Washington State Legislature | KUOW News and Information

Washington State Legislature

Jeannie Yandel talks with Everett Herald reporter Jerry Cornfield about the latest news from the Washington State Legislature.

Washington’s 30-day special session of the legislature ends Tuesday. But there’s still no sign of a budget deal or a plan to fully fund education. That means Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to call a second overtime session.

The majority of Washingtonians with a regular driver's license will have an interesting choice to make the next time they renew—a choice possibly coming to Oregon too. Continue with the same old license they have grown accustomed to or apply for a so-called "enhanced driver license."

Monday marks the start of candidate filing week in Washington state. It’s the week when people running for public office must file with the secretary of state’s office. But one political contest is already underway in a big way.

It’s a bold move by Washington Realtors and other business groups. They’re taking on the number two Democrat in the Washington House with a TV ad that accuses him of “squeezing” taxpayers.

Bill Radke speaks with state Senator Phil Fortunato about his new bill which would allow Washington state counties to redefine their borders. Fortunato's bill is especially aimed at King County, where he thinks ideas like minimum wage and safe consumption sites are problems that originate from Seattle and shouldn't be allowed to affect the rest of King County. The senator feels places like Renton and Kent would be in better shape if they were allowed to cleave off from the city. 

Acrimony and gridlock. That’s the state of affairs at the Washington state Capitol where  lawmakers Monday began a 30-day overtime session. Gov.Jay Inslee called lawmakers back after they failed to reach agreement on a state budget and school funding package. 

Washington State Capitol
Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the special legislative session that began today in the state's capitol. The legislature needs to hammer out a state budget before the June 30 deadline. Also, lawmakers must come to an agreement on how to fully fund education in the state.

Washington state legislators appear to have bought extra time for travelers who use a standard driver's license to pass through airport security. The Oregon Legislature is plodding down a similar path to make identity card security upgrades demanded by the federal government.

It’s taken five years, but injured railroad worker Dwight Hauck sees victory at hand. Washington lawmakers are on the verge of requiring new safety standards for private transport companies that shuttle rail crews between trains. 


On March 23, 2011, union railroader Hauck nearly lost his life. He was the lone survivor of a crash in a rail yard in Kelso, Washington. 


“I don’t remember anything at all,” Hauck said. 

 


Washington lawmakers are working this year to craft a solution to the state’s school funding crisis. Much of their work is happening behind the scenes and in closed door meetings. So who’s in those meetings and who’s trying to influence the outcome? The top four leaders of the legislature denied a public records request to see their emails and calendars. 

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says initiative promoter Tim Eyman violated campaign finance laws for personal gain. Ferguson filed a lawsuit Friday against Eyman and a signature-gathering firm he worked closely with. 

The Washington state Capitol in Olympia.
Flickr Photo/amishrobot (CC-BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/4PxvK4

Bill Radke talks to KUOW's Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the budget proposals of the House Democrats and Senate Republicans and how these budgets may pay for education. 

Baby kid mom parent
Flickr Photo/DonkerDink (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/21d0GBQ

Some states have paid family leave. Not Washington, though.

That could change.

Police, prosecutors and victims say it’s time for the state of Washington to crack down on prohibited gun buyers. Lawmakers heard testimony Thursday on a proposal to require gun dealers to alert authorities when someone tries to buy a gun and fails a background check.

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