Washington State Legislature | KUOW News and Information

Washington State Legislature

Nathan Cultee dumps 16 farm-raised Atlantic salmon into a container on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at Home Port Seafood in Bellingham.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Lynda Mapes, environment reporter for The Seattle Times, about where all of the nearly 100,000 escaped Atlantic salmon went and what lawmakers in Olympia plan to do about it. 

In response to recent reports about sexual harassment at the Washington state Capitol, a state Senate committee voted Tuesday night to require all senators and staff to take annual sexual harassment training.

The vote by the Senate’s Facilities and Operations Committee was unanimous.

Washington state lawmakers will likely have to come up with an extra $1 billion for schools when they convene in January for the 2018 session.

The Washington Supreme Court issued a unanimous order Wednesday that said the state is not on track to fully fund public schools by a court-imposed deadline of September 1, 2018.

Manka Dhingra greets supporters at her Election Night party on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Tuesday night’s results put Democrat Manka Dhingra ahead of Republican Jinyoung Englund by double digits in a race for a state Senate seat in Seattle’s northeastern suburbs.

Englund has not conceded the race in the 45th district. But Dhingra’s supporters say they have flipped the Senate to Democratic control.

Democrats had the early advantage in the race for control of the Washington state Senate as Democrat Manka Dhingra led Republican Jinyoung Englund by 10 points in a special election on the eastside of Lake Washington.

More than 170 women who work or have worked at the state Capitol have signed onto a letter urging sweeping change at the Legislature to end inappropriate behavior and misconduct women say they face on the job.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

Haven't voted yet? Your ballot is due on Tuesday. We'll catch you up on the latest election news with help from Seattle Channel's Joni Balter, KING 5 political reporter Natalie Brand and Q13 political analyst C.R. Douglas.

A Washington state lawmaker who abruptly resigned his seat in March 2011 had been accused by a female staff member of inappropriate behavior.  

That’s according to a statement released late Wednesday by House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan in response to renewed questions from the media about the resignation of Democrat Jim Jacks of Vancouver.  

Sound Transit's light rail shot from the SeaTac Airport Station.
Flickr Photo/Michael @NW Lens (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9P9hnJ

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.

Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The mass shooting in Las Vegas has us asking – yet again – what we should do about gun violence.

The polarizing refrain “now is not the time to talk about gun control” comes up a lot in the wake of the attack. And Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat said that’s code for “we’re not going to do anything.”

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

There are renewed calls for gun reform in Washington state this week in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting in which 58 people were killed and hundreds more were injured.

Authorities say among the gunman’s weapons were bump-stocks, devices to make semi-automatic guns shoot more rapidly.


Last week’s earthquake in Mexico provided another reminder about the risks of poorly reinforced buildings. According to government studies, there are literally thousands of older brick and concrete buildings in Oregon and Washington that could collapse in a strong earthquake.

Intelligence experts say North Korea is several years or more away from having the capability to threaten the U.S. West Coast with a nuclear missile. But recent sabre rattling was enough to make Washington state senators hold a hearing Wednesday about preparedness.

Several media outlets, including public radio, have filed an open records lawsuit against the Washington Legislature. The lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks access to lawmaker emails, text messages and calendars.

The threat of a nuclear attack, immigration enforcement and paying by the mile to drive are all on the agenda as Washington lawmakers hold meetings the week of September 11.

In the event of a nuclear strike there are state laws that literally ban Washington state officials from doing a part of their job.

Gray wolf
Flickr Photo/USFWS Pacific Region (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to Lynda Mapes, Seattle Times environment reporter, about Robert Wielgus, the Washington State University researcher whose work on cougars and wolves in Washington state angered lawmakers and ranchers and led to a loss of funding for his research and a lack of support from his employer.

Time is running out for Washington lawmakers to pass a capital construction budget. Less than one week remains in the state’s third overtime session of the legislature.

Heavily armed police officers found no evidence Wednesday morning of an active shooter on the Washington State Capitol Campus following a report of suspicious noises that sounded like gunshots. 

The entire campus in Olympia was put on lockdown at approximately 9:30 a.m. while officers armed with rifles searched a pair of buildings on the east campus that house the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Social and Health Services.

In a move certain to anger Republicans, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday vetoed a tax break for manufacturers that lawmakers passed last week as part of a budget deal to avoid a July 1 government shutdown.

KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

State lawmakers avoid a government shutdown with a last-minute budget deal that adds billions to public education. Is it good enough for the state Supreme Court?

The Ballard Locks turn 100. We'll take up the good and the bad of a project that transformed Seattle.

Americans shot fireworks, and North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. Some experts say it could hit Alaska -- could it ever hit us?

And a Seattle driver beats a speeding ticket by convincing a judge that a traffic sign is too wordy.

Summer Stinson, lawyer and Vice President of Washington's Paramount Duty and Daniel Zavala, director of policy and government relations with the League of Education Voters.
KUOW Photo/ Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Summer Stinson, lawyer and vice president of  the parent group Washington's Paramount Duty, and Daniel Zavala, director of policy and government relations with the League of Education Voters, about the end of the latest legislative session and how much closer lawmakers got to fully funding basic education. 

If you have a reservation at a Washington state park this weekend or you rely on state services, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Washington lawmakers have passed a nearly $44 billion, two-year budget, averting an imminent government shutdown.

KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray makes it official: He won't run as a write-in for a second term, and wants you to vote for former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan instead.

Flickr Photo/Tony Swartz (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to Joseph O'Sullivan, Seattle Times Olympia reporter, about the latest information on the state budget deal that Republicans and Democrats reached on Wednesday. 

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

Bill Radke talks to Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the budget deal reached by lawmakers just in time to avoid a partial government shutdown. 

Washington lawmakers have reached agreement on a budget just in time to avert a government shutdown. The deal was announced Wednesday morning, but details have yet to be released.

There’s still no word of a budget deal in the Washington state Capitol. And a partial government shutdown is just days away. Yet lawmakers remain optimistic.

It’s do-or-die week in Olympia. If lawmakers don’t pass a budget and send it to the governor for his signature before midnight on Friday, state government will go into partial shutdown.

Washington lawmakers are optimistic that won’t happen.

If Washington lawmakers don’t pass a state budget by June 30, the state will go into a partial government shutdown. And the impacts would be significant.

So what would that look like?

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