Washington State Legislature

Frank Chopp, Washington Speaker of the House, in 2006.
Flickr Photo/The Children's Alliance (CC-BY-NC-ND)

State Speaker of the House Frank Chopp’s path to politics began in Bremerton, Wash., in a surplus housing unit from the Navy Yard. He started as an activist and hasn’t abandoned that point of view.

“I consider myself still to be a community organizer, I just happen to be Speaker of the House,” he said.

Meager beginnings made him passionate about affordable housing, and helping his sister cope with bipolar disorder turned his attention to mental health care.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has been on a three-day road show to showcase his plans for education, transportation and climate change.

Several hundred gun rights activists rallied at Washington’s capitol Saturday to protest the new voter-approved law that requires background checks for person-to-person gun sales and transfers. Most participants in the "I Will Not Comply" rally were openly carrying handguns or rifles or both.

Amy Radil

Initiative 594 took effect Thursday, and Washington joined six other states with the broadest background checks for gun sales. Cheryl Stumbo and other members of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility marked the date with a press conference at Plymouth Church in downtown Seattle.

“Initiative 594 is in effect, and today Washington has closed the background check loophole,” Stumbo said as members applauded.

Flickr Photo/Skip&Nell (CC BY-NC-ND)

Texting while driving increases the crash risk 23 times – similar to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.19 (the max in Washington state is 0.08).

Currently, texting or holding a phone to your ear is illegal, but what about other phone activities, like Facebook or shopping?

A Winchester Safes representative sets the lock on one of several gun safes on display at the 35th annual SHOT Show, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, in Las Vegas.
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Ross Reynolds talks to Rep. Jay Rodne (R- 5th District) about Rep. Ruth Kagi's gun bill regarding child access to guns. It would make a person guilty of reckless endangerment for leaving or storing a loaded gun in a place where a child could gain access to it.  

Flickr Photo/Ray Dehler (CC BY 2.0)

For two years, Democratic Rep. Ruth Kagi has been unsuccessful in sending her bill regarding child gun access prevention to the floor of the Washington Legislature.

With the passing of the background check initiative and the school shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, she has more hope for the 2015 session.

Olympia
Flickr Photo/amishrobot (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with state Republican Party Chair Susan Hutchison and state Democratic Party Chair Jaxon Ravens about the election results. Sillman also talks with Q13 Fox political analyst C.R. Douglas.

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

Bill Radke talks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about expanded background checks for gun sales and the changed balance of power in the state legislature.

A Washington lawmaker’s trip to the Middle East in 2013 was legitimate legislative travel -- not an illegal junket.

Starting in January, Washington lawmakers will be barred from accepting more than 12 lobbyist-paid meals per year.

Washington state employees have not had a cost-of-living raise in six years. But that could change in the next budget cycle.

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

Marcie Sillman talks with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the Washington Supreme Court's ruling that finds the Legislature in contempt for failing to fund basic education.

Flickr Photo/Hammerin Man (CC-BY-NC-ND)

School is back in session. Washington state lawmakers are not in session, but they were still in the principal's office this week. Also in trouble: bikini baristas and Christopher Columbus. Bill Radke discusses it all with Joni Balter, Knute Berger, Essex Porter and Luke Burbank.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the legislature has not “acted appropriately” in the face of the McCleary decision on school funding. But he cautioned the state Supreme Court Thursday not to impose sanctions that would penalize other areas of state government.

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