Washington State Legislature

News Roundup
7:07 am
Wed March 16, 2011

Wednesday morning's headlines

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Going Back to College Could Get More Expensive
  • Higher Ed Bills Drawing Fresh Faces to Olympia
  • Arson Attempt at Olympia Police Station
  • Sounders Drop MLS Opener

 

Bill Would Hike Fees For College Returnees

If you plan to go back to college you could end up paying a lot more in tuition. A budget-saving proposal in Olympia would apply to people who already have a degree and then go for extra training at a community college, reports The Seattle Times' Queenie Wong:

SB5868 would require students with a bachelor's degree who attend a community or technical college to bear the entire cost of instruction - the price of regular tuition plus the share that the state pays.

That means it could affect current university students who take extra time and credits to get their degree.  State Senator Rodney Tom of Bellevue tells Wong that during a tight economy, government has to prioritize. It’s important to help students attend college, he says, but not for extra training.

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Shark Fin Soup
10:51 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Lawmakers want to take shark fin soup off menus

West Coast lawmakers want to take shark fin soup off restaurant menus. The Washington, Oregon and California Legislatures are all considering measures to criminalize the trade in shark fins.

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Washington State Legislature
8:24 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Immigration check for driver’s licenses appears unlikely

Washington could soon be the last state in the nation to issue driver’s licenses without an immigration check. A controversial proposal in Olympia to create a two-tier license system appears to have died. Senate Republicans failed to force a vote just before a key legislative cut-off.

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Washington State Legislature
8:15 am
Fri March 4, 2011

Audit on K-12 health benefits runs afoul of unions

Majority Democrats in the Washington Legislature are working to close a multi-billion dollar budget gap. But they're not likely to implement a change the State Auditor says could save $180 million over the two-year budget cycle, as the idea runs afoul of the powerful teacher's union.

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Shellfish Harvesting
7:48 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Washington poised to get tougher with shellfish operators

This story has been updated to correct the dollar amount the state believes to have been poached.

Last summer, we brought you a story about gaps in the system that's supposed to keep Washington shellfish safe to eat. Now state lawmakers appear ready to get tougher with shellfish operators who violate food safety laws.

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News Roundup
6:57 am
Thu February 10, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Business Unemployment Tax Breaks on Horizon
  • Seattle Considers Garbage Collection Reductions
  • UW Accused in Animal Welfare Complaint

 

 

State House OK's Business Tax Cuts, Benefit Boost for Unemployed

Washington businesses will get a break on unemployment taxes in a deal unanimously approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday. 

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Washington Legislature
12:45 am
Thu February 10, 2011

Immigrants' rally in Olympia against driver's license bills

Immigrant rights groups are pushing back against efforts to deny driver's licenses to illegal immigrants in Washington. They rallied at the Capitol Wednesday in opposition to several legislative proposals. 

In the Capitol Rotunda, the chant was:

Safety first, driver's licenses for all.

Members of the group OneAmerica voiced opposition to the half-dozen proposals in the Washington legislature to require proof – or at least evidence of – lawful presence in the United States in order to get a driver's license.

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Education
3:21 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

Gregoire makes rare appearance before legislature to tout education system reforms

Christine Gregoire says she had an "aha moment" last summer about why Washington's education system isn't getting any better.

The governor made a rare appearance before a legislative committee Wednesday to talk about her proposal to create a new cabinet-level Department of Education that would oversee all the state's education efforts, committees and boards, from early learning to college.

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Juvenile crime
5:32 pm
Tue February 1, 2011

Teens with illegal guns get off easy

A teenager caught with an illegal gun in Washington gets little more than a slap on the wrist.  That’s the complaint of prosecutors who are trying to stiffen the penalty.

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News Roundup
7:47 am
Wed January 26, 2011

Wednesday morning's headlines

Making headlines this morning:

  • A Little Pot With Your Booze?
  • Boeing Announces 2011 Profit Projections
  • State Parks Facing Tough Budget

 

Should the state legalize marijuana sales?

The idea has the backing of some state legislators who filed legislation Tuesday. It would allow state liquor stores to sell pot. KING-TV reports the bill's chief backer is Seattle Democrat Mary Lou Dickerson:

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Washington State Legislature
8:07 am
Mon January 24, 2011

"Off limits" skiers could be fined

Every winter we hear about skiers and snow boarders at nearby ski resorts who end up in dangerous situations after wandering into areas marked “off limits."  That often triggers expensive search and rescue operations.

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State Law
9:45 am
Fri January 21, 2011

Reforms to state's medical marijuana system up for debate

Some state lawmakers are proposing major changes to Washington's voter-approved medical marijuana system. 

Associated Press reporter Curt Woodward describes a packed meeting yesterday of the Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee, which was discussing Senate Bill 5073, proposed by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle. It would give medical marijuana users more protections against arrest than they currently have. 

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Politics
7:29 am
Fri January 14, 2011

Moxie Media case may bring crackdown on PAC's

State lawmakers are considering tighter restrictions on political action committees, or PAC's. The proposal stems from the case of a Seattle-based Democratic political firm now being sued by the Attorney General for campaign finance violations. 

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State Government
6:16 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Gregoire urges lawmakers to bust status quo

State lawmakers must embrace change and "be bold." That was Governor Chris Gregoire's chief message Tuesday in her State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature. 

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Politics
8:47 am
Tue January 11, 2011

State senator sworn in amidst controversy

The first day of the Washington Legislature included an intra-party drama on the floor of the state senate. It happened during opening ceremonies Monday when an incumbent Democratic Senator tried to block a new senator from being sworn in. 

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