November 23, 2015
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Legislators meet for committee days, discuss budget and education

As lawmakers gathered in Olympia for two days of committee meetings, the state's economic forecasters issued its report of increased costs to the state that could impact education spending. The news may foretell even greater obstacles for the 105-day 2017 session.
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Charter school students, advocates turn to Legislature as Supreme Court declines to reexamine ruling

Four hundred public charter school students, parents and supporters rallied at the state Capitol Thursday, just hours before the state Supreme Court announced that it would not reconsider its ruling that tossed out the voter-approved charter school initiative. The focus now turns to the Legislature to, as the students chanted at their rally, "fix this mess." Read more »

Controversial carbon cap regulation aired at the Legislature

A Senate committee heard testimony last week on Gov. Jay Inslee's attempts to set up a carbon cap in the state through executive order and regulation. And while Washington's carbon emissions have already been dropping for 10 years, the costly new regulations are on a fast track -- early drafts will be released next month. Read more »

Donations to AWB's Holiday Kids' Tree project make season brighter for rural, low-income families

Now is the time to consider contributing to AWB's Holiday Kids' Tree project, which benefits rural fire districts around the state by providing funds to help needy families in their communities. The funds help Christmas happen in homes where it would not otherwise be financially feasible. The tree-lighting ceremony will take place in the Capitol rotunda in Olympia on Friday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m. Read more »

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Jobs and Redevelopment in Longview

Millennium: Local coal terminal will enhance region

By Bill Chapman

Millennium sits on a former industrial site that, for generations, has been designated, zoned and used for heavy industry. Since taking over in 2011, we've removed over a quarter-million tons of unpermitted material from the site (recycling about 65 percent), restored a local fish habitat, and kept dozens of our neighbors employed along the way. The river channel is already deepened to allow ocean-going transport, and the rail spur has long been in place.

For millions of people in developing nations, coal remains the main viable source of electricity. Some homes are lit by a single light bulb -- this is a "quality of life" we would never accept. There will not be enough power from renewable energy to meet basic needs in Asia for decades. These countries continue burning coal because it is the most available energy source they have, and because it allows them to pursue a quality of life we already enjoy.

We know that quality of life matters here in Southwest Washington, too. Without jobs to support families, "quality of life" quickly evaporates. Longview is a town built for industry and trade; the failure to regenerate family-wage jobs profoundly threatens our quality of life.
Click here to read the full op-ed in The Columbian
Charter Fix Has Bipartisan Support

Legislature must act on charter schools

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Lawmakers should act in the best interest of children and families who have embraced charter schools. In their first year of operation, many of the state's charter schools have enrolled high levels of low-income, minority and special-education students -- children who have not all been well-served by traditional schools and whose families cannot afford private school.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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