LATEST BLOGS

Record-long legislative session ends. Lawmakers adjourn without passing water-access bill or capital budget
By FRANZ GREGORY  | 
Jul 24, 2017

It all ended last Thursday evening. With just a few members present, the state legislature adjourned after a record-breaking 193 days in session. Lawmakers left Olympia throughout the day as it became clear negotiations on a water-rights bill to fix the devastating effects of last October’s  state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision had broken down.  The ruling effectively limited new domestic water wells, leaving property owners in many rural areas without access to water and unable build homes on their property.

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours
By ERIN SHANNON  | 
Jul 23, 2017

That was the telling song blaring over the speakers as the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) introduced Governor Jay Inslee at their 2017 State Convention this week.  The raucous reception included an introduction by WSLC president Jeff Johnson declaring Gov. Inslee, “a huge advocate for state employees and raising their pay…”

He is that. This year Governor Inslee agreed to a $682 million increase in state worker salaries over two years (2017-19 state budget).  As a side note, just two of the unions that negotiated directly with the governor for that pay hike contributed nearly $700,000 to re-elect him last year.  That’s a pretty good return on those unions’ investment.

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Washington state’s great water stand-off continues to impact homes and community
By MADILYNNE CLARK  | 
Jul 20, 2017

As our state struggles to fix the problems created by the court ruling in the Hirst v. Whatcom County (known as the Hirst ruling), the third special session concludes today. Legislators will be leaving Olympia without a fix, without a compromise, and without a much needed solution for rural home owners and rural communities.

As we end this special session, all indicators point to the fact that Hirst will be yet another issue to drive the wedge deeper between rural and urban Washington. 

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