There’s one week left in Washington’s special legislative session and still no budget deal. Governor Jay Inslee and the Senate majority caucus held dueling news conferences Tuesday complete with plenty of finger-pointing.
The governor went first. Inslee, a Democrat, blasted the mostly Republican Senate majority for an estate tax measure that passed out of committee late last week. Inslee called it a new tax break for more than 200 wealthy Washingtonians at the expense of public schools.
People take long flights to pay low prices for sex. In a radio story from WGBH, Phillip Martin explores the international sex tourism industry. Here in the Seattle area, Highway 99 hosts one main corridor where prostitution is easy to see. Hot spots dot the roadway, from Northgate to Sea-Tac.
Some of those prostitutes are also underage girls, forced by pimps to walk the streets. That's called child sex trafficking.
Last year the secular Swedish Medical Center stopped performing elective abortions after affiliating with a Catholic health care provider, Providence Health & Services. Now some organizations in Washington state are calling for a moratorium on similar contracts between secular, publicly funded hospitals and religious providers. They fear patients in the state could see a reduction in access to services.
What happens when faith and health care mix? Should the state do anything about it? Ross Reynolds talks with Peter Adler, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for Catholic provider Peacehealth, and Kathleen Turner, head of the ACLU of Washington.
You may know that Jean Godden has served on Seattle’s City Council for the last 10 years. Before that she worked as a journalist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times. But you may not have heard that before age 17, Godden lived in over 100 different towns. As part of The Conversation’s feature interview series, Ross Reynolds chats with Godden about her life and work.
Even if you've never visited a jail, you probably have a pretty clear image of what inmate visitation is like – a shatterproof glass barrier, two people sitting on either side, speaking into telephones.
But that's changing in some parts of the Northwest. More and more county jails are switching to privately operated video conferencing systems. Sort of like Skype, for inmates. But these systems have technical difficulties and come with costs for the inmates’ families.
The Internal Revenue Service must earn the trust of the American people, the tax agency's new leader said on Capitol Hill Monday, as he promised to hold employees accountable for targeting the tax-exempt applications of conservative groups for extra scrutiny.
A recent report by the Treasury Department's Inspector General faulted the IRS for using "inappropriate criteria" to identify groups for further review.
Washington’s 30-day overtime session of the legislature ends a week from Tuesday. So far there’s no sign of a budget deal between the mostly Republican-led Senate and the Democratic House. Governor Jay Inslee is urging the two sides to pick up the pace.
House and Senate negotiators continue to meet in Olympia. But finding agreement on the next two-year budget and the policy measures to implement it remains elusive.
Republican State Senator Michael Baumgartner tells Ross Reynolds about a bill he’s proposed this week to try to prevent future bridge collapses. It would ban trucks that are too tall from traveling on certain bridges. Senator Baumgartner represents the 6th Legislative District in Spokane.
Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins joins Ross Reynolds with a special report on state lobbying efforts. Plus, Austin and Ross discuss the late Republican Washington State Senator Mike Carrell of Lakewood.
Lobbyists in Washington state routinely fail to properly report dinners out with lawmakers. And dinners over $50 in value do not always show up – as required – on lawmakers’ personal financial statements. Those are among the findings of a public radio investigation – conducted in cooperation with the Associated Press.
The 'Morton Rule'
When retired Senator Bob Morton was in the Washington legislature, he’d go out to lunch with a lobbyist. But he had a rule.
As of June 1, it will be one year since grocers, big box stores and other private retailers started selling liquor in Washington state. The voter approved privatization initiative has sent prices unexpectedly higher. Also, the government is collecting more tax revenue than anticipated.
Seattle’s Café Racer is closed today in remembrance.
It's been a year since a gunman shot five people inside the eclectic coffee shop and bar. Drew Keriakedes, Joe Albanese , Kimberly Layfield, and Don Largen were killed. The cafe's cook, Leonard Meuse, was the lone survivor.
After the gunman fled the scene, police say he made his way downtown where he killed Gloria Leonidas and stole her car before shooting himself in West Seattle.
State officials are predicting another challenging wildfire season this year. Fighting those fires may be more difficult due to the federal sequester, which slashed nearly 8 percent from the Forest Service’s budget. Ross Reynolds interviews Washington State’s Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.
Idaho's conflicting views on gay rights is playing out in the northern part of the state. A committee in Coeur d'Alene Tuesday advanced an anti-discrimination ordinance. Meanwhile the sheriff of the same county is threatening to drop a Boy Scout charter because the group voted to allow gay members.