washington legislature

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.

WSDOT / FLICKR

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.

Last fall, the Washington Supreme Court made a decision many home builders and landowners call harmful. The ruling, known as the Hirst decision, requires counties to ensure adequate water supply before granting a permit to build.

Washington state’s 105-day legislative session is almost at the halfway point. But a final, bipartisan deal on school funding could still be months away.

President Donald Trump’s immigration policies created a sense of urgency at the annual Latino Legislative Day the Washington state Capitol Monday. Several hundred activists converged in Olympia, Washington, with a message for state lawmakers.

Education Plans Move Forward In Washington Legislature

Feb 22, 2017

The Washington Legislature has reached a milestone in its court-ordered quest to amply fund schools. Both chambers have now passed education funding plans.

The House vote happened Wednesday. But negotiating a final compromise could take months.

Washington lawmakers are considering a bill that would reduce the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers from .08 to .05. That would make the limit one of the lowest in the nation. The House Transportation Committee heard the bill Tuesday

Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board has fined state Rep. Melanie Stambaugh $5,000 for posting taxpayer funded videos and photos to a campaign-related Facebook page. The Republican from Puyallup said she will challenge the ethics ruling.

A bipartisan proposal to repeal the death penalty in Washington state will get a hearing Wednesday morning. But the Democratic chair of the House Judiciary Committee said there’s no plan to hold a vote on the measure.

AP Images / Associated Press

Drivers and professional lobbyists for the ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft are urging state lawmakers to replace what they call a "patchwork" of city regulations with uniform statewide rules for their industry. They testified Wednesday that this would expand the availability of the smartphone-based ride-booking services.

Whether it’s a drive from Bellingham or a flight from Washington D.C., a long commute to Olympia for Washington state lawmakers is normal. That’s what Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen told press at a briefing Thursday while he discussed his new role under the Trump administration.

Jeanie Lindsay / Northwest News Network

It’s too hard to keep cops accountable when it comes to using deadly force in Washington state. That’s what citizens supporting a pair of bills said at a hearing in Olympia Tuesday. But some officers who showed up to testify said a change of training, not legal language, is needed.

Washington lawmakers are under a court order to fully fund K-12 education. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that it’s their top priority. But a measure to officially “fund education first” in the state budget failed Wednesday.

TVW

 

The idea of giving workers paid time off to care for a new baby or an elderly parent has long been a priority of the left, but now the idea is gaining traction with some Republicans in the Washington Legislature.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was sworn in Wednesday for a second term. In his inaugural address to a joint session of the Washington Legislature, the Democrat said his top priority this year is to fully fund education.

Washington state’s 65th Legislature is in session. Both the House and Senate convened at noon Monday, marking the start of a 105-day budget writing session.

The Washington Legislature convenes Monday for a 105-day budget writing session. And the political dynamic in Olympia is full of digs at President-elect Trump, partisan sniping and disagreement over how to fund education.

Cori Medeiros / WSU Spokane Communications

 

Should it be easier to criminally charge police officers in Washington who use deadly force? A legislative task force said “yes," but the vote was far from unanimous.

A political tornado is swirling toward western Washington's 30th Legislative District. It’s swallowing up money from political action committees and pummeling voters and the candidates with attack ads.

And the path the twister takes could determine control of the Washington state House.

The floodgates have opened on negative campaign spending in Washington state. Just since October 1, more than $800,000 has been spent -- mostly to defeat candidates for the state legislature.

A new proposed ballot initiative in Spokane, Washington, could prohibit coal and oil companies from transporting their products through the city by rail. It comes after the city council rolled back a similar effort last month.

This time around, the proposal targets the owners of the rail cars and not the railroad companies tasked with transporting them.

Lobbyists play a key role in political fundraising. Just consider the invitation to a fundraiser Wednesday night for the Speaker and the Majority Leader of the Washington state House.

MICHAEL SAECHANG / Flickr

 A ban on military-style weapons could come to Washington state.

Today Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced he'll propose a ban during the upcoming legislative session.

Unionized Washington State Employees To Rally For Higher Pay

Aug 31, 2016
Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

 

Unionized Washington state employees want a pay raise. They plan to rally Wednesday at the state Capitol.

Historic forest fires. The Oso landslide. Global warming. These are among the issues in the race for Washington Commissioner of Public Lands. The position oversees state trust lands that generate money for schools.

The commissioner must also navigate a constant tension between the timber industry and environmentalists.

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