March 28, 2016
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Senate back in session today and House members return Tuesday as budget deal reportedly reached

Lawmakers are saying today that they are nearing a budget deal, and expect to have an announcement this afternoon.In a sign that the deal is real, legislative floor debate resumed today, more than halfway through the overtime session. A budget vote could come Tuesday. Throughout negotiations, Senate Republicans have held firm on the state's four-year balanced budget law, saying it ensures fiscal discipline and prevents against future budget deficits.
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Inslee signs transportation-related bills to keep 2015 package rolling

The bipartisan spirit that led to Washington's 2015 transportation package was on display again Friday when lawmakers from both sides of the aisle joined Gov. Jay Inslee as he signed transportation bills, including the supplemental transportation budget that keeps last year's package fully on track.
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Inslee 'walking a tightrope' on public charter schools

The bipartisan bill that saves Washington's public charter schools will automatically become law on April 2 unless Inslee signs -- or vetoes -- it by then. Vetoeing the bill could have major political repercussions for Inslee's party in November, reporter Jerry Cornfield writes -- including loss of Democratic control in the state House of Representatives. Read more »

State's snowpack looks strong

After two years of wildfire and drought, Washington's snowpack looks good as spring begins. All of the state's basins are reporting snowpacks near or above 100 percent, according to new reports. A year ago, some were as low as 20-40 percent. Read more »

This week, thank a Vietnam veteran

Vietnam veterans will be honored Tuesday at events in Seattle and Spokane, and Wednesday is the state's official Welcome Home Vietnam Vetarans Day. As an official partner of the Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration, AWB offers its thanks and recognition to all those who served during the Vietnam War. Read more »

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Public Charter Schools Are Working

Gov. Inslee should sign charter school bill, let students achieve their dreams

By Rep. Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle

As a state, we cannot let go of our ability to lift hardworking people out of poverty. We must do everything within our power to ensure public education remains a powerful ladder to success for every child in Washington. We cannot allow the leaders and innovators of future generations to slip through the cracks simply because we were too stuck in our ways to create the change we know they needed.

ESSSB 6194, a bill to keep Washington's public charter schools open for the long-term and an option for all communities across the state, now sits on Inslee's desk awaiting his signature. The bill, which passed both houses of the Legislature with bipartisan support, provides excellent educational opportunities for hundreds of students today, and potentially thousands of students in the future. ...

I have heard some of my fellow legislators who oppose ESSSB 6194 say we either need to fix every problem in public education for every student in Washington or do nothing at all. I urge the governor to reject such false choices.

I urge the governor to sign the charter-school bill, which would keep these students on the path to achieving their dreams and build upon Washington's foundation of innovation and accountability in public education.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Washington Employers Are Leading the Way

Something old and something new: How Seattle's viaduct is being recycled in the tunnel

By Richard D. Oxley,

Parts of Seattle's viaduct may be torn down, but in a way, those parts won't truly be gone.

Nucor, the state's largest metal recycler, takes scrap steel from portions of the torn down Alaskan Way Viaduct through downtown Seattle and forges it into new product.

The recycling effort is currently featured in a commercial produced by the Association of Washington Business...

Click here to read the full story at
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