washington legislature

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Women who signed a “Stand With Us” anti-harassment letter to Washington legislative leaders in November say they want a “safe, neutral space” to formally and informally report allegations of misconduct.

Austin Jenkins/Northwest News Network

All firearms will be banned from the Washington state Senate public viewing galleries when the 2018 legislative session begins  January 8.

Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, a Democrat who serves as president of the Senate, issued that order Monday, extending a previous order banning openly-carried guns in the Senate galleries.

Washington state Rep. Paul Graves is proposing to end the cloak of secrecy around legislative emails, calendars and other records. The move comes as media outlets, including public radio, have sued the Legislature over public records.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Leaders in the Washington Legislature said they won’t tolerate sexual harassment, and encourage women to report unwanted attention from men. Those comments follow NWPR's investigation with The News Tribune of Tacoma into the workplace climate at the state Capitol.

Oregon farmers planted the state’s first legal crops of industrial hemp a couple of years ago. Now the first Washington state farmer to plant the non-drug cousin of marijuana has harvested the crop. 


Hemp entrepreneur Cory Sharp is fairly happy with Washington’s first legal crop in almost 90 years. His farmer partners harvested 105 acres earlier this month from irrigated fields near Moses Lake. 


But the celebration is tempered because the crop is unsold.


If you buy individual health insurance through Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange get ready for sticker shock. Rates will go up by an average of 24 percent next year.

People who buy individual health insurance in Washington state can expect another round of rate hikes next year.

“I’d say double-digit [increases] are almost a certainty,” state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in an interview Thursday on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” program.

Intelligence experts say North Korea is several years or more away from having the capability to threaten the U.S. West Coast with a nuclear missile. But recent sabre rattling was enough to make Washington state senators hold a hearing Wednesday about preparedness.

Several media outlets, including public radio, have filed an open records lawsuit against the Washington Legislature. The lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks access to lawmaker emails, text messages and calendars.

The threat of a nuclear attack, immigration enforcement and paying by the mile to drive are all on the agenda as Washington lawmakers hold meetings the week of September 11.

Time is running out for Washington lawmakers to pass a capital construction budget. Less than one week remains in the state’s third overtime session of the legislature.

bloomsberries / Flickr

 

A Washington State Supreme Court ruling has raised the bar for removing jurors of color from an all-white panel. In its ruling the high court says courts must now do more analysis to determine if the removal of the juror was based on race. 

Beginning in 2020, workers in Washington will be eligible for paid family and medical leave through a new state program funded by employee and employer contributions. 



If you have a reservation at a Washington state park this weekend or you rely on state services, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Washington lawmakers have passed a nearly $44 billion, two-year budget, averting an imminent government shutdown.

Despite what state lawmakers say, Washington’s next budget doesn’t fully fund schools. That’s the opinion of the lawyer who sued the state in 2007 over school funding.

Attorney Thomas Ahearne said it’s not enough money and it doesn’t get to the schools fast enough.

After months of partisan deadlock and weeks of brinksmanship as a government shutdown loomed, Washington legislative budget negotiators have reached an “agreement in principle” on a two-year budget designed to fully fund schools, as required by the state Supreme Court.  


There’s still no word of a budget deal in the Washington state Capitol. And a partial government shutdown is just days away. Yet lawmakers remain optimistic.

After weeks of deadlock, Washington lawmakers could be close to reaching an agreement in principle on a state budget, House and Senate budget writers said on Friday.

If Washington lawmakers don’t pass a state budget by June 30, the state will go into a partial government shutdown. And the impacts would be significant.

So what would that look like?

The state of Washington is 10 days from a government shutdown as lawmakers head into a third overtime session with still no budget deal.

It looks like Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will have to call a third special session of the state legislature. The current overtime session ends Wednesday—and there’s still no budget deal.

http://andyhill.src.wastateleg.org/about/45th-district/
The Campaign of Late Senator Andy Hill

A state legislative race in Washington is starting to draw out of state money. For one donor from Idaho that’s because the outcome could determine west coast climate policy. 

It’s only June in an off-election year, but yard signs are up and candidates are knocking on doors in Washington’s 45th legislative district. It’s just one race, but the outcome could decide who controls the Washington state Senate.

More than two dozen former federal prosecutors from western Washington are pushing back against new guidance from the Trump administration.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday ordered a second 30-day overtime session of the state legislature. It began immediately after the adjournment of the first special session.

Washington’s 30-day special session of the legislature ends Tuesday. But there’s still no sign of a budget deal or a plan to fully fund education. That means Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to call a second overtime session.

Gun dealers in Washington state will soon be required to report when someone tries to buy a gun and fails a background check. Gov. Jay Inslee signed that requirement into law Wednesday as part of a crackdown on prohibited gun buyers. 


Michael Gil / Flickr

It’s expensive to become a licensed driver in Washington State. There are permitting fees, driver's ed classes, testing and insurance costs. For foster children or their caregivers it’s often a significant hurdle.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Public schools in Washington state would be encouraged, but not required, to hold at least one earthquake drill per year under a measure scheduled for the governor's signature tomorrow.

Former Washington governor Mike Lowry, an unapologetic liberal who advocated for higher taxes and social programs, died Monday from complications related to a stroke. He was 78.

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