October 20, 2014
Fast Facts
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Lt. Governor and state schools chief attend weeklong trade mission in China

Thirty business and education leaders -- and Miss Washington Kailee Dunn -- will return this week from a trade mission to southeastern China.

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State's revenue collections $14.4 million above projections

The latest state revenue report shows a slight gain in state tax collections, giving a tiny boost to the state budget in advance of a multi-billion-dollar budget battle in the 2015 legislative session. Read more »

Refinancing of nearly $1 billion in state debt projected to save $29 million over three years

The Washington state treasurer's office refinanced more than $934 million in state bonds last week. The new lower interest rates will save the state $172 million over the next 17 years. Read more »

Second judge OKs right of cities to limit or ban marijuana businesses

A Chelan County superior court judge last week upheld Wenatchee's ban on marijuana businesses. It's the second court to rule that the state's marijuana legalization initiative does not prevent municipalities from banning pot businesses. Read more »

State computer system goes down, idling agency workers for four hours

A technology breakdown largely shut down work in most state agencies Tuesday afternoon and cut access to email and computer networks for employees across many departments. Read more »

'Math is What You Do' conference inspires 800 middle school students with real-life STEM opportunities

Employers know that math matters, whether it's calculating plane trajectories or helping create new building materials. A STEM conference at Clover Park Technical College helped bring the possibilities to life for the next generation. Read more »

Ethics panel votes to limit free meals for lawmakers

A new legislative ethics rule will limit lawmakers to no more than 12 free meals from lobbyists each year. Read more »

U.S. Chamber and JBLM to host their biggest-ever veterans job fair

The latest "Hiring Our Heroes" job fair at Joint Base Lewis McChord will draw more than 200 employers and at least 4,000 job seekers over three days, making it twice the size of other large job fairs.

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Passages: Former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Utter

Robert F. Utter, who served as a justice of the state Supreme Court for 23 years, died last week at age 84. He is remembered as a principled jurist, opponent of the death penalty, and international humanitarian.

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Northwest must preserve salmon and hydro dams

By Terry Flores, executive director of Northwest RiverPartners

Last month at Bonneville Dam, an extraordinary coalition of Northwest tribes, government agencies and river users -- including farmers, businesses and utilities -- gathered to celebrate a landmark event for our region's iconic salmon.

This year's return of about 2.3 million salmon and steelhead to the Columbia River Basin shattered the modern-day record for total annual salmon returns -- an abundance we haven't seen since fish counting began at the dam more than 75 years ago.
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