Wash. gov signs bills into law, first of 2010 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wash. gov signs bills into law, first of 2010

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  • State Senate starts clearing way for tax hikes, but voted on wrong version of the bill

    State Senate starts clearing way for tax hikes, but voted on wrong version of the bill

    The bill has to be signed into law by Gov. Gregoire before any tax increases can be passed by the State LegislatureThe bill has to be signed into law by Gov. Gregoire before any tax increases can be passed by the State Legislature
    OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Legislature's Democratic majority is clearing the way for tax increases with its first major vote to brush aside I-960. But Senate Democrats say they accidentally voted on the wrong version of the bill.>>
    OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Legislature's Democratic majority is clearing the way for tax increases with its first major vote to brush aside Initiative 960. In a 26-23 vote, the Senate moved to suspend until July 2011 the requirement that any tax increases get approval from two-thirds of the Legislature. But Senate Democrats say they accidentally voted on the wrong version of the bill, and will have to re-vote on a different bill as soon as possible.>>
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  • Wash. deficit ticks up to $2.8B on court case

    Wash. deficit ticks up to $2.8B on court case

    Gov. Chris Gregoire and lawmakers are expected to start announcing their plans for possible tax increases next week.Gov. Chris Gregoire and lawmakers are expected to start announcing their plans for possible tax increases next week.
    OLYMPIA, Wash. - A court case that extended tax breaks to out-of-state companies has pushed Washington's state budget deficit to about $2.8 billion.>>
    OLYMPIA, Wash. - A court case that extended tax breaks to out-of-state companies has pushed Washington's state budget deficit to about $2.8 billion. But there's finally some positive news from the state's Revenue Forecast Council, which tells state legislators how much money they have to spend. Without that court loss, the state would actually have more tax money than previously expected. Lawmakers are more than halfway through their scheduled 60-day session.>>

 
















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OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed three bills into law, the first of the 2010 legislative session.
     
It's an "early savings" package from the Legislature's Democratic majority.
     
They don't save very much money, compared with the state's $2.8 billion budget deficit. But the idea was to send a message that the government is making spending cuts.
     
The major savings were about $45 million, from a bill that continued bans on hiring, service contracting, out-of-state travel and larger equipment purchases with some exceptions.
     
A second bill bans bonuses for many state workers, although some higher-paid employees are exempt. And a third bill extends a wage freeze for many nonunion state employees.

Thousands rally at Capitol steps on tax issue

The Washington Legislature is in session for Presidents' Day and thousands of people spent the holiday telling state lawmakers what they think of possible tax increases.
     
In dueling rallies on the Capitol steps, anti-tax demonstrators carried signs like "Deliver us from weasels" in the morning while backers of tax-supported services said "Protect our future" in the afternoon.
     
The Democrat-led state Legislature is planning to close a $2.8 billion budget gap with a combination of higher taxes and spending cuts.
     
Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to detail her preferences for specific taxes sometime this week. Senate budget writers might unveil their spending plan early next week.

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