government

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," the court's majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that "petitioners' arguments about the plain meaning ... are strong."

The Department of Homeland Security says it is changing its family detention policies, but critics say the steps don't go far enough.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says Immigration and Customs Enforcement will begin releasing families now being held at ICE facilities who are "successful in stating a case of credible or reasonable fear of persecution in their home countries."

The families will have to post a monetary bond or other condition of release.

This year’s drought is affecting Washington in all kinds of ways. It’s even threatening to make a potential government shutdown more painful. That would happen on July 1 unless a budget agreement is reached.

Jeff Marti, the Washington Department of Ecology’s drought coordinator, says the state won’t be able to grant emergency permits to access water if your well dries up or if river levels drop so low that your pipes no longer reach the water.

This story was updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday he is running for president, becoming the 13th major Republican candidate to enter the race.

An Oregon legislative panel has signed off on a plan that would ensure the state's passenger rail service will run at least two more years along the I-5 corridor.

The state of Washington has sent email alerts to 26,000 state employees notifying them of temporary layoff.

Kimberly Rodriguez, a new recruit for the Seattle Police Department, on her first day at the police academy. That class of 30 recruits included eight women, which was unusual. Most classes have between one and five female recruits.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The Seattle Police Department’s initiative to put body cameras on all its officers isn’t a simple matter of just buying some hardware and software.

First, says Mike Wagers, the department’s chief operating officer, that’s about 650 cameras. And those cameras will be generating terabytes of video, he told KUOW’s Marcie Sillman.

Cigar smokers in Oregon could soon have to pay more in taxes.

Washington House Democrats are moving forward with a plan to eliminate several tax exemptions, but they don’t yet have buy-in from Senate Republicans.

Last week's tragic shooting at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine black parishioners gathered for a Bible study has renewed the debate over one of the most controversial Southern symbols — the Confederate flag.

Columbia Center Tower in downtown Seattle.
Flickr Photo/David Schott

Ross Reynolds speaks with Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton about the upside to Chinese investment in Seattle's real estate market.

Ross Reynolds talks with KUOW Olympia corespondent Austin Jenkins about the upcoming "do or die week" for state lawmakers to finish the budget. 

South Carolina's most prominent political leaders say it's time for their state to stop flying the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of its Statehouse. Gov. Nikki Haley made their position clear Monday afternoon, speaking alongside Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Tim Scott and others.

Calls for moving the Confederate battle flag have grown since the shooting of nine black church members in Charleston last week. After speaking about the efforts to cope with that tragedy, Haley said that she has seen "the heart and soul" of South Carolina.

As a young U.S. Army soldier during World War II, Rollins Edwards knew better than to refuse an assignment.

When officers led him and a dozen others into a wooden gas chamber and locked the door, he didn't complain. None of them did. Then, a mixture of mustard gas and a similar agent called lewisite was piped inside.

Annie Roberts and her daughter Claire Engelhard said race relations, violence and affordable housing are the issues they are most concerned with in Central Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery


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