Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:45 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Raising taxes in Washington just got a whole lot easier. The state Supreme Court Thursday threw out the requirement that tax increases muster a two-thirds vote of the legislature. Democrats say the ruling will allow more options as lawmakers grapple with ongoing budget woes. But Republicans vow to uphold the will of voters who have repeatedly supported a high bar for tax hikes.
Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:00 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the two-thirds requirement for tax hikes is a personal defeat for initiative activist Tim Eyman. Over the years, he sponsored three of the five ballot measures that enacted the supermajority rule.
Outside the Capitol after the ruling, reporters noted that Eyman seemed more subdued than defiant.
Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 11:23 am
"Washington sure isn't making it easy" for the American people and the American economy, President Obama told reporters late Friday morning as he and other lawmakers failed to reach a deal to avert $85 billion worth of automatic "sequester" spending cuts due to start at the end of the day.
Friday, March 1, is opening day at the Green Lake Pitch ‘n Putt Golf Course. The course has nine holes. The clubhouse isn’t much bigger than a roadside fruit stand. Admission is less than $10. For the thirtieth year in a row, the Taitch family will be running the place. But last year, the family almost called it quits.
Halfway through the enrollment season for Washington's Guaranteed Tuition Savings program, the number of new enrollments is lagging compared to the last two years. Consumer confidence in the program is slipping, at least for now, even as state lawmakers express their concerns about the $600 million shortfall in the program.
A state ethics board has fined the former state Department of Corrections communications director for violations. The board determined that Belinda Stewart used state time and resources to run corrections oriented nonprofits.
Correction: audio for this story differs from its original broadcast, which incorrectly identified Nate McMillan as a member of the Sonics championship team from 1979. We have also clarified the story to indicate that the two conference trophies in MOHAI's warehouse are not the only two won by the Sonics.
When the owners of the Seattle Sonics moved the team to Oklahoma City in 2008, basketball fans in Seattle were crushed. But they got one consolation prize: The team’s owners agreed to leave behind the Sonics’ cache of memorabilia.
Shell Oil Co. has put Arctic drilling on hold. The company announced Wednesday that it will not attempt to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean this year. The announcement comes after a year of accidents and setbacks for Shell’s Arctic drilling efforts.
At least, the best pieces of memorabilia we’ve ever seen. Because the Museum of History and Industry let KUOW’s Deborah Wang peek at the stash that came into their hands as part of a settlement between the city of Seattle and Clay Bennett.
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:15 pm
RICHLAND, Wash. – A new detail has emerged on the leaking tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The federal Energy Department acknowledged last week that six single-shelled tanks are holding less radioactive waste than they used to. Monday the agency said those tanks are losing less than three gallons a day.
Worst case: Three gallons per day adds up to 1,095 gallons of radioactive waste per year. The Department of Energy says it doesn’t know yet how long these tanks might have been seeping waste.
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 4:59 pm
The Northwest's public universities pull in massive amounts of federal research dollars. It totaled $1 billion last year at the University of Washington. Oregon State University won close to $200 million in federal research funds. The University of Idaho is counting on $100 million this year. So it's no surprise that university administrators are hanging on every scrap of news about imminent automatic federal budget cuts.