Washington State Legislature

Washington State Legislature
9:50 am
Tue May 17, 2011

Cigar smokers push for space of their own

Cigar aficionados could light up at their favorite bar under a bill up for a vote in the Washington Senate this week. The measure would allow cigar lounges in some bars and tobacco stores. But opponents of the change say it would overturn the will of Washington voters.

Read more
Washington State Legislature
2:00 pm
Mon May 16, 2011

It's a do-or-die week for Washington special session

It’s do-or-die week in the Washington Legislature. A budget deal will have to come together over the next several days if lawmakers are to finish business within the 30-day special session.

Read more
STATE BUDGET CRISIS
6:57 pm
Tue April 19, 2011

Marchers arrive at state capitol as special session looms

The Washington legislature is headed for an overtime session. The Senate late Monday approved its plan to close a 5-billion dollar budget shortfall. But it is unlikely differences between the House and Senate can be reconciled by this Sunday’s Easter deadline.

Read more
Budget Cut Protests
10:46 am
Sat April 9, 2011

Thousands of union members rally in Olympia

A week of protests over state budget cuts culminated with a large union-led rally Friday at the Capitol in Olympia.

The State Patrol estimated the crowd at 7,000 people. There were signs and chants, and a sea of unionized workers on the steps to the Capitol and Supreme Court. 

Read more
News Roundup
8:22 am
Thu April 7, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

Did you get snow? Some areas of western Washington did. Today's forecast calls for morning rain with some sun breaks today, highs near 50, and cool temperatures again tonight. 

In headlines this morning:

  • Avalanches Hit Snoqualmie Pass, I-90
  • Protesters Camp Out at State Capitol
  • House Rejects Republican Budget Plan

 

Avalanches Injure Skiers, Temporarily Close I-90

Nine people were rescued Wednesday after being caught in two separate avalanches near Snoqualmie Pass. In one incident, an avalanche hit a group of skiers who were in a backcountry area just below the summit of the pass.

Read more
State Budget Crisis
3:07 pm
Wed April 6, 2011

Confidential memo outlines details of state proposal to lease liquor distribution

Washington House Democrats are considering a plan to lease the state's liquor distribution system for $300 million cash up front. But it wouldn't come cheap.

Initially, the deal could cost the state 80 percent of what it currently collects from the wholesale distribution of booze. That's according to a memo marked "highly confidential." It comes from a newly formed company called Washington Beverage and outlines a proposal to take over from the state the distribution of hard liquor throughout Washington.

Read more
Law & Justice
8:37 am
Wed April 6, 2011

Higher court fines imposed on Latino drug offenders in Washington state

Court fines issued to felons in Washington vary according to the criminal’s ethnicity and location. That’s the conclusion of a University of Washington study published online in American Sociological Review.

Read more
News Roundup
7:50 am
Tue April 5, 2011

Tuesday morning's headlines

Some of the top news stories around the Northwest this morning:

  • New Plan to Target Sea Lions
  • State House Lays Out a Budget Plan
  • Bellevue Tackles Steep Rise in Burglaries

 

Legislators Driving Toward Budget Showdown

Democrats in the state House of Representatives presented their budget plan for the next two years, slashing nearly $5 billion in spending. Cuts come from many areas, including K-4 education spending, and care for the developmentally disabled. Spared? Enrollment for 25,000 slots in children's health insurance program, Apple Health for Kids.

Read more
Washington State Legislature
3:15 pm
Mon April 4, 2011

State House Democrats roll out their budget

Washington House Democrats have unveiled a plan to close a $5 billion shortfall over the next two years. The plan released Monday would close a $5 billion shortfall and yet still manage to save several programs the governor proposed to eliminate.

It would privatize the state’s liquor distribution center and impose a $10 state park fee. It would also allow for the early release of some prison inmates. House Budget Chair Ross Hunter (D-Medina) calls it a responsible and sustainable budget.

Read more
Domestic Partnership
2:26 pm
Thu March 31, 2011

Washington to recognize same-sex marriages from other states

Same-sex marriages performed in other states will be recognized as domestic partnerships in Washington State under a bill now awaiting Gov. Chris Gregoire's signature. 

House Bill 1649 passed the state senate Wednesday 28-19. It was already approved by the House of Representatives.

Read more
Debtor’s prison
6:07 pm
Fri March 25, 2011

Debtor’s proposal: no get out of jail free card

A follow up now to a story we brought you last fall on people who are sent to jail for failing to pay their debts, like a medical bill. A proposal moving through the legislature would toughen standards for debt collection agencies. It wouldn’t ban the practice of jailing people who owe money.

Last September, we introduced you to Janelle Leslie of Newport near Spokane. She described the night she called the police for help and ended up getting arrested for a warrant she didn’t know about.

Read more
Washington State Legislature
3:05 pm
Fri March 25, 2011

State representative from SW Washington abruptly resigns

A member of the state House has suddenly resigned his seat. Democrat Jim Jacks of Hazel Dell in Southwest Washington departed the legislature Friday without any public announcement.

The Chief Clerk of the House says there were no formal complaints pending against Jacks. 

Read more
Washington State Legislature
1:00 pm
Thu March 24, 2011

School buses could get traffic-ticket cameras

Automated traffic ticket cameras could soon show up in a new place. They’d be attached to school buses. Opponents of photo traffic enforcement are mounting a late effort to stop the idea in the sate Legislature.

Brenner Beck is a school bus driver in Gig Harbor. He says motorists go around his bus when the flashing stop sign paddle is out.

Read more
Transportation
4:15 pm
Tue March 22, 2011

Ferry riders face fare hikes under budget plans

Riders on the nation’s biggest ferry system, Washington State Ferries, should brace themselves for another round of fare increases. The only remaining question is how much. 

The state House and Senate have come out with competing spending blueprints for roads and ferries. One thing the budgets have in common is higher ferry fares. The  increase this fall ranges between 2.5% and 5% and another 2.5% coming next fall.

Read more
Environment
3:25 pm
Tue March 22, 2011

Group pushes for Northwest to ban bottled water

At events in Olympia and Salem Tuesday, an activist group called on Washington and Oregon's governors to stop spending taxpayer dollars on bottled water.

Organizer Sriram Madhusoodanan, with the group Corporate Accountability International, says those little plastic bottles, sometimes available at public meetings and events, create unnecessary waste and undermine confidence in the quality of public water supplies.

Read more

Pages