Politics

Religious Students
6:20 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Washington Bill Would Excuse Religious Students During Holidays

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 5:23 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Students would be able to take up to two days off per year for religious holidays under a proposal in Olympia. A hearing is scheduled Monday on a bill that would benefit Muslim students celebrating Ramadan.

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Gun Control Advocates
7:06 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Gun Control Advocates Regroup After Failed Bill

Gun control advocates are regrouping this week. They’re looking at their options, now that a bill to broaden background checks for gun sales failed in the Washington legislature. They want to seize a moment when they believe public sentiment is on their side. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

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Background Checks
6:26 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Mandatory Background Checks For Gun Sales Dies In Washington House

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 7:41 am

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A controversial proposal to require criminal background checks for most gun purchases appears to have died in the Washington House. That announcement came Tuesday night after two days of efforts to wrangle enough votes to pass the measure.

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Sanka Party
6:38 am
Tue March 12, 2013

The Sanka Party Brews Activism Inside A Mental Hospital

The Sanka Party's homemade logo.
Credit John Ryan / Northwest News Network

The Tea Party has become a fixture in American politics. But the Sanka Party? Not so much. Other than an interest in hot beverages, the two activist groups have little in common. The Sanka Party got started last summer near Tacoma, Wash., in the unlikeliest of places: inside the walls of the state’s largest psychiatric institution.

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Gun Background Checks
6:51 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Washington Universal Gun Checks Measure Loses Pivotal Supporter

Rep. Maureen Walsh
Credit Photo courtesy Washington Legislature

The fate of a universal background check measure in the Washington state House could be decided this week. Wednesday is a key cut-off deadline. Recently the gun control measure lost a pivotal “yes” vote. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins explains.

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Oregon Lawmaker
6:53 am
Fri March 8, 2013

New Mom Is Also New State Lawmaker

Shemia Fagan

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:43 pm

SALEM, Ore. - Shemia Fagan has a new baby and a new job. Like most working moms she has to balance the pressures of taking care of a newborn with the demands of the workplace. But unlike most new mothers, Fagan also has to consider the needs of her constituents. She’s serving her first term in the Oregon legislature.

The first day of the legislative session is chaos. The Capitol is filled with suits hustling about. Among the legislators sworn in was Democratic State Representative Shemia Fagan. Age 31.

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Business Lobbying
6:52 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Inside The World Of Business Lobbying In Olympia

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:27 pm

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.

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Water Pollution
6:47 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Oregon Takes Aggressive Approach To Water Pollution

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is taking a more aggressive approach to stop water pollution from farms. Instead of waiting for complaints to come in from the public, the state is going to begin looking for polluters.

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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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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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