Environmentalists in Whatcom County and Seattle declared a victory in their regional fight against coal terminals, after the state of Oregon on Monday, Aug. 18, rejected a permit for construction of the Coyote Island Terminal at the Port of Morrow on the Columbia River. On the other hand, the nonprofit Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports said the decision “hurts all trade-related industries and workers in our region.”
We have watched the State Senate races all year, and all the Republicans save Hill received 56 percent or 57 percent of the primary vote. At 54 percent, Hill’s race is the only one that seems somewhat competitive. Republicans have a chance to gain at least two seats and lower the margin in the state House of Representatives to less than 10 seats.
The Washington Supreme Court announced Friday it would consider whether a voter-approved charter school law violates the state constitution. Oral arguments concerning the lawsuit brought by charter-school opponents have been scheduled for Oct. 28. The arguments will focus on the part of the lawsuit concerning whether charter schools meet the state definition of a “common school” and whether they are eligible for dollars set aside for those schools.
In a pair of rulings that will save Washington billions of dollars in public worker pension payments, the state Supreme Court on Thursday said the Legislature has the right to repeal retirement benefit increases granted during an economic surge in the mid-1990s. The rulings pointed to language in state law that said the Legislature was entitled to eliminate the benefit. “The repeal of gain sharing did not impair any contract rights of employees because the statute enacting gain sharing made provision for its eventual repeal,” Chief Justice Barbara Madsen wrote in one opinion for the court.