MARCH 9, 2016


Budget Agreement: Will They or Won’t They?

Caroline Halter, March 9, 2016, Washington State Wire

Lawmakers remain tight-lipped about budget negotiations, leaving many to wonder if they’ll finish on time or go into a special session.

In a press conference yesterday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said “I still believe that I’m the glass half full caucus, and we’ll remain optimistic” after being asked if he thought it was really possible to pass a budget with such little time left. Reporters literally laughed out loud, yet Schoesler insists that his caucus, along with House Republicans, wants to pass a supplemental budget.

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Vista Field redevelopment plan lands critical support

Wendy Culverwell, March 9, 2016, Tri-City Herald

The Port of Kennewick can’t redevelop Vista Field’s 113 lonely acres into an urbane city center fast enough as far as the Kennewick City Council is concerned.

The port unveiled its transportation plan for the former airfield to the city Tuesday. The 320-page document outlines in exhaustive detail how streets will be laid out at the former airfield and how it will connect to Kennewick’s existing street grid.

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Toxic cleanups, water projects face state budget cuts

Robert McClure, March 9, 2016, Crosscut

Cleaning up toxic waste. Protecting Puget Sound. Dealing with polluted rainwater runoff.  All hang in the balance as the Democratic-dominated House and Republican-controlled Senate face a Thursday deadline to agree on a state budget.

No matter what happens, though, it seems certain that this year the Evergreen State will shell out less green to protect the environment. With the percentage of the state budget devoted to the environment hovering just over 2 percent, the question is how much of what remains will be shaved this year.

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Port planning future of Willow Grove Park

Marissa Luck, March 9, 2016, The Daily News

The future of Willow Grove Park is coming into sharper focus. Port of Longview commissioners Tuesday discussed several potential park policies that would buff up security and add improved public oversight to the popular Columbia River park.

It’s been more than a year since the port agreed to take over Willow Grove Park from Cowlitz County, which could no longer afford to maintain it. Yet in January, commissioners held off on finalizing the real estate transfer until they could finalize park policies.

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