Washington

Washington Budget
7:35 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Washington Budget Writers ‘Light Years Apart’ As Special Session Looms

Hunter-Hill.jpg: Members of the Washington Senate’s majority coalition huddle during a break in floor action on the final day of the regular session.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will give lawmakers a two week cooling off period before calling them back into special session. That announcement Sunday evening followed the formal adjournment of the regular 105-day session.

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Washington Special Session
6:45 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Special Session Looms In Olympia

Washington’s 105-day legislative session ends this Sunday. House Democrats took a nearly $1 billion tax vote Wednesday. But there’s still no budget deal. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins says Governor Jay Inslee stopped short of saying a special session will be necessary.

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Landslides
7:10 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Severe Landslides In Washington Could Be Signs Of Times Ahead

BNSF Railway has had 200 landslides on or near its tracks this season, making it one of the worst since the company began keeping records in 1914.
Credit Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

A massive landslide that pushed 200,000 cubic yards of earth down the west side of Whidbey Island grabbed national headlines in March. Landslides have also caused numerous delays in passenger and freight rail along Puget Sound.

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Marijuana Laws
5:47 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Wash. Bars Allowing Marijuana Use Could Face Penalties

Pot possession is now legal in Washington. But city and state regulators are drawing the line at marijuana use in bars and coffeeshops. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

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Washington Dream Act
6:38 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Washington Dream Act Unlikely to Clear Senate

Supporters of the so-called Washington Dream Act plan to make one more uphill push in Olympia Tuesday. The measure would extend state financial aid to eligible college students who are in the US illegally. Hopes for the bill dwindled this weekend as a key state senator spoke out against the measure. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

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Coal Train Congestion
6:03 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Dozens Of Coal Trains Could Mean More Delays On Congested Northwest Rails And Roads

Bonnie Stewart EarthFix

Five coal export terminals have been proposed for the Northwest. Trains would bring coal in from Wyoming and Montana. The route they would travel already is congested in many areas. Congestion means trains hit bottlenecks. Cars get stuck at railroad crossings.

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Coal Diving
6:58 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Environmental Groups Diving For Coal Near Seattle Train Tracks

Laura James pulls a piece of black porous rock from the water beneath the railroad bridge in Ballard.
Credit Lamont Granquist

The debate over exporting Wyoming and Montana coal through terminals on the Northwest coast has been heating up in recent months. Those who support exporting coal say the terminals will create thousands of jobs and tax revenue for the state. Opponents of coal exports have raised concerns about the potential environmental and health impacts of coal. Some of them are taking matters into their own hands. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Trampoline Regulations
6:52 am
Fri March 29, 2013

New State Rules Forbid Bouncy Houses And Trampolines For Childcare Programs

A child enjoys a bouncy house in Washington.
Credit Amy Radil / Northwest News Network

Kids in daycamps and childcare programs in Washington are spending less time airborne these days. New state regulations forbid childcare providers from using trampolines and inflatable bouncy houses. State officials say the rule change was based on safety concerns. But doctors say bouncy houses don’t pose the same risks as trampolines. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

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Washington Budget
6:48 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Washington Governor: End Tax Breaks, Extend Expiring Taxes To Fund Schools

Washington Governor Jay Inslee wants to close or curtail a dozen tax breaks and continue a couple of tax increases that are about to expire. The money raised – more than a billion dollars – would be earmarked for public schools. The plan unveiled Thursday is part of the Democrat’s budget priorities for the next two years. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

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Mental Health Reform
6:40 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Washington Mental Health Reform Focuses On Preventive Care

Alexandra Kocik Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 7:21 pm

  OLYMPIA, Wash. – Health care advocates are pushing Washington state lawmakers to keep up momentum toward expanding access to Medicaid. About 100 people rallied on the Capitol steps in Olympia Thursday. They argue one group that will especially benefit is people with mental illness.

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