State Relations

December 14, 2007

Helen Sommers Re-Election Watch Begins

Public radio reporter Austin Jenkins wrote this story for yesterday about what has been a hot topic in the Olympia rumor mill for a number of weeks — will Rep. Helen Sommers (D-Seattle) run for re-election in 2008? Sommers, who is 75 is the chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and a longtime friend

Olympia News and Notes

With the departure of Rep. Jon Lovick from the state legislature due to his election as the new Snohomish County Sherrif, Rep. Jeff Morris (D-Anacortes) has been elected by his caucus to be House Speaker Pro Tem.  In this capacity, Morris will preside over floor debate when House Speaker Frank Chopp is not at the

December 13, 2007

Rep. Fred Jarrett to Switch Parties — Run for State Senate

According to Seattle Times chief political reporter David Postman, Rep. Fred Jarrett (R-Mercer Island), a long-time supporter of higher education announced today he is switching parties and will run for the state Senate next year in the 41st district as a Democrat.  Incumbent Sen. Brian Weinstein (D-Mercer Island) has also announced his retirement, clearing the

Supplemental Budget Update — Campus Safety

Hope most of you saw the story’s in the papers yesterday about the Governor’s proposals to improve campus safety at the state’s universities and colleges.  The UW had requested a total of $5.3 million for various campus safety initiatives in our 2008 supplemental budget request.  This included: $4.5 million one-time funding for a mass notification

December 11, 2007

State Auditor Report Criticizes WSU Tri Cities

According to a story in this morning’s Tri City Herald, a state auditor’s report released on Monday has found that staff members at WSU Tri Cities improperly manipulated data to inflate the campuses reported enrollment.  The report stems from a whistleblower complaint June 21 that alleged that campus officials were complicit in inflating student credit

December 10, 2007

Arizona Universities’ Trying Different Tuition Increase Approaches

After years of slow to moderate tuition increases, Arizona’s three major universities are poised for significant jumps in the resident undergraduate tuition in the next academic year.  However, two of the schools are also trying novel approaches to keeping that tuition predictable over the course of the student’s period of study. Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe will

December 7, 2007

Strow To Resign House Seat for PSRC Position

Rep. Chris Strow (R-Freeland) who represents the 10th District in the state legislature (Island County and parts of Snohomish County) will resign his seat next week to take a fulltime position with the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) in Seattle.  Strow told the Associated Press today that the heavy time pressure of campaigning and serving

December 4, 2007

Gregoire Picks New Supreme Court Justice

This morning, Governor Christine Gregoire tapped state Court of Appeals judge Debra Stephens of Spokane as the newest member of the state Supreme Court.  Stephens replaces Justice Bobbe Bridge who announced earlier this year she would step down at the end of December to run a juvenile justice program. Stephens, a graduate of Gonzaga University’s School

November 30, 2007

Former Congressional Aide Tapped to Replace Rep. Richard Curtis

Jaime Herrera, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has been chosed to complete the term of former state representative Richard Curtis who resigned last month following media reports of a sexual encounter in a Spokane hotel.  Clark and Cowlitz county commissioners meeting in Kelso yesterday voted to appoint Herrera to the 18th

Special Session Update

It’s a bitterly cold Friday morning in Olympia and the one day special session is now history.  Not much to do yesterday other than catch up on paperwork, telephone calls and watch the House and Senate reinstate the 1% property tax limitation that was tossed out a few weeks ago by the Supreme Court.  Not

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