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Legislature: Democracy Showcased in Olympia
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Legislature: Democracy Showcased in Olympia

BY Howard Buck

OLYMPIA -- By the calendar, Monday was Presidents Day. But it was the people 's day, no question. And rarely has democracy flashed its colors so boldly as it did on this sunny, daylong parade of political dissonance. Activists swarmed the Legislature on Monday, delivering the same mixed message issued by Washington voters in recent years: Cut our taxes and red tape but not at the expense of state services or pay.

02/20/2001
National Manufactured Housing Group Joins Alliance Seeking to End U.S./Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement
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National Manufactured Housing Group Joins Alliance Seeking to End U.S./Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which represents 40-plus small and medium producers of manufactured homes throughout the United States, has joined the American Consumers for Affordable Homes (ACAH), an ad-hoc alliance of 15 consumer groups, trade organizations and companies that represent more than 95 percent of softwood lumber consumption in the U.S. MHARR focuses on regulatory issues that impact the manufactured housing industry. ACAH supports an end to the U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement of 1996 (SLA) when it expires on April 1. The SLA restricts lumber shipments from Canada to the United States. "This misguided agreement has done damage to producers and increased costs to consumers of manufactured housing," said Danny D. Ghorbani, president and CEO, MHARR. "The restrictions the SLA places on softwood lumber coming into the United States is increasing prices of manufactured homes and keeping prospective buyers from purchasing a home," Ghorbani continued. "Many of these families are the young, elderly, and people trying to purchase their first home or one for retirement. While the SLA benefits a few special interests, it clearly is depriving too many people from the American Dream of home ownership." Ghorbani urged the government to allow the SLA to expire without any new agreement. "It has out-lived its usefulness," he charged. "This country thrives on free trade which creates more jobs and allows more people to benefit from a strong economy." Free trade with our neighbors in Canada should be our highest priority; free trade in products such as lumber is important to our economy." Other members of the ACAH include: Abitibi Consolidated Sales Corporation, CHEP USA, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Consumers for World Trade, Free Trade Lumber Council, Home Depot, International Mass Retail Association, Leggett & Platt Inc., Manufactured Housing Institute, National Association of Home Builders, National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, National Retail Federation, and the United States Hispanic Contractors Association.

02/20/2001
Washington CSE Environmental Legislative Alert
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Press Release

Washington CSE Environmental Legislative Alert

Shoreline Regulations Threaten Property Rights State Controls. Last year, the Department of Ecology (DOE) issued new regulations controlling land use within 200 feet of rivers, lakes, wetlands, and the Pacific coast. The new regulations replace existing rules enacted in 1972.

02/19/2001
No Taxes to Fix Shortfall
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No Taxes to Fix Shortfall

BY Chuck Fuller

Gov. Mike Easley began his term under a difficult budget crisis, and as the new projections arrive, things continue to get worse. I would like to commend the governor for his handling of the budget crisis thus far. It did not take us long to see that increasing revenue by 2 percent while trying to increase spending by 8 percent does not work. Some leaders are looking for someone to blame. Now is not the time to look for fault - let's just solve the problem and take the necessary steps to insure this will not happen again.

02/19/2001
Capitol Comment 152 - Congress Can't Help Uninsured Kids If it Doesn't Understand Them
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 152 - Congress Can't Help Uninsured Kids If it Doesn't Understand Them

As I understand it, there's almost 14 million children uninsured today. -- Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), January 9, 1997 We have called this news conference today to announce that it is Democrats' number one health priority this year to reverse those trends by guaranteeing access to health care for those 10.5 million children who currently lack coverage. -- Sen. Daschle, January 16, 1997

02/18/2001
Legislature: Lawmakers Air Latest Gripe On Border Taxation
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Legislature: Lawmakers Air Latest Gripe On Border Taxation

BY Howard Buck

OLYMPIA -- Folks here sniff and call them "letters to Santa Claus" memorial bills approved by the Legislature that lack teeth, but send a wistful message to the U.S. President, Congress or officials in other states. How fitting that, as fresh snow fell Friday on the Capitol, Clark County lawmakers fired off their latest complaint against Oregon income taxes levied on Washington residents. All six House members from the 17th, 18th and 49th legislative districts, plus two other Oregon-border lawmakers, have sponsored House Joint Memorials 4009 and 4010.

02/17/2001
CSE's Tax Cut Powerpoint Presentation
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Press Release

CSE's Tax Cut Powerpoint Presentation

CSE staff have used the following presentation at numerous events across the nation to educate activists on the Proposed Bush Tax Cut. Enititled, "Why America Needs a Tax Cut," the presentation provides information on Across the Board Tax Relief, the Death tax, and The Marriage Penalty. You can view the Powerpoint slide presentation by following the link below. If your browser doesn't allow you to view powerpoint (.ppt) files, you can download the free Powerpoint viewer from Microsoft.

02/16/2001
Citizens Group Slams Sound Transit’s Plan to Profit From Property Theft
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Press Release

Citizens Group Slams Sound Transit’s Plan to Profit From Property Theft

Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) today denounced Sound Transit’s plan to generate $95 million in profits from re-selling property confiscated to build the Link light rail system. The $95 million would be used to help offset a 50 percent increase in costs for the light rail project. Said CSE Washington State Director Gary Strannigan, "Sound Transit’s clear abuse of condemnation authority to pay for its own mismanagement is outright theft.

02/16/2001
Halfway-House Bill Still on Table
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Halfway-House Bill Still on Table

BY Gary Susswein, Gaiutra Bahadur, Dave McNeely

Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos' attempt to keep halfway houses for sex offenders at least 1,000 feet from schools and day-care centers stalled briefly Wednesday. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee left the bill pending after several senators expressed concerns that halfway houses in their districts would be forced to close if Senate Bill 107 becomes law. The committee is expected to look for a compromise . Barrientos filed Senate Bill 107 after it was discovered last year that state parole officials had contracted with a private company to keep sex offenders, the majority of them convicted of sex crimes against children, in a halfway house across from a Del Valle school. State parole officials usually require facilities for sex offenders to be at least 500 feet but had waived that requirement. -- Laylan Copelin

02/15/2001
Tech Bytes - Tid Bits in Tech News: The Fall of Napster
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Press Release

Tech Bytes - Tid Bits in Tech News: The Fall of Napster

Once again, it appears that the death knell has sounded for Napster, the popular Internet music-sharing service that boasts 50 million users. Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the site must shut down pending a full copyright infringement trial. By soundly rejecting Napster’s legal arguments, the court rigorously reinforced the role copyright in the digital world.

02/14/2001

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