washington legislature

Washington Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson is out of a job. The Republican-led Washington Senate voted Friday afternoon not to confirm Peterson three years after she was appointed by Democratic Governor Jay Inslee.

Police agencies in Washington state would not be allowed to rate officers by how many traffic tickets they hand out under a proposal put forward by a former Spokane police officer.

Is the tax on legal marijuana in Washington too high?

Washington lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday for a short election-year session. They say getting bipartisan agreement on a school funding plan is a top priority.

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Another candidate has joined the 2016 race for Washington State auditor. It’s a Seattle attorney who’s never run for public office.

The auditor’s job is to shine a light on how public dollars are spent…or misspent.

Democrat Jeff Sprung said he’s had a similar career focus - fighting for taxpayers. And he wants to bring that experience, and a fresh perspective, to state government.

“I’m an outsider to Olympia and I have no stake in fighting old battles," Sprung said. "For the job of the people’s watchdog, I think that’s exactly what’s needed.”

September’s deadly Aurora Bridge accident in Seattle and the 2015 fire season are on the agenda as Washington lawmakers return to the Capitol on Thursday and Friday.

Money is pouring into a highly competitive special election to fill an open seat in the Washington state House. But tracing where that money comes from is no easy task.

Washington State House of Representatives

Most voters in Washington should have their November ballots in hand by the end of this week. It’s an off election year. But there’s one hot legislative race that has implications for future control of the Washington state House.

After a record-long session, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and legislative leaders still aren’t done. They’ll resume talks on schools funding on Monday afternoon in SeaTac after an unprecedented ruling from the state Supreme Court.

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The State Supreme Court has again ruled the legislature’s efforts to fully fund public schools are falling short.  But this time, they’re adding a penalty to their ruling.  

Harvey Barrison / Flickr

The State Supreme Court is ratcheting up pressure on the legislature to fix problems with how the state funds public schools.  Justices have announced they’ll fine the state $100,000 a day until lawmakers lay out a complete plan to close the McCleary school funding case. 

State lawmakers from around the country will descend on Seattle the week of August 3 for a national legislative summit.

It was a record-long legislative session in Washington. But the number of bills that actually became law was quite few – comparatively.

Before they left town, Washington lawmakers approved a nearly $4 billion capital construction budget. That includes $130 million in member-requested projects – what you might call pork.

The Washington Legislature finally adjourned its 2015 session Friday. The last piece of business was for the state House to approve $508 million in new spending on roads, ferries and transit.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The Washington state Senate has voted to delay a voter-approved class size measure and a biology test high school graduation requirement. The votes Thursday afternoon pave the way for the legislature to adjourn its third special session Friday. 

Typically, the Washington legislature is done long before Oregon because of how the legislative calendars work in each state. But not this year.

Washington lawmakers have until the 30-day special session runs out on June 27 to reach a budget deal. If they fail to do so, a partial government shutdown would begin on July 1.

Former Washington state Rep. Susan Fagan has agreed to reimburse taxpayers after filing false expense reports.

Governor Jay Inslee’s budget director said Friday that negotiators have reached preliminary agreement on a key issue that’s been hanging them up.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee plans to convene budget negotiations in his office beginning at 10:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

 

The clock runs out Thursday on Washington’s 30-day special session of the legislature. There are indications the pace of budget negotiations has picked up. But a second special session is still likely. 

    

There’s plenty of finger pointing, but not a lot of progress toward a budget deal in the Washington capitol. Legislative leaders took turns Thursday blaming each other for the slow pace of budget talks.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is working to revive his plan to charge for carbon pollution and use the proceeds to fund schools.

The Democrat met Wednesday behind closed doors with Speaker of the House Frank Chopp to discuss the issue.

Inslee views it as a twofer. Charge industry for carbon emissions. Then take the money generated and put a chunk of it into fully funding public schools.

Inslee unveiled the idea last December, but it died in the Democratic-controlled Washington House.

The era of ubiquitous green cross marijuana dispensaries in Washington state is about to come to an end.

A wide majority of the Washington Legislature voted to raise the maximum speed limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he doesn’t approve of one-day walkouts by teachers, but the Democrat also said he understands their frustration over pay raises and class size.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee used Earth Day to chastise state lawmakers for their environmental record.

Budget negotiations have stalled with just a few days left in the Washington legislature’s 105-day session. The clock runs out on Sunday.

Call it the timeshare rule. Washington lawmakers can accept free tickets to this summer’s U.S. Open golf championship -- if they attend a three-hour tour and seminar.

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