Government and Politics

Age Verification laws for Escorts
5:03 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Wash. At Leading Edge Of Anti Sex Trafficking Laws

A dozen anti-human trafficking bills were signed into law by Governor Chris Gregoire.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user visitor 7 Wikimedia Commons

Washington State took another step Thursday to protect minors from sexual exploitation through online ads. Overall a dozen anti-human trafficking bills were signed into law by Governor Chris Gregoire.

One of the laws is aimed directly at sex ad publishers, like backpage.com, which has so far refused to verify age in its escort ads.

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Wash. Budget Negotiations
3:49 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Gregoire Says Next 48 Hours Critical For Wash. Budget Negotiations

Governor Chris Greoire must sign or veto nearly 180 bills by midnight Saturday.
Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says the next 48 hours are critical to reaching a deal to rebalance the state budget. The Democrat resumed signing legislation into law Thursday after holding dozens of bills hostage.

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Wash State Patrol Radio Upgrades
5:59 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Static In Olympia Over Wash. State Patrol Radio Upgrade

Bob Schwent of the Washington State Patrol with a new $6,800 Motorola portable radio that troopers will soon carry.
Photo credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Just like the rest of us, police officers use cell phones and smart phones. But in an emergency, they still rely on old-fashioned two-way radios to communicate. In Washington, the State Patrol is about to upgrade that radio system to meet new federal standards. The $26 million contract went to Motorola with no opportunity for other companies to bid. Now the project is under fierce criticism from a tech-savvy Washington state lawmaker.

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Wash Sales Tax Deduction
4:34 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Wash. Governor Urges Congress To Renew Sales Tax Deduction

Washington residents may not be able to deduct sales tax from their federal income tax returns for 2012.
Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Unless Congress acts, 2011 will be the last year Washington residents were able to deduct sales tax from their federal income tax returns. Governor Chris Gregoire signed onto a letter Tuesday asking Congressional leaders to reauthorize the deduction for 2012.

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Gubenatorial Debates
3:56 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Wash. Gubernatorial Race: The Debate Over Debates Continues

Democrat Jay Inslee (left) and Republican Rob McKenna are wrangling over debates in the Washington governor's race.
Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The debate over debates continues in the Washington governor’s race. Republican Rob McKenna announced Monday that he will commit to 15 joint appearances with Democrat Jay Inslee. Meanwhile, Inslee made it official: he will not participate in one debate that’s become a tradition in Washington.

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Libertarian Party
6:21 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Libertarian Candidate Hopes To Pick Up NW Paul Supporters

Libertarian Presidential Hopeful Gary Johnson
Photo courtesy Gary Johnson campaign Northwest News Network

The four remaining candidates for the GOP presidential nomination get most of the political attention. But one Libertarian Party hopeful made a swing through the Northwest Friday.

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Blue Alert
4:34 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Wash. Governor Signs Blue Alert Law For Cop Killers

Washington will have a so-called "Blue Alert" system to enlist the public's help in looking for cop killers. Governor Chris Gregoire signed the alert bill into law Thursday. The new system is similar to the Amber Alert for abducted children.

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Wash. Budget
3:39 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Wash. Governor Refuses To Sign Bills, “Mad” Over Pace Of Budget Talks

State Sen. Rodney Tom, one of three break-away Democrats, speaks about a new budget proposal from the Senate’s “philosophical majority
Photo credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Nearly a week into Washington’s special session and there’s no sign of a budget deal. Now, an angry Governor Chris Gregoire is refusing to sign dozens of bills in protest over the pace of negotiations.

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Wash. Budget
3:45 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Washington Lawmakers Still At Odds Over Budget

Washington legislators still at odds over how to balance state budget..
Photo by Wikimedia User Visitor7 Wikimedia Commons

Washington state lawmakers continue to talk about how to solve a disagreement over the state budget. A special overtime session started this week. They’re trying to close a budget gap of about $500 million.

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Wash. Budget Deadline
5:47 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

On Last Day Of Session, Game Of Chicken Over Wash. Budget

With session closing legislators in Washington still have no budget deal.
Photo credit Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The clock is running out on Washington’s 60 day legislative session. Lawmakers must adjourn by midnight Thursday night. But they still haven’t passed a plan to re-balance the state budget.

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