Washington

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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Washington's Marijuana Consultant
6:39 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Pot Consultant: 'The World's Going To Learn A Lot' From Washington

TVW

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 7:06 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s new marijuana consultant says the world will learn a lot from the state’s move to legalize pot. Professor Mark Kleiman believes Washington is the right size state to try this voter-approved experiment.

And, he says, it bodes well that state regulators are taking it seriously.

“Even people that I know who really think that marijuana legalization is a bad idea and will not work out well, are enthusiastic about the idea that Washington is going to try it in a sensible way because then we’ll know something.”

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Undercover IDs
7:28 am
Wed March 27, 2013

False IDs For Cops? Washington's Unauthorized Program Faces Scrutiny

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:51 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For decades, police officers in Washington have been able to obtain false driver licenses for undercover work. But this quasi-secret program inside the Department of Licensing only recently came to light. It turns out the confidential ID program was never approved by the legislature. Now two state lawmakers are calling for more oversight to prevent possible abuses.

As a street cop in the early 1980s, Mitch Barker went undercover to work drugs and vice. The Washington Department of Licensing helped him assume a fake identity.

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Derelict Vessels
7:36 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Washington Set To Pass Legislation On Derelict Vessels But Funding Problems Remain

Recreational boaters in Washington pay a registration fee, part of which covers clean up and removal of derelict vessels. Commercial vessels do not pay into that fund.
Credit Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

There are several hundred derelict and abandoned vessels dotting the waterways of Washington and Oregon. They can block navigation and pollute the environment. And they can also be very expensive to remove.

Bills to fund the clean up and prevention of derelict vessels have now been passed in the Washington house and senate, but Ashley Ahearn reports, no permanent sources of funding for large vessel removal have been identified.

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Lobbying Report
6:37 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Washington Teachers' Union Top Lobbying Spender In Olympia So Far

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 4:45 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – New disclosure reports are out on money spent for lobbying in Olympia. Who tops the list? So far Washington’s teachers’ union is spending the most to influence state lawmakers this legislative session.

The Washington Education Association has five top priorities for the 2013 legislature. The list includes more money for schools as directed by the Washington Supreme Court. The union is also pushing for competitive salaries and benefits for teachers and support staff.

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Columbia River Crossing
6:37 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Inslee Stumps For Columbia River Crossing

Washington Governor Jay Inslee urged a group of regional business leaders today / yesterday (Friday)  to urge state legislators to support the Columbia River Crossing --the proposed new I-5 bridge.  April Baer reports.

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Wolf Testimony
6:23 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Testimony On Wolf Bill Includes Story Of Attack

A public hearing Wednesday on a bill to allow people the right to protect livestock and pets from wolf attacks included the story of a very close wolf encounter near the town of Twisp.

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San Juan Islands
6:16 am
Fri March 22, 2013

President Obama Set To Create National Monument In Washington's San Juan Islands

President Obama is set to announce the creation of several new national monuments on Monday. One of them will be in Washington’s San Juan Islands. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Gonzaga Basketball
6:08 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Basketball Team Prompts Gonzaga's Growth Spurt

Gonzaga University’s name is seemingly everywhere this month – including the covers of magazines and newspapers, and mentions on NPR. Paige Browning explains that, while the basketball program gets more name recognition, the school is on a growth spurt.

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Immigrant Stories
6:32 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Northwest Town Rides Ups And Downs Of 'Broken' Immigration System

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:57 am

BREWSTER, Wash. - There's one word that politicians almost always use when they talk about the U.S. immigration system. That word is “broken.” But what does that really mean? Residents of the small town of Brewster, Wash., know. For decades, immigrants have come from Mexico, often illegally, to work the surrounding apple and cherry orchards. Bewster, it turns out, is a microcosm of how the immigration debate is playing out.

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