TACOMA — Rep. Roger Freeman has died at age 48 after battling cancer for the past year. The News Tribune of Tacoma reports that Freeman, a Democrat from Federal Way, died Wednesday. The Franciscan Health System confirmed to the newspaper that Freeman died at St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way. Freeman, who was diagnosed with colon cancer…More
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OLYMPIA — Billionaire California environmentalist Tom Steyer has donated $250,000 more to a political action committee he has formed in Washington state. The $250,000 donation to NextGen Climate Action Committee was made on Friday, but didn’t post online with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission until Monday. Steyer had already given $1 million to the committee. Last month,…More
Sponsors of an initiative to decrease Washington public school class sizes have turned in more than 325,000 signatures to the Washington secretary of state’s office. They expect they have plenty of signatures to qualify the proposal for the November ballot. Campaign manager Mary Howes says the volume of signatures shows voters feel large classes are unacceptable. Initiative 1351…More
The U.S. Senate has confirmed Sal Mendoza Jr. as the first Latino federal judge in Eastern Washington. Mendoza was a Benton-Franklin Superior Court judge who worked as a lawyer, including time as an assistant attorney general and deputy prosecutor in Franklin County. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell both spoke in support of Mendoza before Tuesday’s vote. The…More
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
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