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.
The AR-15 semi-automatic gun was used in the Aurora and Sandy Hook mass shootings. But Dan Baum writes in the latest Harper’s Magazine that the AR-15 is the gun Congress can’t ban. Ross Reynolds talks with author Dan Baum about the aim and recoil of gun regulation.
A sexual harassment lawsuit against an Eastern Washington farm came under scrutiny this week during a congressional hearing. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently lost this expensive, high-profile case and some Congress members are now asking, “Was it worth it?”
Cab drivers spoke out against new app-based car services during a Seattle City Council meeting Thursday. Companies such as Uber, SideCar and Lyft offer smartphone apps that allow users to book a ride by the touch of a button. Those business operations are mostly unregulated, and their presence in Seattle has led to questions about whether the companies are legal.
Snohomish Community Transit has just rejected a bus advertisement from a gun control group, Washington Ceasefire. That decision is based on a new policy that bans all advertising that creates substantial controversy, including political speech. Ross Reynolds took up the conversation of advertising and free speech with an ACLU lawyer along with a representative for Snohomish Community Transit.
Even though you might not have heard much about it these past few weeks, the sequester is still chopping away at federal funds. This week Washington state emergency unemployment benefits are being cut by almost 25 percent. Ross Reynolds spoke with Johnny Dwyer, one of the 40,ooo people being affected by these drastic reductions to unemployment benefits, about how he is coping and what he hopes for.
North Korea announced it would take China's advice and enter talks with the United States. But that doesn't seem likely because the United States says no talks can happen until North Korea takes steps to denuclearize. But North Korea insists on holding on to its nuclear weapons.
One group in Seoul, South Korea, isn't waiting around for the diplomats to work things out. This group's members hope to build bridges with the North now. They want ordinary people on either side of the border to meet up. Their aim: to break down stereotypes and build relationships between North and South Koreans from the grassroots up.