legislature

Democrats in the Washington state House have passed a $12 per hour minimum wage measure. The increase would phase-in over four years.

Some Northwest lawmakers want you to be able to drive faster. Bills in both Oregon and Washington would increase the speed limit on some sections of highway.

The Republican-led Washington Senate Monday approved a nearly 12-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase phased in over three years.

In January, the Washington state Senate adopted a rule requiring that new taxes pass the Senate by a two-thirds vote. Monday Lt. Governor Brad Owen tossed it out.

Owen said the super majority threshold runs afoul of the state constitution. Owen pointed to a 2013 Washington Supreme Court ruling that overturned a voter-approved super majority requirement for tax hikes.

Tara Schmidt / Flickr

People who've undergone 'conversion therapy' to try to change their sexual orientation told lawmakers Monday that the therapy doesn't work and is emotionally damaging. 

Lawmakers are considering a bill to stop therapists from performing 'conversion therapy' on minors. The therapy covers a range of treatments aimed at changing sexual orientation.

Back in 1987, Jason Zenobia said his parents sent him to conversion therapy when he told them he was gay.

Aspaschen / Wikimedia

The Republican-controlled Washington Senate has voted to make it harder to approve new forms of taxation.

The Senate Monday narrowly adopted a rule that requires a two-thirds vote to bring proposals for new taxes to the floor for a final vote. Republican Joe Fain defended the rule change.

"It only would impact things like a capital gains tax or an income tax or a radical change to our tax structure in this state which I think, reasonably, should require a higher threshold from this chamber if we’re going to do so,” Fain said.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the legislature has not “acted appropriately” in the face of the McCleary decision on school funding. But he cautioned the state Supreme Court Thursday not to impose sanctions that would penalize other areas of state government. The governor’s comments came one day after the high court held a hearing to consider whether to hold the state in contempt. 


Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Wednesday in a historic hearing that could result in sanctions against the state legislature.


Clint Didier campaign

Washington’s August primary appears to have delivered an historic first. Two Republicans are likely to advance to the November election in central Washington’s Fourth Congressional District. Never before has the state’s top-two primary produced two contenders of the same party for a Congressional seat. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

Cacophony / Creative Commons

Washington’s August primary is less than a month away. It’s a midterm election year with no statewide offices on the ballot. Even so, already nearly $33 million has been contributed to campaigns. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins takes a look at who’s giving.

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