude of the budget shortfall. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Washington state is refinancing or selling more than $1 billion in bonds in the coming weeks. That's the reason Standard & Poor's (S&P), Moody's Investors Service, and Fitch Ratings revisited the state's credit rating.

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Washington Gay Marriage
6:23 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Gay Marriage Laws May Prevent Discrimination by Private Businesses

The Washington Legislature votes on legalizing gay marriage this week.
Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington appears poised to become the seventh state in the nation to allow gay marriage. Backers say they have the votes in the legislature. The law would exempt churches that oppose same-sex marriage. But not wedding-related businesses. Attorney Steve O’Ban highlighted this recently in testimony against the proposed law.

Steve O’Ban: “There’s no protection either for a small businesswoman for example who runs say a photography business or a printing company to decline to photograph or, say, print a wedding announcements for gay weddings, for reasons of faith.”

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Northwest Regional News
8:08 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Tolling Overcharges On Highway 520

Washington State transportation officials say they'll issue refunds after a glitch in the tolling system on the Highway 520 bridge caused drivers to be overcharged twenty-five cents.

Motorists who made the trip between Seattle and Bellevue from January seventeenth to twenty-fifth will get a refund, even those who were billed correctly. The twenty-five-cent transaction fee is charged for those who travel the bridge infrequently and pay by the license plate.

State officials say the billing problem was related to the toll equipment's internal clock.

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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Northwest Regional News
7:21 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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737-MAX
6:59 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Boeing Makes Its Largest-Ever European Sale

Boeing sold 100 737 MAX airplanes to Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Boeing

The Boeing Company ended 2011 having sold about half as many airplanes as its France-based rival, Airbus. Now, less than a month into the new year, Boeing has inked its largest deal ever with a European airline. The aerospace giant is on track to overtake Airbus for the first time in years. From France, Liam Moriarty reports.

Oslo-based Norwegian Air Shuttle is the first European carrier to buy Boeing's revamped 737 MAX -- 100 of them. The deal is seen as another industry vote of confidence in the updated version of Boeing’s workhorse model.

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Advocates want E-Verify to remain optional
6:03 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Immigration Laws In Wash. Draws Hundreds To Olympia

Immigrant rights advocates rally at the Washington State House in Olympia.
Azusa Uchikura Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Immigrant rights advocates are making their voice heard in Olympia. Hundreds gathered to sway legislators on state immigration laws. Azusa Uchikura reports on Thursday’s rally in Olympia.

Pramila Jayapal: “The immigrant voice in Washington state is proud and loud."

Those are immigrant rights advocates rallying on the steps of the Washington state house. They want to convince lawmakers in Olympia to keep E-verify optional for Washington employers.

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