KELA News Headlines for Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Lawmakers pass new state operating budget
With only a day remaining before a new fiscal cycle for state government takes effect, lawmakers in Olympia approved a $38 billion state operating budget Monday night and sent it to Governor Jay Inslee. The spending plan invests about $1.3 billion in K-through-12 education. It provides cost-of-living increases for teachers and state employees, decreases tuition rates and makes further investments in the state’s mental health system.
More people moved to Washington in the past year, helping to push the state's population past 7 million. Estimates released Thursday by the Office of Financial Management show 7,061,400 people live in the State as of April 2015. The 1.34 percent bump is the largest annual increase since 2008. Most of the boom happened in the state's five largest counties, Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane; while Wahkiakum and Grays Harbor Counties lost residents last year.
Mexican Gray Wolf pups born at Wolfhaven
Wolfhaven International, the wolf sanctuary near Tenino, is celebrating the birth of endangered Mexican Gray Wolf pups. Kim Young with Wolfhaven says there are 10 new pups in three litters. She says these are the first Mexican Gray wolf pups born at Wolfhaven since 2008 and the first time they have had more than one litter of pups born in a single year. Young says sanctuary staff will be giving the pups their first examination and shots in the next few weeks. At that time staff will learn the gender of the new pups.
Gas prices were up again in Washington
According to GasBuddy.com, the average retail price of a gallon of gas in Washington was up two cents in the past week to $3.19. This compares with the national average which was down a penny to $2.78 a gallon. Including the change in prices in Washington in the past week, we’re paying 80 cents a gallon less than a year ago but prices are 13 cents a gallon higher than a month ago. To check local gas prices, go to our website, kelaam.com (kmnt.com).