OLYMPIA — The House approved a supplemental budget Tuesday that would restore cost-of-living increases for teachers and put additional money into the state’s public education system. The budget, estimated at more than $200 million, passed on a mostly party-line 53-44 vote, and now leaders in that chamber and the Senate, which passed its budget last week,…More
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Another government proposal for increasing state dollars for Washington public schools was dropped into the already overloaded cart Tuesday. The proposal from Senate Democrats gives lawmakers another option for answering a Supreme Court order to improve the way education is paid for. The court’s last communication with the Legislature asked for a concrete plan by April…More
OLYMPIA, Washington — House lawmakers have been receiving an extra $30 a day to be in Olympia since the start of the year. Deputy Chief Clerk Bernard Dean confirmed Thursday that the decision to increase lawmakers’ daily stipend — known as a per diem —from $90 a day to $120 a day was made last month,…More
Washington state’s attorney general says a food industry group has agreed to disclose who contributed to an effort to oppose a food labeling initiative. Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Friday the agreement avoids the need to seek court intervention. Earlier this week, Ferguson filed a lawsuit against the Grocery Manufacturers Association, saying the group violated…More
The idea of a $15 minimum wage continues to build momentum in the Seattle area, with Mayor Mike McGinn saying he would support an effort to set the standard even higher.
In an interview with The Associated Press, McGinn said he thought $15 was a “fair starting point” for the minimum wage discussion. He cautioned that the issue was best handled legislatively and that the actual number would be determined by city council members.
“If the council proposed a higher number, I’d support that,” said McGinn, who is seeking re-election next month.
He added later: “I would expect that, if re-elected, we would put together a coalition to figure out how far we could go on the minimum wage.”
McGinn challenger Ed Murray recently announced that he would push for a $15 minimum wage but planned to proceed with a phased-in approach. Washington already has the nation’s highest state minimum wage at $9.19 an hour, while San Francisco is the local jurisdiction with the highest hourly standard at $10.55.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and advocates have been pressing nationwide to push the number higher. In a small effort in the Seattle suburb of SeaTac, union-backed advocates were successful in getting a ballot measure that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.More
The first television ads have aired in the battle over a statewide initiative that would mandate the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Opponents and supporters of Initiative 522 rolled out TV spots Monday morning in campaigns that are expected to cost millions of dollars. The Yes on 522 campaign has raised $3.4 million with the largest donation…More
Former Washington state Sen. Jean Berkey has died at the age of 74. Donald Berkey said Tuesday that his wife passed away on Aug. 21 at their home near Deception Pass following a brief illness. Jean Berkey served a decade in the Legislature before losing in a 2010 primary election. Berkey was born Aug. 22, 1938 in…More
The chief proponent of a major Washington state transportation package said Friday night the bill was on life support and that it was extremely unlikely to pass this year. Democratic Rep. Judy Clibborn said Friday night that she was sorry and disappointed the $10 billion package did not have the support needed to get through the…More
The Washington state Legislature has passed a measure suspending cost-of-living raises for teachers over the next two years. The Senate passed the measure on a 25-23 vote Friday night, a day after the House passed it. The measure now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature. The cost-of-living adjustments were spelled out in Initiative 732, which…More
The Associated Press Former Republican Gov. Dan Evans says he supports gay marriage in Washington state. In a statement provided Thursday by Washington United for Marriage, Evans said that approving Referendum 74 “just seems right and reflects the fundamental value of fairness that we treasure here in Washington.” Evans was governor of Washington for three terms, serving from…More