Washington State Legislature

The stage is set in Olympia for a fight over eliminating tax breaks and whether to dip into the state’s rainy day fund. House Democrats say ‘yes’ to both. Senate Republicans say ‘no’.

Washington lawmakers plan to tap the state’s rainy day fund to pay for last summer’s devastating wildfires. But legislative Democrats said several other crises also deserve immediate funding.

Some school children say the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. Now Washington lawmakers are making a pledge: to end the reliance on local school district levies to fund basic education -- by next year.

Complying with a state Supreme Court order to fully fund public schools in Washington might have just gotten even harder. A new revenue forecast out Wednesday projects a sizable drop-off in tax dollars flowing to state coffers.

Concerned Mother Pushes For Washington Travis Alert Bill

Feb 16, 2016
Courtesy of Threasa King

Bill Radke speaks with Threasa King about her efforts, along with state Rep. Gina McCabe, to pass a bill named after King's autistic son. The Travis Alert Bill will give first responders more training in helping people with autism or other disabilities and also help alert first responders that special care may be needed.

Should Washington’s Constitution be amended to require a two-thirds vote for tax hikes? The Republican-led state Senate voted “yes” to that Friday. But supporters failed to muster the supermajority vote required to send the question to voters.

State lawmakers this week began discussing a measure that could make Washington the first state to tax residents and businesses on their carbon emissions.

You can watch the two-hour work session, or watch the below video, which explains everything you need to know about carbon pricing in three minutes.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee took the gloves off Monday and launched a full-throated attack on Senate Republicans for sacking his Secretary of Transportation in a surprise move last Friday afternoon. 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has cancelled a series of regularly scheduled meetings with the Republican leader of the state Senate. The move follows Friday’s surprise vote by Senate Republicans to oust Inslee’s Secretary of Transportation.

File Photo: Gender neutral toilet sign in London.
Flickr Photo/Cory Doctorow (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/qUDxsQ

Bill Radke talks with Betsy White about why she's opposed to a bill that would prevent people from using bathrooms and lockers rooms that are consistent with their gender identities. White, a Spokane resident, is the mother of an 8-year-old transgender girl.

Head Of Washington State Prisons Resigns

Feb 7, 2016

Washington Secretary of Corrections Dan Pacholke has resigned his position after less than four months in the job. His unexpected announcement Saturday came just one day after the Republican-led Washington Senate voted not to confirm Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson resulting in her immediate departure from that agency.

The Republican leader of the Washington Senate said he regrets using the word “racist” to describe ousted Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson.

Republicans listed other problems with transportation in the state since Peterson took the job: Tolling on 520 across Lake Washington, Bertha, the enormous boring tunnel in Seattle that has failed to move forward, and ferries breaking down.
Associated Press Pool Photo/Joshua Trujillo/Seattlepi.com

A coup went down in Olympia this afternoon.

Surprising Democrats, Republican lawmakers called for a confirmation vote for Lynn Peterson, Secretary of Transportation for Washington state. In a party line vote of 25 to 21, they fired her.

Purple Heart
Flickr Photo/Phil Renaud (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ex7KSS

Bill Radke speaks with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the resignation of Rep. Graham Hunt after allegations that the Washington state lawmaker exaggerated his military service record.

Also, Radke talks with Doug Sterner, a veteran who has spent decades investigating fraudulent claims of military service, for his take on why people distort, exaggerate, or lie about military service.

Flooded with requests for public records, local officials want to put limits on how much information public servants have to make available to the public.  

The concepts have long been enshrined in Washington state law:

  • Information held by the government belongs to the people.
  • Public access to that information is essential to a functioning democracy.

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