As of Thursday, February 14, 2013
Officials suspect initiative fraud
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Three paid signature gatherers apparently committed extensive fraud while collecting support for two Washington initiatives, elections officials said Wednesday.
The secretary of state’s office said many of the 8,000 signatures submitted by the collectors were invalid. The problematic filings were linked to a measure that would extend the time for initiative signature collection, and another proposal that would require companies to label genetically modified food.
Both initiatives are still valid because the remaining signatures were sufficient to get the measures certified, election officials said.
Court: Fifth graders plotted to kill
COLVILLE, Wash. (AP) — Court documents released Wednesday gave chilling details about the plans of two fifth-graders from Colville to kill a girl classmate and possibly others on the day they were caught with a knife and gun in school last week.
The Spokesman-Review reported that the boys, ages 10 and 11, remained in custody on charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, tampering with a witness and conspiracy to possess a firearm after they were arrested Feb. 7. Under Washington law, children ages 8 to 12 are presumed not to have the mental capacity to form the intent to commit crime.
Wash. eyes welfare drug testing
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A measure modeled on a new Utah law would add a potential drug testing requirement to those seeking family welfare benefits in Washington state, but would allow them to continue receiving money while seeking treatment as long as they stay drug-free.
The bill will have its first public hearing before a Senate committee Thursday. It would require applicants whom case workers have determined have a drug problem to undergo a drug test and participate in a treatment program to receive the monthly cash grant that is part of the state’s temporary assistance for needy families program, known as TANF.