washington legislature

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. 


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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.

Acrimony and gridlock. That’s the state of affairs at the Washington state Capitol where  lawmakers Monday began a 30-day overtime session. Gov.Jay Inslee called lawmakers back after they failed to reach agreement on a state budget and school funding package. 

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will call state lawmakers back into special session starting Monday. The Democrat’s announcement Friday came as budget negotiations remained stalled with the regular session scheduled to end on Sunday.

Washington state lawmakers sent a distracted driving crackdown to the governor's desk late Wednesday. And lawmakers in Oregon are steadily steering their own version of this through legislative committees.

Washington state Senate Republicans and House Democrats are at loggerheads over how to fund schools. Republicans want to replace local school levies with a new state property tax levy. Democrats want a new capital gains tax to generate more money for schools.

In what has become the new normal, Washington state lawmakers are expected to go into an overtime session because they’ve been unable to agree on a state operating budget or a plan to fully fund public schools.

The regular 105-day session ends Sunday, April 23.

A measure to crack down on prohibited gun buyers in Washington has unexpectedly died in the Republican-led state Senate. The bipartisan proposal failed to get a vote before a key deadline this week.

One casualty of the looming end of Washington state’s legislative session is a bill on police use of deadly force.

Washington has one of the highest bars in the nation for charging police officers who use deadly force. They are protected as long as they act in good faith and without malice.

Put down your phone and drive. That’s the message from Washington lawmakers.

The Washington House passed a new distracted driving law Wednesday and it needs one more vote in the Senate before it goes to the governor.

Time is running out for Washington lawmakers to negotiate a state budget that complies with a Supreme Court ruling to fully fund schools.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington lawmakers are working this year to craft a solution to the state’s school funding crisis. Much of their work is happening behind the scenes and in closed door meetings. So who’s in those meetings and who’s trying to influence the outcome? The top four leaders of the legislature denied a public records request to see their emails and calendars. 

Washington Senate Republicans have proposed a $5 billion increase in state spending over the next two years, including $1.8 billion more for public schools in an attempt to satisfy a Supreme Court ruling that found the state is not adequately funding K-12 education.

Washington state school districts will not go over the so-called “levy cliff.” At least not next year. The state House Thursday sent the governor a bipartisan measure to extend current levy capacity for another year.

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Washington school districts are breathing a collective sigh of relief. The state Senate voted Wednesday night to delay the so-called "levy cliff" for another year. Democrat Andy Billig of Spokane said the move would bring certainty to school districts planning next year's budget.

On International Women’s Day, some women walked out of their workspaces or wore the color red in solidarity. Women in the Washington Senate showed off their scarlet themed wardrobes, but didn’t travel too far. Instead, they helped pass legislation supporting pregnant working women in Washington.

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Last year, gun violence shook communities in Marysville and on Whidbey Island, Washington. Some lawmakers in Olympia said it was the result of inadequate mental health resources.

Lawmakers in Salem and Olympia are debating measures intended to crack down on distracted driving.

The Washington state House has voted to give added protections to sick workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

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