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Petri Dish
August 31  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Democratic state Rep. Ross Hunter, the chamber’s chief budget writer and a central figure in the state’s effort to fully fund public schools, is resigning to become director of the Department of Early Learning.



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August 26  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Two state lawmakers from Snohomish County are bound for Japan Thursday where they will meet with leaders of Hyogo Prefecture which is Washington’s sister state.



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August 25  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray announced Tuesday she will support the Iran nuclear agreement, moving the controversial deal pushed by President Barack Obama one vote closer to success.



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August 20  |  By Jerry Cornfield Herald Columnist
Public schools are not just underfunded by the state as Washington’s Supreme Court has made abundantly clear.Most of them are also failing, according to the federal government.

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August 14  |  By Jerry Cornfield
We’re getting a better idea of what Gov. Jay Inslee envisioned when he announced last month he would use his executive authority to impose a binding cap on carbon emissions in Washington.



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August 13  |  
Voters won't decide the race for Snohomish County executive until November but there are Democrats quietly trafficking in what-if scenarios should Dave Somers defeat John Lovick.

What, too soon?

Don't blame the messenger.

Somers' performance in the Aug. 4 primary sparked this low chatter of gossip among Democrats who figure it's never too soon to contemplate the political...

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August 11  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Those hoping to cast a vote for Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders in next year's presidential primary may be out of luck.

Democratic Party leaders refused Tuesday to hold the state's presidential primary in March rather than May. By that time many current candidates may no longer be competing.



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July 23  |  By Jerry Cornfield
An 11.9-cent hike in the state’s gas tax will go before voters this fall.

But what they say won’t matter because the results will only be advisory and, by that time, a chunk of the increase will already be in effect.



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July 23  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Gov. Jay Inslee’s re-election committee did not violate state lobbying laws when it sent emails to supporters on issues and bills in front of lawmakers, the state Public Disclosure Commission decided Thursday.



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July 22  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-WA, is filling up her campaign coffers while her Republican opponent is finally getting a chance to focus on the congressional contest.



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July 9  |  By Jerry Cornfield
The state Senate voted Thursday to allow high school students to graduate without passing a required biology exam and to suspend Initiative 1351 for four years.

The decisions clear the way for lawmakers to finish their work this week while also plugging a $2 billion hole in the new state budget.



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July 8  |  By Jerry Cornfield
The longest legislative session in state history may soon be over.

Republican and Democratic leaders in the state Senate announced Wednesday they have agreed to a two-year delay of a requirement that high school students pass a biology exam to graduate.



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July 1  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a new two-year state budget a few minutes before midnight Tuesday ensuring no state agency is closed or state worker laid off when the new fiscal year begins Wednesday.



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June 30  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Lawmakers on Tuesday hope to wrap up their work and go home after a year in which they pushed the state to the brink of shut down because they couldn’t agree on how much to spend – not cut -- in the next budget.



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June 29  |  By Jerry Cornfield
The public is getting their first look at the detail in a $16.1 billion transportation revenue package that depends on increasing the gas tax by 11.9 cents a gallon in the next two years.



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June 28  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Gov. Jay Inslee on Sunday dropped his pursuit of a low carbon fuel standard aimed at reducing pollution, clearing away a final obstacle to an agreement with lawmakers on a $15 billion transportation package.

Inslee and lawmakers have been negotiating a 16-year proposal that would be paid for with a hike in the gas tax and higher registration fees for cars and trucks.



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June 27  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative leaders of both parties announced early Saturday they had "reached an agreement in principle" on a new state budget.



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June 25  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Gov. Jay Inslee surprised Republican senators this week with an offer to delay his pursuit of a low carbon fuel standard that has been a major obstacle to getting agreement on a transportation revenue package.



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June 25  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Thousands of vacationers learned Thursday their plans to spend the holiday weekend camping in a state park are in serious jeopardy.



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June 23  |  By Jerry Cornfield
An alliance of businesses, labor unions, cities, counties and political leaders from around the state on Tuesday urged the governor and lawmakers to pass a transportation package



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June 22  |  By Jerry Cornfield
After 158 days of regular and special sessions, there are signs state lawmakers have discovered a path to agreement on a two-year state budget.

On Monday, House Democrats will unveil a new budget proposal, as well as a revamped bill to raise revenue. The latter is expected to list tax exemptions Democrats wish to eliminate.



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June 20  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Elson Floyd, the charismatic and influential president of Washington State University, has died, university officials announced Saturday. He was 59.

Here are excerpts of statements issued by political leaders.

Gov. Jay Inslee:



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June 16  |  By Jerry Cornfield
A new policy allowing state senators to expand their social media presence cleared a final hurdle Tuesday when the Legislative Ethics Board didn’t object to any of the changes.



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June 16  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Travel on Washington State Ferries is probably going to get more expensive this fall.



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June 10  |  By Jerry Cornfield
If you walk around the Capitol today you won’t get the sense there’s a crisis looming in the state.

A government shutdown is a mere three weeks away but on another sunny and warm day, there’s not much visible activity taking place to prevent the shuttering of agencies.



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June 9  |  By Jerry Cornfield
UPDATE: David Postman, communications director for Gov. Jay Inslee, released the following statement regarding today's announcement by Attorney General Bob Ferguson:



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June 8  |  By Jerry Cornfield
State lawmakers are getting a little more time from the state Supreme Court to show they’ve complied with a contempt order in the McCleary case – but not much.



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June 4  |  By Jerry Cornfield
There’s word Thursday morning that party leaders in the House and Senate are nearing agreement on how much to spend in the next state budget.

The budget director for Gov. Jay Inslee said lawmakers are "getting pretty close" and could possibly hit this milestone today.



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May 28  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Senate Republicans unveiled a new two-year budget proposal Thursday that would fully fund negotiated pay raises for state workers, increase support for state parks and expand mapping of landslide-prone areas of the state.



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May 27  |  By Jerry Cornfield
Republican state Rep. Elizabeth Scott, an uncompromising conservative who emerged from the ranks of the Tea Party in Snohomish County, has filed to run in 2016 against Democratic Congresswoman Suzan DelBene.



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