Washington State Legislature | KUOW News and Information

Washington State Legislature

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?

The state of Washington is 10 days from a government shutdown as lawmakers head into a third overtime session with still no budget deal.

Online retailer eBay wants to stop an internet tax proposal in the Washington Legislature. To do that the company is rallying its customer base.

State Rep. Javier Valdez is sworn in by Judge Dean Lum
King County Photo

King County Council has appointed Democrat Javier Valdez from Northeast Seattle as the new Washington state representative for the 46th District. He'll immediately replace Jessyn Farrell who stepped down in May to run for Seattle Mayor.


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is sounding the alarm over the pace of budget negotiations at the state Capitol. During a media availability Monday, the Democrat said that it’s time for both sides to make “major moves” toward compromise.

There are just 10 days left in Washington’s second legislative overtime session. And still there’s no sign of a budget deal.

Washington state Rep. Judy Warnick applauds after the capital budget is adopted as the last bill of the 2013 session
Flickr Photo/Washington State House Republicans (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/eZUQFW

Debate: How should we fund education?

Jun 7, 2017

Bill Radke talks with Northwest News Network's Austin Jenkins about why lawmakers in Olympia need to agree on education funding before they can agree on a budget.

We also hear from Liv Finne and Misha Werschkul about the two plans the state Legislature is considering to fund education. Finne is director of Center for Education at the Washington Policy Center and Werschkul is executive director of the Washington State Budget and Policy Center.

It’s only June in an off-election year, but yard signs are up and candidates are knocking on doors in Washington’s 45th legislative district. It’s just one race, but the outcome could decide who controls the Washington state Senate.

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.

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 ballot box
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

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

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