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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

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February 17, 2015 at 7:11 AM

House committee considers bill to limit vaccine exemptions

The Associated Press OLYMPIA — A House committee held a public hearing on a bill that would remove philosophical opposition as an acceptable reason for parents to not vaccinate their school-age children, drawing at least two dozen opponents to the proposed change. The bill, sponsored by Rep. June Robinson, was heard before the House Health Care &…

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Comments | More in State Legislature | Topics: measles

January 28, 2015 at 10:28 AM

Openly carried weapons banned in Capitol public hearings

The Associated Press OLYMPIA — A decision to ban openly carried weapons in the House and Senate public viewing areas at the Washington state Capitol also applies to the public hearing rooms at the nearby legislative office buildings. Officials from both chambers on Wednesday told The Associated Press that that the decision made earlier this month addressing…

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Comments | More in State government, State Legislature | Topics: Capitol, legislature, open carry

January 21, 2015 at 6:11 AM

Want change? Start by filing an initiative: Tim Eyman submits 17

The Associated Press OLYMPIA — The start of the new year is also initiative filing season in Washington. The secretary of state’s office says 37 have been filed so far, led by 17 from initiative activist Tim Eyman. Some of Eyman’s initiatives are called the Taxpayer Protection Act, Tougher on Tolls, Bring Back $30 Car Tabs and Let…

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Comments | More in Secretary of State | Topics: initiatives

December 22, 2014 at 1:16 PM

State senator to look into apparent port slowdown

The Associated Press OLYMPIA — A Washington state senator says he will look into the apparent slowdown of cargo moving through West Coast ports. Spokane Republican Michael Baumgartner says Northwest growers of Christmas trees have been particularly hurt as goods have sat on docks in recent weeks. He plans a fact-finding hearing next year to understand its causes…

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Comments | More in State Legislature | Topics: Michael Baumgartner, ports

October 1, 2014 at 6:09 AM

Yakima voting-rights plan goes to federal judge

The Associated Press YAKIMA — A federal judge will be asked Friday to choose between different plans for improving Latino voting rights in Yakima. The City Council voted Tuesday for a plan to create five geographic districts and two positions voted on citywide. The American Civil Liberties Union wants a separate district for each of the seven council…

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Comments | More in State government | Topics: latino, voting, Yakima

September 29, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Task force proposing new taxes for state parks

The Associated Press OLYMPIA — A task force appointed by the governor is recommending two new taxes to help fund Washington state parks and the outdoor recreation industry. The final report from the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Parks and Outdoor Recreation recommends a sales tax on bottled water and an excise tax on motor homes and…

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Comments | More in Governor, State government | Topics: governor, parks

July 31, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Former Gov. Gregoire heading to Harvard

Christine Gregoire The Associated Press SEATTLE — Former Gov. Chris Gregoire is heading to Harvard. The Ivy League university announced Tuesday that Gregoire will be a resident fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government next fall term. Gregoire served two terms as governor of Washington, clinching her first term in 2004 against former Republican state senator…

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Comments | More in Governor | Topics: Chris Gregoire, harvard

July 25, 2014 at 8:19 AM

State Rep. Mike Hope resigns from Legislature

Mike Hope The Associated Press OLYMPIA — State Rep. Mike Hope has resigned following the revelation he’s been registered to vote in two states since last summer. The (Everett) Herald reports that the Mill Creek Republican informed Gov. Jay Inslee of his resignation Thursday. Hope was not running for re-election. A Democratic activist in Snohomish County alerted the…

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Comments | More in State government, State Legislature | Topics: Mike Hope, Washington Legislature