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What's New?

Governor Inslee's Inaugural Address
January 13, 2023. Washington Governor Jay Inslee delivered his 2023 State of the State Address on January 10.
    The Governor indicated in his address that Washington should be a state: "Where everyone is housed; Where our schools are safe from gun violence, and students receive the mental and educational support they need; Where the existential crisis of climate change is met by unmatched innovation; Where communities feel welcoming and safe to all; Where all people have a constitutional right to reproductive freedom. And, where people struggling with mental health or substance use no longer fall unseen and unheard through the cracks."
   Read the 2023 State of the State Address.
Watch Video of the Governor's State of the State Address.

Climate Change Impacts on the Safety of Chemical Facilities in the Puget Sound and Columbia River Areas
March 2, 2022. The Government Accountability Office has published a new report on the dangers of chemical accidents related to the effects of climate change on Chemical facilities across the nation, along with an interactive infographic showing the climate related dangers to plants around the country. In the Pacific Northwest, the faciltiies identified in the report are mostly located in the Puget Sound, the Yakima River, or the Columbia River areas. For more information, including the blog post, report, and infographic, see the Sustainable Development page of this website.

MRSC Explains Changes with New Washington Statute on Tax Increment Financing
October 18, 2021. The Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington (MRSC) Blog recently carried an article/post from Eric Lowell entitled "Tax Increment Financing Now Available to Some Washington Local Governments" which follows up on the new legislation ESHB 1189 that took effect on July 25, 2021 and makes Tax Increment Financing an option for local governments in the state. Lowell notes that: "[T]here have been several attempts to authorize TIF in Washington State, but those attempts have either been rejected by voters or struck down by the courts." He also adds that this time the legislation was written to avoid the legal issues that posed difficulties in the past.
   Read the MRSC Article on TIFs in Washington State.
   Read ESHB 1189, the New Washington TIF statute.

Federal Judge Issues Injunction Against USPS Changes
September 18, 2020. Judge Stanley A. Bastion of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington has issued a preliminary injunction in a case brought by the Attorney General of Washington on behalf of 14 states against policy and management changes at the Postal service. In addition to the Order and the Attorney General's press release with this posting, there is more information on the case on this webpage under the posting for August 20.
   Read the Order Granting Preliminary Injunction.
   Read the Washington State Attorney General's News Release on the Case.

Federal District Judge in Washington Blocks Education Secretary Requirements for School Districts to Give Significant Amounts of CARES Act Funding to Private Schools.
August 23, 2020. Judge Barbara J. Rothstein of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has granted a motion for a preliminary injunction against education secretary Betsy DeVos requirement for public schools to share significant amounts of CARES Act funding with private schools or lose their own funding. She concluded her order in Washington v. DeVos: "The United States Department of Education, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and their officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and any person in active concert or participation with them, are hereby preliminarily enjoined from implementing or enforcing the provisions in the Guidance of April 30, 2020 or the Interim Final Rule issued July 1, 2020." Id. at 21.
   Read the Order Granting the Motion for a Preliminary Injunction.
   Read the Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief.
   Read the Washington Attorney General's Press Statement on the Case.

State Attorneys General File Suit Against Trump Administration and Postmaster General Challenging Changes in Post Office Operations Ahead of the Fall Election
August 20, 2020. Washington State Attorney General Robert Ferguson has filed suit in federal district court for his state joined by Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin, challenging changes in postal operations in the months before the fall election on both statutory and constitutional grounds. The case Washington v. Trump, filed in the Eastern District of Washington, seeks declaratory and injunctive relief as well as a writ of mandamus to compel the Postmaster General to submit proposed changes for an advisory opinion by the Postal Regulatory Commission as the plaintiffs contend is required by statute. It also asks the court to vacate any policy changes made as part of the series of actions challenged by the states.
   Read the Complaint.
   Read the Washington State Attorney General News Release on the Case.

Attorney General Announces Suit Challenging Trump Administration Title X Rules on Family Planning Grants
February 27, 2019. The Washington Attorney General, Mr. Ferguson, has issued a press release indicating his intention to file suite against rules that the Trump administration finalized last week regarding Title X family planning grants. In this release, he said "[H]e will file a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Washington State challenging the Trump Administration’s “gag rule” that impacts federal funding for reproductive healthcare and family planning services. The rule permits Title X providers to withhold information from patients about their healthcare options, bars them from referring patients for abortion care, and requires Title X clinics to physically separate abortion care and referrals from their services funded by Title X. The “gag rule” will force out of the program professionals who provide nearly 90 percent of Title X family planning services to Washington patients, keeping thousands of vulnerable Washingtonians from reasonably accessing contraception, cancer and STI screening and other family planning care. In Washington, 91,284 patients received care through Title X in 2017. More than half of these patients were at or below the federal poverty line. The Washington Department of Health estimates that services provided to these patients prevented over 18,000 unintended pregnancies and over 6,000 abortions, resulting in savings for the state of more than $113 million."
   That complaint in that suit will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.
   Read the Title X Final Rule as Sent to the Federal Register.
   Read the Washington Attorney General's Press Release on the Suit.

Washington Supreme Court Finds the State's Death Penalty "Arbitrary and Racially Biased"
October 12, 2018. Chief Justice Fairhurst began his opinion for the Washington Supreme Court yesterday by stating clearly that: "Washington's death penalty laws have been declared unconstitutional not once, not twice, but three times. . . . And today, we do so again. None of these prior decisions held that the death penalty is per se unconstitutional, nor do we. The death penalty is invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner." There was one concurring opinion authored by Justice Johnson and joined by three other members of the Court and no dissenting opinions.
   Read the Opinion.

U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Final Rule Rolling Back Oil Train Brake Safety Requirements
September 26, 2018. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final rule entitled: "Hazardous Materials: Removal of Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brake System Requirements for High Hazard Flammable Unit Trains." It rolls back rules issued in 2015 by the same agency during the Obama administration in response to train accidents and related impacts. The Trump administration indicated in eliminating those requirements for train safety that: "This final action is based on the Department of Transportation’s determination that the requirements are not economically justified." 83 Fed. Reg. 48393 (September 25, 2018.
   Although announcements of the administration's intentions were made some time ago, now that the final rule has been issued it is highly likely that legal challenges will follow. Those challenges are likely to come not only from environmental groups but from states as well. For example, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington immediately issued a press release criticizing the action and promising to do everything possible to push for more safety protections with respect to the oil trains and other trains carrying hazardous substances. Oregon and Washington, states through which the lower Columbia River flows and in which there was a major spill with significant consequences in Mosier, Oregon in 2014, have been pressing for increased safety protections. No state Attorneys General have as yet indicated their intentions.
   Read the Trump Administration DOT Final Rule.
   Read the Obama Administration DOT Final Rule .
   Read the Washington Governor's Press Release in Response to the Rollback.

Governor Signes a Set of Bills Aimed at Addressing Sexual Harassment
March 22, 2018. The Governor yesterday signed a set of four bills designed to add additional protections against sexual harassment and particularly to make it more likely that those who have suffered harassment will be willing and able to report the situation as well as take action to take legal action.
   Read SSB 5996 Encouraging the disclosure and discussion of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace .
   Read SSB 6068 Concerning the applicability of nondisclosure agreements in civil actions for sexual harassment or assault.
   Read SSB 6313 Concerning an employee's right to publicly file a complaint or cause of action for discrimination in employment contracts and agreements..
   Read SSB 6471 Developing model policies to create workplaces that are safe from sexual harassment..

Governor Issues Executive Order on Orcas and Salmon
March 22, 2018. Governor Inslee has issued an executive order aimed at protection of orcas and salmon. The order directs a number of actions over the next few months from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and other agencies, but also establishes a task force to address future actions to save the endangered species which have been declining.
   Read the Executive Order.
   Read the Governor's Press Release on the order.

Washington Governor Signs Net Neutrality Legislation After FCC Repeal of that Policy
March 6, 2018. Washington Governor Jary Inslee has just signed into law that state's HB 2282 aimed protecting the "open Internet." The legislation comes as a reaction against the Federal Communication Commission's decision in December 2017 to repeal the Obama era net neutrality policy.
    The Oregon legislature has passed and sent to the governor HB 4155, its own version of a net neutrality statute.
    The FCC announced in paragraphs 190-191 of its fact sheet issued with its December decision that it was preempting any effort by the states to impose their own regulation that runs counter to the commission's repeal of the previous FCC net neutrality policy. This question will arise when Internet service providers challenge the Oregon statute or others. The FCC statement reads: “Preemption of Inconsistent State and Local Regulations 190. We conclude that regulation of broadband Internet access service should be governed principally by a uniform set of federal regulations, rather than by a patchwork of separate state and local requirements. Our order today establishes a calibrated federal regulatory regime based on the pro-competitive, deregulatory goals of the 1996 Act. Allowing state and local governments to adopt their own separate requirements, which could impose far greater burdens than the federal regulatory regime, could significantly disrupt the balance we strike here. Federal courts have uniformly held that an affirmative federal policy of deregulation is entitled to the same preemptive effect as a federal policy of regulation. In addition, allowing state or local regulation of broadband Internet access service could impair the provision of such service by requiring each ISP to comply with a patchwork of separate and potentially conflicting requirements across all of the different jurisdictions in which it operates.Just as the Title II Order promised to “exercise our preemption authority to preclude states from imposing regulations on broadband service that are inconsistent” with the federal regulatory scheme, we conclude that we should exercise our authority to preempt any state or local requirements that are inconsistent with the federal deregulatory approach we adopt today. 191. We therefore preempt any state or local measures that would effectively impose rules or requirements that we have repealed or decided to refrain from imposing in this order or that would impose more stringent requirements for any aspect of broadband service that we address in this order. Among other things, we thereby preempt any so-called “economic” or “public utility-type” regulations, including common-carriage requirements akin to those found in Title II of the Act and its implementing rules, as well as other rules or requirements that we repeal or refrain from imposing today because they could pose an obstacle to or place an undue burden on the provision of broadband Internet access service and conflict with the deregulatory approach we adopt today." (Citations and notes omitted.)
   Read the Washington bill.
   Read Governor Inslee's Press Release on Signing the Bill.
   Read the Oregon Enrolled bill.
   Read the FCC Fact Sheet "Restoring Internet Freedom."
   Read the FCC Press Release .

Governor Inslee Denies Permit for Planned Vancouver Oil Train Terminal
February 1, 2018. Governor Inslee has rejected the permit request to construct an Oil Terminal at Vancouver, following a negative decision by the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council in the fall.
   Read the Governor's Letter.
   Read the Governor's Press Release on the decision.
   Access the RFSEC recommendation to the governor and other findings.

Douglas County Public Utility District Cancels Hatchery Contract with State
August 30, 2017. The Douglas County Public Utility District voted at its August 28 meeting to cancel its hatchery operations agreement with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife following actions taken to address complaints about behavior of state personnel at the hatchery.
   Read the PUD Meeting Report for August 28 Announcing the Termination.
   Read the 2017 Interagency Agreement for Hatchery Operations.

Washington State Supreme Court Rules Against Florist for Refusal to Serve Gay Couple
February 16, 2017. The Washington Supreme Court delivered its opinion yesterday in Washington v. Arlene's Flowers, finding that the refusal to sell wedding flowers to a same-sex couple violates the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD)) RCW 49.60.215 and the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), ch. 19.86 RCW. For more on the case and the opinion, see the Civil Rights page of this website.

WTO Finds Washington Tax Breaks for Boeing Illegal under GATT
November 29, 2016. A panel of the World Trade Organization has found that a number of tax provisions that provided by Washington that have assisted Boeing violate the The WTO summary explains that: "This dispute concerns legislation enacted in the state of Washington in the United States in November 2013 through Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5952 (ESSB 5952), which amended and extended various tax incentives for the aerospace industry. The European Union identified seven separate tax incentives, including a reduced business and occupation tax rate, credits against business taxation, and exemptions from various other taxes in the state of Washington. The European Union claimed that those tax incentives are prohibited under Articles 3.1(b) and 3.2 of the SCM Agreement as subsidies that are contingent on the use of domestic over imported goods. . . . The Panel found that, under each of the aerospace tax measures at issue, there is a financial contribution by the Washington State government and a benefit is thereby conferred. The Panel concluded therefore that each of the aerospace tax measures at issue constitutes a subsidy within the meaning of Article 1 of the SCM Agreement." WTO Summary of Findings. This ruling is subject to appeal.
   Read the WTO summary of findings.
   Read just the findings and conclusions of the report.
   Read the full panel report.
   Read the addendum to the panel report.
   Read the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Counterveiling Measures.

Washington Supreme Court Strikes Charter Schools Law
September 8, 2015. The Washington Supreme Court has declared the state's charter school law a violation of the state constitution. Chief Justice Madsen wrote for the Court and explained that: "This case is a direct review of a King County Superior Court decision that found certain portions of Initiative 1240 (I-1240) (Charter School Act or Act), codified at chapter 28A.710 RCW, unconstitutional but left the remainder of the Act standing. We hold that the provisions of I-1240 that designate and treat charter schools as common schools violate article IX, section 2 of our state constitution and are void. This includes the Act's funding provisions, which attempt to tap into and shift a portion of moneys allocated for common schools to the new charter schools authorized by the Act. Because the provisions designating and funding charter schools as common schools are integral to the Act, such void provisions are not severable, and that determination is dispositive of the present case." League of Women Voters of Washington v. Washington, No. 89714-0, at 2. Justice Fairhurst wrote an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.
   Read the opinion.

State Supreme Court Imposes Sanctions for Contempt in the School Finance Case
August 21, 2015. The Washington Supreme Court has imposed sanctions following on its fall 2014 order finding the state in contempt of court for failing in its obligations under the 2012 ruling of the Court in the McCleary v. Washington school finance case and imposed a 100,000 per day fine for each day it is in contempt of the January 2014 order that followed that opinion. However, the Court explained that "This penalty may be abated in part if a special session is called and results in full compliance." Order, p. 2.
   Read August 13, 2015 Order Imposing Sanctions for Contempt.
   Read the September 2014 Order of the Court Finding the State in Contempt.
   Read the January 9, 2014 Order that is the Subject of the Contempt Citation.
   Access the State Courts' Webpage on the McClearly Litigation with all Prior Opinions, Orders, and other filings.
   Read the 2012 State Supreme Court Majority Opinion in the McCleary case.
   Read the Concurring/Dissenting Opinion in the 2012 case.

Washington Gets Budget for 2015-2017
July 27, 2015. After an extremely lengthy process, Washington has completed its budget process for 2015-2017.
   Read the Operating Budget as Passed.
   Read the Enacted Capital Bond Bill (Capital Budget).
   Read the Enacted Transportation Bill.
   Read the Governor's July 10 Press Release on the Budget.

Governor Signs H.B. 1127 Requiring Skills and Safety Training for Agricultural Workers
April 24, 2015. Governor Inslee has signed H.B. 1127 which creates a grant for a community organization to provide training in worker skills and safety for agricultural workers in Washington. The bill authorizes up to $1 million subject to appropriations and is set to expire July 1, 2018.
   Read the bill as it went to the Governor.

U.S. District Judge in Washington Holds Compentency Examination Delays for Incarcerated Persons Violate Due Process
April 3, 2015. U.S Federal District Judge Marsha Pechman has issued an opinion and permanent injunction in A.B. by and through Trueblood v. Washington Department of Social and Health Services finding that waiting times for competency examinations criminal cases in excess of seven days violates due process of law. She issued a permanent injunction requiring that the examinations be provided within seven days and indicated that she would appoint a court monitor to follow the implementation of the requirements. For full details on the ruling and the opinion, see the Civil Rights page of this website.

Governor Presents 2015-17 Budget Proposal
December 23, 2014. Governor Jay Inslee has proposed his 2015-17 budget which totals $39 billion. The budget Overview provides a basic sketch of the budget. He also announced a $3.8 billion capital budget for state construction projects.
   Read the Budget Overview
   Access the Proposed Budget.
   Read the Agency Detail Budgets
   Read the Capital Plan.
   Read the Governor's Press Release.

Office of Financial Management Warns of More Challenges Ahead for 2015-17 Budget
December 5, 2014. The Office of Financial Management has issued its Budget Update for November 2014 looking forward to the 2015-17 budget process, finding that "It could be more challenging than the 2013-15 budget." The update cautions that the last budget was addressed in part by one-time fixes and even with those actions the state had to defer or avoid obligations that were pending at the time of the last budget.
   Read the State Budget Update for November 2014.
   Access the 2014 Enacted Supplemental Budget.

U.S. Department of Justice Issues Policy on Enforcement of Federal Marijuana Laws
August 29, 2013. The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a memorandum on marijuana enforcement that came about as result of a reconsideration of federal priorities in light of actions in two states to legalize some marijuana sales, including the state of Washington. The DOJ has announced that it has identified 8 priority areas for federal enforcement. It also announced that: Outside of these enforcement priorities, however, the federal government has traditionally relied on state and local authorizes to address marijuana activity through enforcement of their own narcotics laws. This guidance continues that policy. For states such as Colorado and Washington that have enacted laws to authorize the production, distribution and possession of marijuana, the Department expects these states to establish strict regulatory schemes that protect the eight federal interests identified in the Department’s guidance." Press Release.
   Read the DOJ Press Release.
   Access the DOC Memorandum "Guidance Regarding Marijuana Enforcement.

Washington Supreme Court Affirms Department of Ecology Authority to Control Agricultural Runoff
August 16, 2013. The Washington Supreme Court has reversed the Colombia County Superior Court and upheld a Department of Ecology order to requiring actions to address agricultural runoff in Lemire v. Washington Department of Ecology. The Pollution Control Hearings Board had upheld the agency's order, but the Superior Court reviewed the case found that the agency lacked authority for the order, did not have substantial evidence to support the order, and that the order constituted a regulatory taking. The Supreme Court reversed on all grounds. The order came after a number of years of monitoring the cattle management practices and the damage to the waterway.
   Read the opinion.
   Access the Supreme Court Case Information Sheet.

Washington Supreme Court Strikes 2/3 Vote Requirement for Taxes
February 28, 2013. In its opinion issued today in League of Education Voters v. State the Washington Supreme Court has struck as found the Supermajority requirement for tax votes in the legislature in violation of Article II, Section 22 of the state constitution. The King County Superior Court had also found the referendum requirement for state spending beyond the spending limit, but the Supreme Court found that there was not a justiciable case and therefore did not decide on the validity of that requirement.
   Read the opinion.

Washington Supreme Court Criticizes Progress Toward Meeting Education Funding Mandate
January 5, 2013. The Washington Supreme Court has issued its latest decision in the McCleary case; this time finding that the progress to date in complying with the Court's previous rulings on the need for change in education funding in the state has not been adequate.
   Read the Court's order of December 20, 2012.
   Access the Court's July 18, 2012 order.
   Access the January 2012 Majority Opinion in the McLeary case.
   Read the Opinion Concurring in Part and Dissenting in Part to the January 2012 McLeary case.
   Access the Washington Supreme Court Website on the McLeary Litigation.

Governor Presents Proposed Budget
December 20, 2012. Governor Gregoire has issued her proposed state budget as she prepares to leave office. She had previously promised to take on the difficult challenges of the budget in order to allow whoever her successor would be to have a solid starting point for the work ahead.
   Access the proposed 2013-15 Budget.
   Access the proposed 2013 Budget Supplement.
   Access the proposed 2013-15 Budget Visualizations.
   Access the Washington Fiscal Washington Fiscal Transparency Site.
   Access video of state accountability forum sessions by subject.

Governor Emphasizes Washington State Performance Management
December 14, 2012. As one of her signature efforts as she prepares to leave office, the governor looks to a set of policies related to what her administrative calls "lean transformation" initiatives more formally known as Government Management Accountability and Performance (GMAP) efforts. Recent activity in that effort are available through a number of websites.
   Access the GMAP website.
   Access the Washington Fiscal Washington Fiscal Transparency Site.
   Access video of state accountability forum sessions by subject.

Washington Report on Ocean Acidification Leads to Call to Action by Governor
November 30, 2012. Gov. Gregoire's Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification released its report on November 27 At the same time, she issued Executive Order 12-07 mandating action by Washington state agencies to implement thte recommendations of the report. Her press release, which was also joined by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration summarized elements of the executive order. "In today's executive order, Gov. Gregoire directs the Department of Ecology and other state agencies to: Advocate for reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide at global, national and regional levels; Implement the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel, working with key federal agencies and tribal governments; Work with the University of Washington and others to conduct technical analysis on the effects of ocean acidification, on the sources of local land-based sources of nutrients that may contribute to ocean acidification, and on appropriate steps to address the problem; Request that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency begin the assessment of water quality criteria relevant to ocean acidification; and, Increase understanding of ocean acidification and its consequences among policymakers, interested organizations and the public."
   The report explained that the process of acidification and the fact that it has already had a dramatic impact on Washington's shellfish economy. The Executive Summary stated that: "Ocean acidification is a reduction in the pH1 of seawater for an extended period of time due primarily to the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by the ocean. Local sources of acidification such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxide gases, or nutrients and organic carbon from wastewater discharges and runoff from land-based activities, can also contribute to ocean acidification in marine waters.It went on to explain that the issue is not just the fact of acidification but the rapidity with which it is proceeding." p. 3. It explained further that: "Today's ocean acidification is important not only for the amount of change that has occurred thus far but also for how quickly it is happening. The current rate of acidification is nearly ten times faster than any time in the past 50 million years, outpacing the ocean's capacity to restore oceanic pH and carbonate chemistry. The rapid pace of change also gives marine organisms, marine ecosystems, and humans less time to adapt, evolve, or otherwise adjust to the changing circumstances. At the current rate of global carbon dioxide emissions, the average acidity of the surface ocean is expected to increase by 100-150 percent over pre-industrial levels by the end of this century." Id.
   Read Executive Summary.
   Read the full Report.
   Read Executive Order 12-07 "Washington's Response to Ocean Acidification."
   Read the Governor's Press Release on the Report.
   Access the Washington Department of Ecology website on Ocean Acidification.

Governor Signs Equality of Marriage Bill
February 14, 2012. The governor has signed SB 3269, the equality of marriage act.
   Access SB 3269 Enrolled Bill as passed by the legislature.
   Access Bill Tracking information for SB 3269.
   Read the governor's press release on signing the legislation.

State Supreme Court Declares Education Funding System in Violation of the Washington Constitution
January 8, 2012. The Washington Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited opinion in McCleary v. Washington, 84362-7, ruling against the state in a challenge to the state's educational funding system brought under Article IX of the state constitution. Writing for the Court, Justice Stephens summarized the ruling by saying that: "The State has not complied with its article IX, section 1 duty to make ample provision for the education of all children in Washington. The legislature recently enacted a promising reform package under ESHB 2261, 61st Leg., Reg. Sess. (Wash. 2009), which if fully funded, will remedy deficiencies in the K-12 funding system. This court defers to the legislature's chosen means of discharging its article IX, section 1 duty but retains jurisdiction over the case to help facilitate progress in the State's plan to fully implement the reforms by 2018." Governor Gregoire issued a press release agreeing with the Court's ruling, but expressing appreciation for the Court's recognition that the governor and legislature were working to address the problem.
   Read the Supreme Court majority opinion.
   Read the concurring/dissenting opinion.
   Read the Governor's Press Release in response to the opinion.

Governor Gregoire Announces Possible Budget Cuts for Legislative Special Session
October 28, 2011. Governor Gregoire, citing a likely $2 billion dollar additional shortfall in the current biennium, has issued a set of alternatives for budget cuts to be considered by the special session of the legislature that she has called for November 29. In here letter to the legislature that accompanies the documents, she stated: "For example, the reducations that will likely be included in my November budget proposal would: "Eliminate the Basic Health Plan, ending subsidized health care to 35,000 low-income individuals; Cut off medical services to 21,000 people enrolled in the state's Disability Lifeline and ADATSA (Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Treatment Support Act) programs; Trim 15 percent from the support we provide to our colleges and universities; Reduce levey equalization, which helps property poor districts, by 50 percent; Cut the length of supervision for all offenders, based on severity of offense. Sex offenders will be supervised for 24 months, and all other offenders, for 12 months." October 27, 2011Letter to the Legislature, p. 2
   Read the Governor's letter to the legislature setting out proposed budget and program cuts.
   Read the Governor's full budget reduction alternatives document.
   Read the Governor's press release.
   Read the Governor's Budget Fact Sheet.

Governor Gregoire Calls Special Session to Meet Further Budget Challenges
September 23, 2011. Following the most recent revenue forecast which sees a $1.4 billion drop in revenues for the biennium over previous assumptions, Governor Gregoire is calling the legislature into special session beginning November 28 to address the budget shortfall. The Governor had previous directed state agencies to determine the impact of additional cuts from 5 to 10 percent in their budget. Those reports are due today.
   Read the Governor's Press Release on the Special Session.
   Read the Governor's Press Release on the September Revenue Forecast.

House Ways and Means Chair Proposes Budget for 2011-2013
April 5, 2011. Washington House Ways and Means Committee Chair, Ross Hunter (D, Medina) has issued documents explaining a proposed 2011-2013 operating budget that is aimed at addressing the state's budget gap which is not over $5 billion. The Governor has issued a statement largely supportive of the proposal. The proposal and the bill introduced to move it forward are posted below.
   Access the Summary for the 2011-2013 Operating Budget Proposal and 2011 Supplemental.
   Access the 2011-2013 Agency Detailed Budget Proposal.
   Access the Budget Bil PHSB 1087.
   Read the Governor's Statement on the Ways and Means Proposal.

Air Force Awards Tanker Contract to Boeing
February 24, 2011. The Air Force has announced that it has awarded the contract to replace the existing air tanker fleet to Boeing. This is the first phase of a larger program to replace the aging tanker aircraft.
   Access the Air Force Announcement.
   Access the Air Force Fact Sheet on the KC-46 Tanker Contract.
   Access the Washington Governor's Statement on the Contract Award.

Governor's Budget Information
February 3, 2011. The debate over the budget is in progress. The basic documents submitted include the following.
   Read the budget highlights.
   Read the detailed agency budget proposals.
   Access the Office of Financial Management budget page.
   Access the FiscalWA.gov website.

Latest Revenue Estimates Promise Further Cuts and Stress in the Upcoming Budget Cycle
November 19, 2010. The newest revenue estimate released today indicates that there will be further decline of anticipated revenue in the current biennium than the shortfall already anticipated. The governor has issued a statement in response to the new report.
   Access the November 19 Announcement of the New Revenue Forecast.
   Read the Governor's Statement in Response to the Latest Revenue Forecast.

Governor Calls for Additional Across the Board Budget Cuts
August 13, 2010. The governor has announced that, notwithstanding recently enacted federal assistance in education and medicaid to states, recent revenue projects require that state agencies prepare for an across the board cut of 4-7 percent to be implemented by October 1.
   Access the Governor's Announcement.
   Access the Governor's website on Budget Process.

Supplemental Budget Documents Available
May 29, 2010, 2010. The supplemental appropriations budget documents adopted to address the state's major shortfall are available as follows.
   Access the Legislative Evaluation and Accountability Program Committee website with key supplemental operating budget links.
   Read the Supplemental Operating Budget Bill as Passed.
   Read the Supplemental Transportation Budget Bill as Passed.
   Read the Supplemental Capital Budget Bill as Passed.

Senate Committee Holds Hearings on Bank, Financial Regulator, and Rating Services Failures
April 27, 2010. The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has been holding hearings on the failure of Washington Mutual which had significant impacts on the Pacific Northwest as well as nationally. These hearings are part of a series of hearings on "Wall Street and the Financial Crisis." The April 13 hearing was on "The Role of High Risk Home Loans" and focused on WaMu and its operation. The April 16 hearings focused on the regulators and particularly on Office of Thrift Supervision and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The April 23 hearing concerned the "The Role of Rating Agencies." The April 27 is on "Investment Banks" and focuses specifically on Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The exhibits introduced into the record as well as the testimony of witnesses are provided below.
   Also, the Inspector General for the FDIC has issued a full report on its investigation of the FDIC failures in the WaMu failure.
   Access the prepared testimony by witnesses for April 13 hearing.
   Access the Exhibits introduced into the record.
   Access the prepared testimony by witnesses for April 16 hearing.
   Access the Exhibits for the April 16 hearing on the Regulators.
   Read the FDIC Inspector General Report.
   Access the testimony for the April 23 hearing.
   Access the Exhibits for the April 23 hearing on the Regulators.
   Access the Additional Exhibits for the April 23 hearing on the Regulators.
   Access the testimony for the April 27 hearings.
   Access the Exhibits for the April 27 hearing on the Regulators.

Department of Defense Announces Final RFP for KC-X Tanker Contract
February 26, 2010. The Department of Defense and Secretary of the Air Force have announced the final request for proposal for the KC-X tanker designed to replace the KC-135. The competition has to this point seen conflict between Boeing and its supporters in Washington state and Northrop Grumman and its supporters in Alabama. The final bids are due on May 10, 2010. The Washington governor has begun organizing support for Boeing's case with the formation of a coalition of state governors from Kansas, Maine, Iowa, Utah, Oregon, Missouri, Illinois, and Connecticut. The links to the DOD announcement, the presentation slides, and the links to the actual request for proposal documents are posted on the Public Contract Management page of this website.
   Read the Governor's statement on the RFP.
   Read the the Governor's statement on the U.S. Tanker 2010 Coalition.

King County Superior Court Issues Key Ruling on State Education Obligations
February 15, 2010. Judge John Erlick of the Superior Court for King County has issued an opinion in McCleary v. Washington, No. 07-2-02323-2 SEA. In his opinion, Judge Erlick found that: "In short, the Respondent State is not amply providing for the actual cost of operating the State's public schools. The Respondent State is not amply providing for the equipping of all children residing in this State with the basic knowledge and skills mandated by this State's minimum education standards. The Respondent State is not amply providing for the equipping of all children residing in this State with the basic knowledge and skills included within the subtantive "education" mandated by Article IC, Section 1 [of the state Constitution]." Slip opinion at 57. The court went on to find: "This court accordingly grants Petitioner's petition requiring Respondent State to comply with its paramount duty under our State Constitution to: (1) establish the actual costs of amply providing all Washington children with the education mandated by this court's interpretation of Article IX, Section 1, and (2) establish how the Respondent State will fully fund that actual cost with stable and dependable State sources." Id. at 71-72.
    Access Judge Erlick's opinion.
    Access Governor Gregoire’s statement in reaction to the opinion.

Governor Gregoire Issues Supplemental Budget with Major Cuts
December 11, 2009. Governor Gregoire has issued a supplemental budget which cuts programs to address a $2.6 billion shortfall. The governor's press release indicates that: "Among the programs targeted for elimination are the state Basic Health Plan, which provides health care coverage to nearly 65,000 individuals ($160 million); Apple Health for children, which provides health care coverage to 16,000 low-income children ($11 million); and the General Assistance Unemployable program, which provides cash grants for 23,000 adults and medical services to nearly 17,000 adults ($188 million). In education, funding would be eliminated for 1,500 3-year-olds participating in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program; the kindergarten-through-4th grade staffing enhancement that reduces class size in the early grades; and levy equalization, which provides extra support to districts with a lower than average property tax base. Slated for reduction are the State Need Grant program, where 12,300 students would lose grants, and grants would be smaller ($146 million); and funding for the state’s community and technical colleges as well as the baccalaureate institutions ($89 million)."
   At the same time that she released this supplemental budget, the governor criticized the cuts that it contained and announced that she plans to introduce a second budget in January, which, she said, "will restore several of the most critical programs that would be eliminated by the all-cuts budget."
    The new budget was accompanied by a series of policies briefs on changes in a variety of areas of state government. Links to those policy briefs are provided on the press release page below.
    Access the Governor's Press Release.
    Access Governor's Proposed Supplemental Budget Webpage.
    Read the Proposed 2010 Budget & Policy Highlights Document
    Access the Agency Recommendation Summaries.

Governor Issues Executive Order Eliminating State Commissions and Recommends Legislation to Eliminate More
December 8, 2009. The governor has issued an executive order eliminating 17 boards and commissions and indicated that her administration would call for legislation to eliminate 78 more such bodies. The governor's press release also explained that: "New legislation also will make multiple organizational changes to small state agencies. Currently, 64 small cabinet agencies and boards operate under the authority of a board. This legislation would reduce or eliminate about a third of these agencies through mergers or realignments." Finally, she announced that 25 programs will be moved out of the Commerce Department and into other agencies.
    Access the Governor's press release.
    Access the list of organizations affected by the executive order and planned legislation.
    Access the information on reorganization of Small Cabinet Agencies and Boards
    Access list of programs to be transferred out of Commerce.
    Access Executive Order 09-08

New State Revenue Forecast Released
November 20, 2009. The Washington Office of Financial Management has released its report on the state of the current budget and latest revenue estimates. In addition to its press release, OFM has also provided a PowerPoint presentation Entitled "2009-11 Budget Story: Where we've been and where we are now." The reports indicate a $760 million decline in revenues for the rest of the biennium.
    Access the Office of Financial Management Press Release on Latest Revenue Estimates.
    Access "2009-11 Budget Story: Where we've been and where we are now."

Returns Show Controversial Tax Limits Measure Losing by A Significant Margin
November 9, 2009. While the vote counting is still in progress, the Secretary of State's current tabulation shows Measure No. 1033 with 1,577,892 votes counted, the count is 672,291 "yes" votes or 42.61 % and 905,601 "no" votes or 57.39 %. Washington has 3,583,278 registered voters and estimated state turnout is 46.26% based on ballots counted to the present time.
    Access the Secretary of State's running count on ballot measures.

Election Features Controversial Tax Initiative
November 3, 2009. Washington officials and voters await the outcome of Initiative Measure No. 1033 on state, county, and city revenue. "This measure would limit growth of certain state, county and city revenue to annual inflation and population growth, not including voter-approved revenue increases. Revenue collected above the limit would reduce property tax levies." Secretary of State, 2009 General Election Voters' Guide. The Secretary of State posting also includes the "Fiscal Impact Statement."
    Access the Secretary of State's 2009 General Elections Voters' Guide on Measure 1033.

Budget Information

Governor's FY 2011-2013 Budget Proposal
    Access the Governor's Budget Highlights for FY 2021-23 Budget
    The Governors Proposed Budgets for 2021-23.
    Access the Governor's Proposed 2022 Budget Supplement

Legislatively Enacted FY2021-2023 Budget
    Budgets, Operating, Capital, and Transportation
    Washington State Fiscal Information

State Revenue and Economic Forecasts: Economic and Revenue Forecast Council
    Access the State Economic Forecast.
    Access the State Revenue Forecast.
    Access the Economic and Revnue Forecast Council

Washington General Information

State of Washington
    State Government Site
    State Homepage.

Office of the Governor of Washington
    Governor's Homepage

"State Agencies, Commissions, and Organizations
    Alphabetical Index and Links to State Agencies

Washington State Government Telephone, Employee, and E-mail Directories
    Telephone Directory
    E-mail Directory

Washington Counties
    Washington Counties Map and Websites

Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington
    MRSC Homepage

Washington Cities and Towns
    Alphabetical Index of City and Town Websites via MRSC

Washington City Profiles
    MRSC profiles with links to codes and websites

Washington City/County Management Association
    WCCMA Homepage
    WCCMA Next Generation Website

Washington Association of Cities
    Washington Association of Cities Homepage

Washington Association of Counties
    WA Association of Counties Homepage.

Washington Association of County Officials
    WA Association of Counties Officials Site.

Special Districts in Washington
    Links to Washington Special District Associations by Policy Field via MRSC

Washington Nonprofits
    Washington's Nonprofit State Association.

Washington State Contracts and Purchasing
    Department of General Administration Purchasing and Contracts Page.
    "Doing Business with the State."
    Bid Opportunities by Agency.

Washington Finance Officers Association
    Washington Finance Officers Association Homepage

Washington Weather
    Weather for Washington Cities

Washington Maps
    Washington Department of Transportation Detailed Maps

Washington State Tourism Site
    Experience Washington Homepage

Washington News Media


Aberdeen Daily World

Battle Ground Reflector

Bellingham Herald

Longview Daily News

Skagit Valley Herald


Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader

Prosser Record Bulletin

Seattle Times

Seattle Post Intelligencer

Spokane Spokesman-Review

Tacoma News Tribune

Tri-City Herald

Vancouver Columbian

Winatchee World

Walla Walla Union Bulletin

Yakima Herald-Republican

Native American Tribes and Nations

Washington State Tribal Directory
    The tribal directory is a .pdf document.

Chinook Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis
    Tribal Homepage

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
    Tribal Homepage

Cowlitz Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Lummi Nation
    Tribal Homepage

Makah Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Muckleshoot Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Nisqually Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Puyallup Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Quinault Indian Nation
    Tribal Homepage

Samish Indian Nation
    Tribal Homepage

Sauk Suiattle
    Tribal Homepage

Shoalwater Bay Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Skokomish Tribal Nation
    Tribal Homepage

Snoqualmie Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Spokane Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Squaxin Island Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Suquamish Tribe
    Tribal Homepage

Swinomish Tribal Community
    Tribal Homepage

Tulalip Tribes
    Tribal Homepage

Washington Legal Materials

Washington Constitution
    Washington State Constitution

Washington Statutes
    Washington Revised Code (WRC)
    Washington State Legislature Bill Drafting Guide 2017

Washington Legislature
    Bills and Bill Tracking
    Legislative Bill Search Site
    "Washington State Legislative History.
    Guide Published by the Marion Gould Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington School of Law

Washington Administrative Rules
    Washington Administrative Code
    Washington Administrative Code Homepage.
    Washington Administrative Procedure Act
    Washington APA

Washington State Register
    Official Notices
    Washington Register and Associated Links

Washington Executive Orders
    Executive Orders Issued by the Governor
    Access current Executive Orders with Archives for prior actions.

Washington Attorney General Opinions
    Legal Opinions Issued by the Attorney General
    Access Attorney General Opinions by Topic or Year.

Washington Public Contracting Statutes and Regulations
    Washington Public Contracts and Indebtedness (WRC Title 39)
    State Statutes on Public Contracts
    Procurement Rules
    Access Office of State Procurement Rules
    Access Competitive Contracting Rules

Washington Ordinances
    City and County Codes via MRSC

Washington Basic Statutes on Local Government
    Cities and Counties
      Cities and Towns
    Washington Divides Its Statutes on Special Districts by Type
      Fire Protection Districts
      Port Districts
      Sanitary Districts
      Water Sewer Districts
      Diking and Drainage Districts
    Intergovernmental Agreements
      Interlocal Cooperation Act

Washington Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Opinions
The Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Opinions page provides slip opinions since 2013. As the state explains "Also, an electronic version (intended to mirror the language found in the official reports) of the official opinion can be found, free of charge, on the Washington State Judicial Opinions Website" which is provided through Lexis/Nexis which is available at the link below. This website has earlier opinions in addition to those available in slip opinion form on the other site.
    Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Base Page
    Washington State Judicial Opinions Website

Washington Courts
    Washington Appellate and Trial Courts with Documents and Procedures

Federal Courts with Jurisdiction Over Washington
    U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
    U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
    Access the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Opinions

General Legal Research Sites

Legal Dictionary -- Find Law.com

"Washington State Legislative History"
   Prepared by the University of Washington School of Law Gallagher Law Library

Legislative History Guides for All 50 States
   Compiled by the Law Library of the Maurer School of Law, Indiana University

Washington Congressional Delegation

District 1. Suzan DelBene, D.
    Congressional Homepage

District 2. Rick Larsen, D.
    Congressional Homepage

District 3. Narie Gluesenkamp Perez, D.
    Congressional Homepage

District 4. Dan Newhouse, R.
    Congressional Homepage

District 5. Cathy McMorris Rogers, R.
    Congressional Homepage

District 6. Derek Kilmer, D.
    Congressional Homepage

District 7. Pramila Jayapal, D.
    Congressional Homepage

District 8. Kim Schreir, D.
    Congressional Homepage

District 9. Adam Smith, D.
    Congressional Homepage

District 10. Marilyn Strickland, D.
    Congressional Homepage

Senator Patty Murray, D.
    Senate Homepage

Senator Maria Cantwell, D.
    Senate Homepage