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

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March 4, 2014 at 7:58 PM

House OKs supplemental budget; Senate negotiations next

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,…

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February 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Senate Democrats would end $100 million in tax breaks to support education

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…

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0 Comments | More in State Legislature | Topics: education, state budget, tax breaks

October 18, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Food industry group agrees to disclose anti-food-labeling donors

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…

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0 Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: genetic engineering, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Initiative 522

October 9, 2013 at 9:58 AM

McGinn supports minimum wage above $15 an hour

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.

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0 Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: ed murray, Mayor Mike McGinn, minimum wage

September 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM

First TV ads aired in GMO initiative battle

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…

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| More in 2014 elections | Topics: genetically engineered food, GMO, Initiative 522

August 27, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Former state Sen. Jean Berkey dies at 74

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…

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June 28, 2013 at 11:14 PM

State transportation plan hits roadblock

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…

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: Curtis King, Jay Inslee, Judy Clibborn

June 28, 2013 at 10:57 PM

Legislature OKs suspension of teacher raises

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…

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November 1, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Former Gov. Dan Evans backs Referendum 74 — for gay marriage

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…

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0 Comments | More in homepage, Politics Northwest | Topics: gay marriage, gov. dan evans

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