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Olympia Update: Week 6

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February 14th marked a significant calendar cutoff day in Olympia. Bills that did not receive enough love to pass out of their house of origin by the end of that day are considered dead for the rest of the session. (Note: this excludes legislation that has a significant fiscal impact,…

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Olympia Update: Weeks 4 & 5

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We are now over half-way through this year’s legislative session in Olympia. Deadlines have come and gone, including the last day for bills to pass out of their house of origin policy committee and the last day for non-tax bills to pass out of their house of origin fiscal committee….

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Olympia Update: Week 3

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We have now completed week three of a 60-day legislative session and are fast approaching the first cutoff on February 2. Bills that are to continue through the process must be passed out of committee and read on the House or Senate floor by the end of the day on Friday. With…

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Legislators Reach Deal on Capital Budget & Hirst

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The State Legislature finally approved Washington’s 2017-18 capital budget Thursday night, sending the $4.2 billion construction spending plan for major projects to the governor. The impasse was broken when Democrat and Republican negotiators reached an agreement on a Hirst “fix” to address the 2016 state Supreme Court ruling on rural…

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Olympia Update: Week 2

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Week 2 was another busy one in Olympia: over 1,000 new bills have been added to the hundreds still alive from 2017 and committee and floor votes are happening quickly. This year is a short session, which means that we are already halfway to the first calendar cutoff where a…

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Hirst Decision Background

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The Hirst Decision In October 2016, a 6-3 ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court changed how counties decide to approve or deny building permits that use wells for a water source.  In Whatcom County vs. Hirst, Futurewise, et al., the court ruled that the county failed to comply with…

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