Olympia

Photo credit: Wikimedia user Jay8g / Wikimedia Commons

California billionaire Tom Steyer is poised to help Democrats try to win back control of the Washington Senate. But first, his NextGen political action committee had to satisfy a quirk in the law. Call it the ten-ten rule. In Washington, political committees have to jump a small hurdle before they can play in Washington’s political sandbox.

Workers rights groups have a term for cases of withheld pay, denied breaks, and unnecessary deductions. They call it “wage theft.” In Olympia Tuesday, advocates for labor groups testified in favor of a series of measures aimed at cracking down on fraud against employees.

Washington state lawmakers are barred from accepting gifts intended to influence their vote. But there’s an exception to that rule. Members of the legislature are allowed to accept free food and drinks if it’s related to their official duties, but only on an “infrequent” basis.

However, a public radio investigation, done in cooperation with the Associated Press, reveals that dozens of state legislators frequently accept meals from lobbyists. And many of them do so even while collecting taxpayer-funded per diem payments.

In Olympia, May Day protesters faced-off with police in riot gear Wednesday night. But the two sides did not clash. A group of about 50 mostly young people – some of them wearing face masks - marched for more than an hour through the streets of downtown Olympia, disrupting traffic.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In the world of state legislatures, there’s a powerful breed of players who normally shun the spotlight. They prefer to work behind the scenes to influence policy outcomes. We’re talking about business lobbyists. Inside this often hidden world, you’ll meet two of the most successful corporate contract lobbyists in the Washington state capitol. And learn some of their tricks of the trade.

Photo credit US Geological Survey

There are more mountain goats in Olympic National Park than there have been for the past 20 years. That’s according to a new report released today by the US Geological Survey. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Wikimedia user: Tradnor / Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington lawmakers say they now have the last “yes” vote they need to pass same-sex marriage in the state.

Cheers from gay rights supporters filled the room as state Senator Ed Murray announced that news at a press conference Monday in Olympia. The 25th vote comes from Democratic State Senator Mary Margaret Haugen.

Opponents of gay marriage want to put the idea to a vote of the people. So even though the legislative votes are there, Murray says same-sex marriage is not a done deal yet in Washington.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Legislature has passed and sent to the governor a measure to increase the tax on phone bills. The extra money raised will go to pay for 911 system upgrades. The increase amounts to 25 cents per line per month split between the state and individual counties. During the Washington House debate, Republican Representative Ed Orcutt and Democrat Christopher Hurst disagreed over the wisdom of the tax hike. 

OLYMPIA, Wash. –Washington's Secretary of Corrections will make the case Wednesday for permanent changes to the interstate compact on parolees. This stems from the murders of four Lakewood police officers last November by Arkansas parolee Maurice Clemmons.

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