Washington State Legislature | KUOW News and Information

Washington State Legislature

The Washington state Capitol in Olympia.
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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
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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.

Washington state capitol flag Olympia legislature
Flickr Photo/Tony Swartz (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to state Senator Joe Fain (R-Auburn) about the bipartisan Senate bill he is working on with Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Burien) that would require paid family and sick leave in Washington state. 

Washington Senate Republicans have proposed a $5 billion increase in state spending over the next two years, including $1.8 billion more for public schools in an attempt to satisfy a Supreme Court ruling that found the state is not adequately funding K-12 education.

Ballot drop box in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The Washington state Senate has approved a bill to move the presidential primary election to March from May.

Washington state school districts will not go over the so-called “levy cliff.” At least not next year. The state House Thursday sent the governor a bipartisan measure to extend current levy capacity for another year.

You may brag about your ability to multitask, but lawmakers in the Pacific Northwest insist you don’t do it behind the wheel. The Washington Legislature passed a pair of bills this week that would increase penalties for dangerous driving habits.

Lawmakers in Salem and Olympia are debating measures intended to crack down on distracted driving.

A bill requiring hospitals to inform patients they may be eligible for charity care has passed the Washington State House Thursday.

By law, Washington hospitals can’t turn away people seeking emergency care because they’re not able to pay. The law also requires hospitals to screen low income patients to see if they’re eligible for charity care. 


Washington state’s 105-day legislative session is almost at the halfway point. But a final, bipartisan deal on school funding could still be months away.

In 2013 the Washington Legislature killed the idea of a bigger, safer bridge between Portland and Vancouver, Washington. Three years later, Washington state lawmakers could take preliminary votes to revive plans to replace the aging Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River.

Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board has fined state Rep. Melanie Stambaugh $5,000 for posting taxpayer funded videos and photos to a campaign-related Facebook page. The Republican from Puyallup said she will challenge the ethics ruling.

Washington’s House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources hosted a public hearing Wednesday on a bill that proposes the partial delisting of wolves from the state’s endangered species list.

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

Kim Malcolm talks with Washington state Senator Joe Fain (R-Auburn) about why he's co-sponsoring a bill that would prohibit the state from sharing information about someone's religious affiliation with the federal government.

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