government | KUOW News and Information


KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks with Mark Hallenbeck about a pay-by-mile approach to funding roads and bridges in Washington. The state is rolling out a pilot program in January where drivers would pay taxes on the miles they drive, instead of the gas they purchase.

Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, Washington.

A federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a group of four young people currently being detained at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

The teens are charged as adults.

A Navy SEAL testified Wednesday in Fort Bragg, N.C., that he was shot and badly injured during a heavy firefight while searching for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after Bergdahl walked off his combat outpost in Afghanistan.

The military judge, Army Col. Jeffery Nance, is allowing the testimony of three service members whose injuries are considered a direct result of the searches for Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban and held for five years. He has pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Eunice Lake from Tolmie Peak in Rainier National Park, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Next summer fees may increase at the 17 seventeen busiest national parks, including Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier.

The Park Service is asking for public comments on a new proposal that would nearly triple some entrance fees.

Photo courtesy of YouTube

The ad against state Senate candidate Manka Dhingra might be funny if it wasn’t so telling.

“Hey, Eastside. It’s Seattle. We don’t have enough liberal politicians,” says a young woman wearing a “raise taxes” button.

“Do Seattle a solid. Send Manka Dhingra to the Senate,” says a bearded man wearing plaid.

“Manka Dhingra will give us free stuff. I love free stuff,” says a gray-haired woman dressed like a hippie.

Backers of a coal export terminal proposed in Southwest Washington are suing state regulators over their denial of a key permit needed to build the project.

Last month, the Washington Department of Ecology denied a water quality permit to the Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export project in Longview, saying the development would have too many environmental, transportation and cultural impacts.

Journalist David Neiwert
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

In the late 1970’s, David Neiwert was just getting his journalism career started. He worked at a small daily newspaper in Sand Point, Idaho, about 20 miles outside the Aryan Nations compound.

He had to figure out how the paper was going to cover the hate group.

The Washington Legislature enacted a new state property tax this year to shift the burden of school funding off local levies. But the question before the state Supreme Court Tuesday was whether Washington lawmakers fully funded schools as required by the court .

Sound Transit's light rail shot from the SeaTac Airport Station.
Flickr Photo/Michael @NW Lens (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

Republicans in the Washington State Senate say Sound Transit misled them two years ago, and that they have a report to prove it.

Democrats are crying foul, saying that's not true.

Mayoral candidates Jenny Durkan (left) and Cary Moon (right) enjoy the lightening round
KUOW Photo / Amy Radil

Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and urbanist Cary Moon have some really sharp differences. Take their feelings on Beecher's cheese and the Eagles, for instance.


This week, some Seattle-area leaders told Amazon they'd like to hit the refresh button on their relationship with the company. Is Seattle going overboard with the apologizing? And what does Amazon owe Seattle for its success?

Having police officers wear little cameras seems to have no discernible impact on citizen complaints or officers' use of force, at least in the nation's capital.

That's the conclusion of a study performed as Washington, D.C., rolled out its huge camera program. The city has one of the largest forces in the country, with some 2,600 officers now wearing cameras on their collars or shirts.

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET

A bipartisan coalition of 24 senators — 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats — has signed on to health care legislation to prop up the individual insurance market and keep premiums down. With the expected support of all Senate Democrats, it could have the votes to pass the chamber. But questions remain over when it might actually get a vote, as well as whether President Trump and House Republicans would bring the bill over the finish line.

Muslims and non-muslims pray together in Seattle as travel ban 3.0 is put on hold.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Immigrants and advocates gathered in Seattle to pray Wednesday, the day a new travel ban was set to kick in. Just hours before, court rulings in two states put the Trump administration’s policy on hold.

But with the controversy sure to continue, the crowd joined in a prayer for the days ahead. 

Updated October 20

Construction crews are erecting eight looming prototypes of President Trump's border wall in a remote section of the San Diego borderlands. Four are solid concrete; four are made of steel and concrete; one is topped with spikes. They all approach 30 feet in height. Customs and Border Protection is paying $20 million to six construction companies from Mississippi, Maryland, Alabama, Texas and Arizona. Crews in white hardhats operating cranes and forklifts are expected to complete the models by the end of the month.

The Pentagon is tightening the screening process for immigrants who volunteer for military service and slowing their path to U.S. citizenship.

The U.S. military will no longer allow green card holders to enter basic training before the successful completion of a background check. The policy change is intended to improve security vetting of foreign-born recruits.

With less than three weeks before the November election, the two candidates for Vancouver Port Commissioner District 1 are getting big checks.

This week Kris Greene accepted $140,000 from Tesoro Savage. The oil companies are behind an effort to build the nation’s largest oil-by-rail terminal at the port.

Self-driving cars would one day take over Interstate 5 to the exclusion of human drivers under a proposal aired out before Washington state transportation advisors Tuesday.

With Election Day less than a month away, money is pouring into Washington state political action committees. Much of that cash will likely find its way to a special state Senate race on the east side of Lake Washington.

The outcome of that race will determine which party controls the Senate. 

Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray
U.S. Senate

Washington state’s U.S. senators were busy Tuesday.

Senator Patty Murray helped strike a bipartisan deal to avoid President Donald Trump's recently announced cuts to health insurance subsidies. 

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

Less than a week after President Trump said he is cutting off subsidies to health insurance companies, lawmakers announced Tuesday that they had a deal to restore the money and take other actions that could stabilize insurance markets for next year.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Hawaii has partially blocked President Trump's third attempt to restrict entry into the U.S. for citizens of certain countries. The Department of Justice says it plans to appeal.

The newest version of the travel ban was due to go into effect on Wednesday. Like two previous executive orders, it was challenged in multiple courts. The new ruling by Judge Derrick K. Watson is only one piece of the complicated legal puzzle over the long-term fate of the president's efforts to limit travel to the U.S.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The cease and desist order came as a shock. It was from the U.S. Justice Department, ordering a group of Seattle lawyers to stop helping in some deportation cases.

On Saturday, March 19 light rail stations opened serving Capitol Hill and the University of Washington (pictured).
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle suddenly seems like a very small town —  at least when you look at the mayoral candidates and their family ties.

A homeless encampment in Seattle's Rainier Valley, taken March 2016.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Seattle City Council members are considering a tax on big business to fund services for homelessness.

This kind of tax is often known as a “head tax” or “employee hours tax.” And it’s actually nothing new for Seattle. The city had something like it for transportation funding, until it was repealed in 2009.

Petula Lou of Bellevue stands with other protesters outside of the Hyatt Regency where Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke at the Washington Policy Center's annual gala on Friday, October 13, 2017, in Bellevue.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Hundreds gathered outside of the Hyatt Regency hotel on Bellevue Way on Friday, October 13 to protest Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who was speaking at the Washington Policy Center's annual gala. 

This week's panel (L-R): Bill Radke, Joni Balter, Sydney Brownstone, C.R. Douglas

This week rape and sexual harassment got a very public face when we learned that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is accused of raping several women. He’s been settling sexual harassment claims for decades, and many, many people knew about it and said nothing.

A previous attempt at providing broadband service through a public-private partnership fell apart in 2013.
Flickr Photo/Steve Rhode (CC BY-NC-ND)

Remember municipal broadband? The idea suffered a blow in Seattle when a partnership involving the city, the University of Washington and a private company fell apart in 2013.

But the dream never died. Now supporters are pushing another campaign.

Participants at UW Reads the Constitution 2017
KUOW Photo/John O'Brien

Twelve years ago the University of Washington Libraries staff started a tradition. They invited UW students, staff, and the general public to join them on a given day to read the U.S. Constitution.