Features

Greece’s Debt Crisis Sends Stocks Falling Around Globe

In Greece, banks and markets will be closed for the week, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras interrupted last-ditch debt negotiations early Saturday with the announcement that he was calling a referendum for July 5 on whether to accept the tough terms offered by international creditors.

Big Blow for Boeing as Congress Allows Ex-Im Bank to Sunset

By Friday, it had become clear there would be no vote on the renewal of the Ex-Im charter before Congress goes into its Fourth of July recess, which starts Monday. In a press conference Thursday, a clearly frustrated U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell a prime supporter of the bank and Boeing, vowed to get the bank reinstated.

Lawmakers Reach Deal on Gas Tax Increase, Transportation Funding

Lawmakers began their third overtime session at noon Sunday as they tried to wrap up work on a state operating budget. A new two-year budget must be passed and signed by the governor before the end of the day Tuesday to avoid a partial government shutdown Wednesday. Sen. Fain said that in the deal reached on the transportation package, the fuel standard restriction would apply through 2023.

Legislative Leaders Reach Budget Deal

On Saturday afternoon, Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican and Democratic legislative leaders met with the press in a united front to say that a deal has been made for a roughly $38 billion biennial budget. That will likely be signed into law on Tuesday, heading off Wednesday’s looming partial shutdown of state government.

Inslee Drops Fuel Standard, To Propel Transpo Budget Deal

As Washington State lawmakers moved into a third special session Sunday, Gov. Jay Inslee in a statement signalled he would back off his administration’s proposed low carbon fuel standard in return for Republican votes needed in the Senate to pass a 16-year, $15 billion surface transportation investment package. A gas tax hike of 11.7 cents per gallon has been part of the Senate GOP majority draft law.

U.S. Supreme Court Rules States Must Allow Same-Sex Marriage

In a landmark opinion, the Supreme Court ruled Friday that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a victory that until very recently would have seemed unthinkable. The 5-4 ruling had Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the majority with the four liberal justices.

Democratic Civil War Ends, for Now, as U.S. House Approves Final Trade Measures

The sweeping bipartisan House vote Thursday to approve the final pieces of President Obama’s trade agenda ended, for now, a feud that left Democratic leaders shaken and fearful of long-term damage should the dispute reignite. The matter is likely to return to Congress later this year or early next year, if Obama is able to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Fuel Standard Gums Up Transpo Deal In Oregon; Washington Too?

Plans in Washington for a Low Carbon Fuel Standard are getting a rough ride as lawmakers and Gov. Jay Inslee try to engineer a badly-needed transportation spending package. And in Oregon, a clean fuel standard passed into law in March had looked as if it would be repealed late this week in order to win Republican votes to pass a transportation package there.

Wages Up in Washington, Unemployment Benefits Also Due to Rise

Washington’s average annual wage increased by 4.2 percent in 2014 to $54,829, the state Employment Security Department reported this week. This is the largest percentage increase since 2007, the department stated in a release. The department uses the average annual wage to calculate unemployment benefits for jobless workers.