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Governor Signs Bill, Pushing Entrepreneurship

New legislation has been signed into law by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter. A $5 million plan could help grow Idaho’s economy with $5 million that bolsters university research and businesses.

The legislation ties in with his Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission, IGEM, intended to get new research at Idaho universities into the commercial markets sooner.

Starting June 1st of this year, the legislation puts $1 million toward grants for start-up businesses and tech, while $2 million goes to Center for Advanced Energy Studies and $2 million to each Idaho research university.

The legislation passed on March 6th with 30 ayes and 4 nays.

Online Document: House Bill 546 is available for reading online at the legislature’s website, which also shows the history and votes on the bill. 

Proposed Senate Budget Skips WSU Cuts

The table could turn for budget cuts at Washington State University if a supplemental budget proposal is approved by Washington's Senate during the Ways and Means Committee meeting today.

If approved, it would be the first time since 2007 that WSU has not received cuts in appropriations. Since then, the university has lost 52 percent of its appropriations from the state. The House budget would still cut about $9.3 million from operations.

The proposed budget is up for discussion during a public hearing scheduled at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. You can check the hearing's agenda and notes online after the meeting starts.

WSU Reacts To More State Cuts

There's good and bad news when it comes to Washington State University and its budget woes. The bad news: the State House is proposing a $9.34 million cut to the school's budget. The good news: it's far less than the $26 million the Governor proposed in November.

WSU President Elson S. Floyd says it's sign the State is working to make things easier for his students.

"The budget from the House indicates a willingness by the legislature to slow the decline in higher education funding, which has had a dramatic impact on our students," said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. "We appreciate these efforts given the massive cuts higher education has had to endure these past four years." /WSU News 

WSU has been dealing with massive cuts in recent years. Since 2007, its state appropriation has been reduced by 52 percent.

Kathleen Flenniken is Washington's Newest Poet Laureate

What's a Poet Laureate? They're poets appointed by the government to write for state occasions. We have one nationally, recently appointed Philip Levine. The New York Times highlighted him last August describing him as the "voice of the workingman". 

Locally in the state of Washington, we now have Kathleen Flenniken. Humanities Washington announced today she's the newly appointed Poet Laureate by Governor Chris Gregoire and the Washington State Arts Commission

This is the first Poet Laureate we've had since 2009. Samuel Green held the previous two-year position, but it was eliminated in 2009 due to a budget shortfall. During that time, the position carried a stipend of $10,000 according to The Library of Congress.

City of Moscow Will Discuss Overnight Parking Restrictions

City of Moscow Will Discuss Overnight Parking Restrictions

A recent request to Moscow City Hall asks the council to reduce the overnight parking restrictions to accommodate business access during the early morning hours. The streets in question include Washington, Jackson, Main and First to Eighth in the downtown core.

The city's public works and fiance committee will be reviewing the parking restrictions next week on February 13th at 3 p.m.

Public comment can be sending to the city clerk, Stephanie Kalasz at skalasz@ci.moscow.id.us.

In-person voter registration ends today for February election

New to Washington State? Today is the last day to register to vote in-person at your county’s election office. If you register today, you can vote in the February 14th special election. 

You can find your election office’s hours at the Secretary of State’s website. Find your county, find the hours, register and then get ready to vote.

If you miss the deadline, you can register anyway to get ready for the general election. You can register online

2012 Kids' Art Contest

2012 Kids' Art Contest

It's time for the kids to sharpen their colored pencils. The 2012 Kids' Art Contest is underway. The winner of this competition will have their work displayed on 3.5 million voter pamphlets sent to people across the State.

The Office of Secretary of State is hosting the contest asking 4th and 5th graders to enter their best work. "If I Could Vote" is the theme for this year. The State says the contest is a chance for Washington's youngest citizens to get involved with the elections process.

The winner's work will be featured on Washington State Voter's Pamphlets and will receive a surprise visit from Secretary of State Sam Reed at school.

Students can enter their work here. Good luck! Artists have until April 16th to submit their entries.