Washington State Legislature | KUOW News and Information

Washington State Legislature

Flickr Photo/Tony Swartz (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/a48XR

Kim Malcolm speaks with Senator Andy Billig (D - Spokane) about what Democrats hope to accomplish during the 2018 legislative session. Billig is deputy majority leader of the Washington State Senate. 

The Washington Legislature convenes Monday for a 60-day election year session. For the first time since 2013, Democrats will have one-party control of the Capitol.

The top issues include: education funding, a carbon tax and passage of a state capital construction budget.

The Washington Legislature is set to open it's 2018 session on Monday. The 50 State Project from CQ Roll Call asked Austin Jenkins to come up with the top five issues facing Washington lawmakers this session.

Here's his list:

Public records released by Central Washington University this week show professor and GOP state Rep. Matt Manweller is barred from contacting past or present students while the school investigates allegations of sexual harassment against him.

Embattled Washington state Rep. Matt Manweller has resigned his leadership position with House Republicans. He’s also been stripped of a key committee role.

Housing costs contribute dramatically to the high basic cost of living in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

Washington cities are prohibited from regulating rent prices, but one lawmaker wants to change that. Democratic state Representative Nicole Macri says she'll propose a bill in 2018 to end the rent control ban.

The ex-wife of Matt Manweller contends the embattled GOP state representative leveraged his age and status as her former high school teacher to marry her when she was 18.

In an interview with The News Tribune, The Olympian and Northwest News Network on Friday, OraLynn Reeve spoke at length about her courtship and marriage to Manweller, who has been investigated for allegations of inappropriate interactions with students at Central Washington University, where he teaches political science.

A fiery top Republican in the Washington Legislature is facing renewed scrutiny over allegations he sexually harassed students as a professor at Central Washington University.

This story has been updated

All firearms will be banned from the Washington state Senate public viewing galleries when the 2018 legislative session begins on January 8.

Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, a Democrat who serves as the president of the Senate, issued that order Monday, extending a previous order banning openly-carried guns in the Senate galleries.

Flickr Photo/401 (K) 2012 (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/aFAHsp

How much is your vote worth? It all depends where you live. If you had the right address on Seattle’s Eastside, it was worth $180 this year.

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.

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