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Several efforts to protect sexual assault victims failed to pass in Washington’s 60-day legislative session which adjourned last Thursday. Now lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expressing frustration.

"Why have you become, people say, the most hated Cabinet secretary?" Lesley Stahl asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a 60 Minutes interview that is drawing lots of attention.

"I'm not so sure how exactly that happened," DeVos responded in the interview, which aired Sunday night on CBS.

After several tries, blood bank couriers and wheelchair taxis with just one person on board have won coveted access to carpool lanes in order to provide better service.

Shortly after the final gavels fell Thursday night on Washington’s 2018 legislative session, Gov. Jay Inslee stepped before a smattering of reporters and cameras gathered in his conference room and touted “a long list of accomplishments” over the 60 day session.

After the recent mass shooting in Florida, Washington state lawmakers faced immense pressure to enact gun control legislation. But a bill to address school shootings made little progress, despite Democratic control of the House and Senate.

UPDATE: Washington state lawmakers adjourned Thursday night after a short, 60-day election year session during which Democrats flexed their new one-party control to pass a slew of legislation. Here’s a look at some of the bills that passed and some that didn’t.  (Note: some of these bills have already been signed into law by the governor, others await his signature.) 

The Washington Legislature Thursday approved further study of a super-fast train from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver, BC.

KUOW hosts 'That's Debatable: Amazon is Good for Seattle' on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Explain this: while half the people at KUOW's Amazon debate Wednesday came to the conclusion that the company is not good for Seattle, three-quarters of the audience also said they have an Amazon Prime membership. 


Washington homeowners would get some property tax relief in 2019 under a bill that passed the Democratically-controlled Washington state Senate on Wednesday evening over Republican objections. The bill is part of a final budget deal reached with the House as the Legislature heads toward a scheduled adjournment on Thursday. 



Washington Governor Jay Inslee Wednesday signed legislation aimed at helping workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation. The law will allow workers who have been exposed to toxic chemicals or radioactive waste more easily access compensation for medical treatment.

Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos (CC-BY-SA-2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/22ZC4Jx

Last week, KUOW listener Carole Glickfeld reached out to us with a story.

She had come down with walking pneumonia. “I was very weak, feverish, I felt like it was the end of the world,” Glickfeld said.

More than 100 Washington high school students rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday demanding restrictions on purchases of military-style weapons and tougher background checks.

The Washington Legislature approved a phase out of Atlantic salmon farming in state waters on Friday and sent the measure to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee, who is expected to sign it.

Public domain

Kim Malcolm talks with Jeff Obermeyer about the history of professional hockey in Seattle. Obermeyer runs the Seattle Hockey website and is author of several books, including "Seattle Totems" and "Hockey in Seattle."

Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dHYmYx

Kim Malcolm talks with Seattle Times reporter Neal Morton about why some wealthier school districts are getting a bigger boost in funding than poorer districts under the state's education budget.

In the face of intense pressure from the public and media, and following hours of behind-the-scenes negotiations, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee late Thursday  vetoed a bill that exempts the Legislature from the state’s voter-approved Public Disclosure Act. 

Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., right, speaks about school safety during an event with President Donald Trump and members of the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, in Washington.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

This week in a meeting with President Trump, Washington Governor Jay Inslee recommended our state’s “extreme risk protection orders” as a way to keep guns away from people in crisis. Inslee said the orders have been “supremely effective” at allowing families to get firearms away from people at risk of harming themselves or others.


Will he or won’t he? That’s the question as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee faces immense pressure to veto a bill that exempts the Legislature from the state’s Public Records Act. Inslee has until midnight Thursday to decide.

The issue has galvanized the public. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Inslee’s office said it had received more than 8,000 emails and over 4,000 calls. The governor’s staff called the volume “unprecedented.”

Washington Republicans Propose Voluntary Firearm Training For Teachers

Feb 28, 2018

Lawmakers in Washington state continue to look for ways to prevent mass shootings in schools. On Wednesday, Republicans in the state Senate proposed creating a voluntary training program for school staff on how to respond to an active shooter.

In this Dec. 9, 2015, photo, a sales associate walks past semiautomatic rifles at Bullseye Sport gun shop in Riverside, Calif.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Kim Malcolm talks with state Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island) about why he's co-sponsoring a bill that would raise the age requirements to purchase military-style weapons from 18 to 21. Malcolm also talks with state Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch) about why he's opposed to the bill.

Graphic created by ProPublica showing training sites of the white supremacist group Atomwaffen Division.
Screenshot from YouTube

Emily Fox talks with ProPublica investigative reporter A.C. Thompson about his report on the white supremacist group Atomwaffen Division. The group, which is spread throughout the country, has a significant presence in Washington state. 

The Washington Legislature has sent a ban on bump stocks to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature. A bump stock is a trigger modification device that make a semi-automatic rifle function more like an automatic weapon.

A dozen newspapers across Washington state are running editorials Tuesday demanding that Gov. Jay Inslee veto what they are calling a “secrecy” bill. It’s legislation that would exempt legislators from the state Public Records Act.

Updated at 11:09 a.m. ET

Student loan debt collectors have been accused of deceiving and abusing student borrowers and have been sued by attorneys general in a handful of states. Now, they may be getting some relief.

The debt collectors, that is. Not their customers.

In an internal document obtained by NPR, the U.S. Department of Education, under Secretary Betsy DeVos, argues that the nation's loan servicers should be protected from state rules that may be far tougher than federal law.

Olympia Washington State Legislature
Flickr Photo/Harvey Barrison (CC BY-NC-ND)

How much right does the public have to pull back the curtain and see the communications of their state lawmakers?

Washington state has had a Public Records Act since 1972. News organizations love it. It’s how we find out the stuff that sometimes people would rather we didn't see. 


Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent an administrative subpoena to Seattle City Light on  January 31st, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Officials at Seattle City Light have denied a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On January 31, ICE asked the city for customer information about the person(s) living at one address.

Some are calling it a "fishing expedition" targeting immigrants.

Washington lawmakers are fast-tracking a bill to exempt themselves from the state’s voter-approved Public Records Act. The move comes after the Legislature lost a public records lawsuit filed by several news outlets, including public radio. That lawsuit is now on appeal. 

Amy Wales, daughter of Thomas Wales speaks at a news conference on February 21, 2018 in Seattle
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Kim Malcolm talks with David Payne and Jody Gottlieb about the unsolved murder of Federal Prosecutor Thomas Wales. In 2001, Wales was shot to death in his Queen Anne home. Payne and Gottlieb are former CNN journalists and creators of the podcast Somebody Somewhere.

The White House
Flickr Photo/joswr1ght (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/JeAj3d

Here’s a test for you. Who was the first U.S. President to be born an American, i.e., after the Revolution? Hint: He is the same man who said “As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it.”

That would be President Martin Van Buren.

The U.S. Presidency is marked by pomp, circumstance and widespread reference to its occupant being “the most powerful man in the world.”

An allegation against Washington state Rep. David Sawyer of Tacoma has led House Democrats to restrict his contact with staff.

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