State Relations

August 23, 2007

UW North Puget Sound Update

Been back from vacation for less than a week an already it seems like a distant memory.  Have been on the road much of this week visiting elected officials and other stakeholders in the Snohomish, Island and Skagit county areas discussing progress on planning for the new UW campus called for in the 2007-09 capital…

August 10, 2007

Blog Down, But Not Out

I’m off for vacation so the blog is on hiatus.  I’ll be back in about ten days to resume posting.

Higher Ed Research Plays Critical Role in NW Favorite Fluid

Sometimes, the value of higher education research isn’t always apparent to the average legislator or their constituents.  A lot of research is hard to explain and potential benefits are speculative or often years away.  So, when I read this story yesterday in the Eugene Register-Guard, I thought it deserved a mention on the blog.  This…

August 7, 2007

California Budget Stalemate Enters Sixth Week

While most state legislatures have long since adjourned for 2007 and new fiscal year budgets are quietly chugging along, the California state legislature is still wrangling over the 2007-08 state budget which was supposed to have been enacted by June 30th.  Although Democrats have sizeable majorities in the legislature and agreed on a budget deal with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger several weeks…

Rep. Bill Eickmeyer Decides Not to Run in 2008

Although the next legislative election is 15 months away, at least one House of Representatives incumbant will not be around to serve during the 2009 session. Rep. William “Ike” Eickmeyer (D-Belfair), a ten-year veteran of the House of Representatives announced yesterday he will retire at the end of his current term.  Eickmeyer was originally appointed…

August 6, 2007

K-12 Finance Panel Formed

One of the most significant items on the “left to do” list from the Governor’s Washington Learns initiative was the formation of a high-level task force to review the financing of the state’s K-12 education system and to make recommendations for reform.  During the 2007 session, the legislature created a new state Task Force on…

July 28, 2007

Rep. Ross Hunter Battling Cancer at UWMC

Most of us who follow the Olympia beat sensed during the tail end of the 2007 legislative session that something was bothering Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Bellevue).  The usually cheerful and energetic House Finance Committee chairman and former Microsoft employee didn’t seem like his usual self.  Most knew Hunter had successfully battled lymphoma during 2006 and was now contemplating…

July 23, 2007

Controversial EWU Spokane Building is Sold

Last week, Eastern Washington University quietly sold its downtown Spokane center to a Portland-based real estate company for $3.4 million, a sale authorized in this year’s legislatively enacted budget.  Higher education old-timers will remember this facility as the controversial “Frederickson building” purchased back in the early 1980’s by former EWU president George Frederickson. The former Spokane…

July 18, 2007

DNR Begins 50th Anniversary Celebration

Today marks the beginning of a year long 50th anniversary celebration for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  At a ceremony in the rotunda of the Natural Resources Building in Olympia, State Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland will be joined by former commissioners Jennifer Belcher and Brian Boyle (currently with the UW College of Forest Resources)…

July 17, 2007

Rodney Tom to Run for Congress

State Senator Rodney Tom, the newly elected Democratic senator in the 48th legislative district (Bellevue, Redmond) announced today his intention to enter the 8th congressional district House race.  The eastside seat (which has never been won by a Democrat) is currently held by Rep. Dave Reichert who is serving his second term after a long…

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