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Politics Northwest

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

Category: State Legislature
December 19, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Lawmakers jab Supreme Court: bill would make races partisan

You could call it The “Go Pound Sand” Act of 2015. In a shot at the state Supreme Court, 19 state representatives — including three Democrats — have filed House Bill 1051, which would turn races for the state’s high court into partisan contests. (The court’s nine justices are now elected in nonpartisan races.) The…

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Comments | More in 2014 elections, State Legislature, State Supreme Court | Topics: McCleary, Rep. Richard DeBolt, Washington State Supreme Court

December 12, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Cliven Bundy’s son to speak at Saturday’s gun-rights rally

One the speakers listed for Saturday’s demonstration in Olympia against the new law expanding gun-purchase background checks is the son of Cliven Bundy. Cliven, you might remember, is the Nevada rancher who pushed back against attempts by the government to take away his cattle and who later suggested black people might be better off as slaves picking cotton. Ammon Bundy is listed…

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Comments | More in 2014 elections, Gun initiative, Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: ammon bundy, i-594, sandy hook promise

December 12, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Inslee: Cap-and-trade climate plan can fund schools and bridges

In advance of his budget roll-out next week, Gov. Jay Inslee is making the case that the sort of cap-and-trade system he favors to cut carbon pollution can also generate cash for schools, bridges and other needs. Speaking at a Seattle conference hosted by the liberal Washington State Budget and Policy Center, Inslee said his…

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Comments | More in Governor, State government, State Legislature | Topics: 2015 Legislature, budget, climate change

December 10, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Senate GOP adds a committee and subtracts some Democrats

Though it still calls itself the Majority Coalition Caucus, Republicans won an outright majority of the state Senate in last month’s election. As such, when the coalition Tuesday evening announced committee chairs for the upcoming legislative session, it did away with the handful of Democrats that had served as committee chairs or co-chairs. The name of one Democrat,…

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Comments | More in State Legislature | Topics: Majority Coalition Caucus, mark miloscia, Tim Sheldon

December 8, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Budget office signs off on state employee contracts as feasible

Due to the Great Recession, state employees haven’t had a raise in six years. But a move by the Washington Office of Financial Management (OFM) Friday might put workers one step closer to getting a wage hike. The OFM signed off on letters declaring $583 million of negotiated and arbitrated employee contracts as fiscally feasible. The contracts cover…

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Comments | More in Governor, State Legislature | Topics: Jay Inslee, state employees, union contracts

December 4, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Minimum-wage increase in the spotlight — now for the whole state

Calls for increasing the minimum wage spread Thursday beyond Seattle and SeaTac, as demonstrators rallied across the Puget Sound region and sat in on a legislative hearing at the Capitol. Demonstrators gathered at restaurants in Aberdeen, Bellevue and Kent, and were later scheduled to rally at two events in Olympia. Sage Wilson, spokesman for Working Washington, which…

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Comments | More in Minimum wage, Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: minimum wage

December 1, 2014 at 10:04 PM

GOP state senators elect Mark Schoesler majority leader

GOP state senators Monday elected Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, their new majority leader. Schoesler replaces outgoing Sen. Rodney Tom, a Democrat, who retired this year rather than run for re-election. Tom and Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, crossed the aisle two years ago to caucus with Republicans and form the GOP-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus. “I’m grateful to…

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Comments | More in State Legislature | Topics: Bruce Dammeier, Mark Schoesler, Tim Sheldon

November 29, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Minimum-wage rally planned for Thursday in Olympia

The group Working Washington, which has been advocating for a higher minimum wage, is planning to bring its message to the state Capitol. But unlike the demonstrators who gathered for recent state Supreme Court hearings on education funding and sex-trafficking, the rally will come after a lower-key event: a State House Labor & Workforce Development committee More

Comments | More in Minimum wage, Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: minimum wage, state Legislature

November 25, 2014 at 4:27 PM

NRA intends to lobby against new background-check law

Washington state voters this month approved — by a wide margin — the expansion of gun-purchase background checks to private sales and transfers. Now that Initiative 594 has passed, gun-rights supporters are shifting gears from working to defeat a proposal to opposing a new law. Opponents have claimed the law will criminalize law-abiding gun owners for handing each…

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Comments | More in 2014 elections, Gun initiative, State Legislature | Topics: i-594, Moms Demand Action, national rifle association

November 25, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Viet Shelton will be Seattle mayor’s new communications director

Viet Shelton will be Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s new communications director, he says. Starting Feb. 2, the 33-year-old University of Washington graduate will replace Jeff Reading, who announced last week he would be resigning Dec. 12 to take a job in the private sector. Shelton has worked with Murray before and is currently a spokesman in Washington,…

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Comments | More in Local government, Politics Northwest, State government, State Legislature, Washington state Democratic Party | Topics: Jeff Reading, Rosalind Brazell, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

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