Death Penalty Bill
4:37 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

House Committee Takes No Action On Death Penalty Bill

A House Committee in Olympia took no action Wednesday on a bill that would eliminate the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life without parole.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

 A House Committee in Olympia took no action Wednesday morning on a bill that would eliminate the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life without parole.

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Oregon Budget
6:59 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Budget Debate Kicks Off In Salem

Ways & Means Co-chairs Representative Peter Buckley (left) and Senator Richard Devlin (right) outline their budget proposal at a state capitol press conference.
Credit Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The stage is now set for a protracted battle over the upcoming state spending plan in Oregon. Legislative budget-writers Monday released a proposal that relies on rolling back tax breaks and reducing benefits to retired public workers. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Oregon Education Funding
5:38 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Education Leaders See Potential For "Adequate" School Funding, But Cuts Possible, Too

The latest state budget plans released Monday in Salem are drawing mixed reviews from the education community.

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Washington Senate
7:12 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Despite Pledge To Cooperate, Partisan Recriminations in Washington Senate

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 5:29 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Three months ago, 23 Republicans and two breakaway Democrats seized control of the Washington state Senate. At the time, Majority Leader Rodney Tom, one of the Democrats, pledged a new spirit of bipartisanship.

“The public out there is hungry for us to come together, to work together in a collaborative manner and that’s exactly what this coalition is trying to accomplish,” he said.

But as the halfway point of the legislative session approaches, the Washington state Senate has become a hotbed of partisan recriminations.

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Gun Control
4:05 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Washington Venture Capitalist Funds New Anti-Gun Violence Coalition

M Glasgow Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 3:46 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gun control advocates in Washington are banding together to turn up the heat on state lawmakers. In the coming days, they plan to announce the formation of a new grassroots lobbying coalition. Their first target is passage of universal background check legislation.

The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility has seed money from Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. Other founders are Seattle city councilwoman Sally Bagshaw, former council member Tina Podlodowski and Seattle writer and activist Eric Liu.

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Welfare Recipients
4:56 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Debated In Olympia

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:06 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – People seeking welfare assistance could face a drug test before they receive any benefits, under a bill in Olympia. Thursday, Washington lawmakers heard debate over a drug test requirement that would kick in early in the application process, if caseworkers feel it’s necessary.

Republican Rep. Jan Angel said this measure would encourage addicts to get help before receiving benefits.

“We can get someone into rehab or into treatment, and we can still feed the family.”

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Medical Marijuana
3:56 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Washington Lawmakers Hear Concerns on 'Gray' Market For Marijuana


Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 3:46 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Card-holding medical marijuana patients would get protection from arrest under a proposal in the Washington legislature. But some industry insiders say it doesn’t go far enough. That was their message Monday at a state Senate hearing.

By the end of this year, the production and use of recreational marijuana in Washington will be regulated and taxed. That’s because of voter-approved Initiative 502. But medical marijuana – also voter-approved back in 1998 – is largely unregulated.

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Malpractice Law
6:00 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Medical Liability Limit Set For Legislative Debate

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 7:07 pm

SALEM, Ore. - For decades, Oregon’s trial lawyers and doctors have battled over medical malpractice. Now, the state’s physician governor has brokered a deal aimed at reducing medical malpractice lawsuits. It’s one of the high-profile issues in the legislative session that gets underway Monday. But the state's medical community is deeply divided over the proposal.

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Malpractice Laws
6:00 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Oregon Lawmakers Return To Salem, Will Consider Medical Malpractice Proposal

A long-festering dispute between Oregon doctors and trial lawyers may be closer to a resolution. The two groups have reached a deal aimed at reducing the cost of medical malpractice litigation. It’s one of many subjects of debate when Oregon lawmakers return to the capitol Monday. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Education Reform
5:50 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Reform Vs. Funding: Battle Shaping Up In Washington Legislature

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, second from right, says education reforms must come before additional funding.
Credit Northwest News Network

One of the key battles shaping up in Olympia this year is over education reform. The Senate’s new majority coalition is proposing a series of measures aimed at getting better results in the classroom. Among the ideas: a state takeover of failing schools.

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