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Bargaining talks demand transparency

There’s a big mystery unfolding in Olympia, but it’s one as predictable as the sunrise.

Right now, behind closed doors, the governor and powerful state employee unions are secretly negotiating a pay and compensation budget for the 2023-25 budget. We don’t know what is being discussed. We don’t know what each side is demanding. But whatever they decide, we’ll have to pay for it. And there’s a chance new taxes could be demanded to cover the cost.

This process is secret. It dates back 20 years when former Gov. Gary Locke signed a bill that gave the governor exclusive authority to negotiate secret...


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