Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

May 27, 2011 at 4:08pm

TACOMA WEEK IN REVIEW: Legislative session is finally over

In this week's "Tacoma Week in Review" Laurie Jinkins and her Facebook account are also discussed.

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Local news this week has been rightfully dominated by the down-to-the-wire state budget passed in Olympia. This week lawmakers worked fast and furious to pass a budget, ending the 30-day overtime in dramatic fashion. However, at the culmination of yet another extra session, most politicians and citizens seem much more relieved than excited about this week's proceedings. The budget itself includes billions in spending reductions and no tax increases. Plenty of public employees and social service programs will see funding decreases, most notably educators.

A particular lowlight of the new budget is a pay cut of 1.9 percent for all teachers and support staff and 3 percent cut for school administrative staff. Earlier this week Tacoma Superintendent Art Jarvis didn't hesitate to blast the cuts in an interview with Debbie Cafazzo of The News Tribune, calling the Legislature's approach "cavalier" and speculating that the cuts will cause even more friction at education labor bargaining tables across the street. Check out Cafazzo's full story with many more comments from Jarvis here.

Another legislative development of local note was the ultimately failed effort to fix the state's medical marijuana law, allowing for dispensaries (or some other legal avenue) for patients to actually obtain the pot their doctors have been able to legally recommend since 1998. Earlier this month Governor Gregoire rejected what appeared to be a very promising bill seeking to legally legitimize dispensaries and protect medical marijuana users.

To read this week's full Tacoma Week in Review column by Zach Powers click here.

Filed under: Olympia, Tacoma, Politics,
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