Washington State Legislature

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On Wednesday, hundreds of immigrants and advocates plan to gather in Olympia to lay out their priorities for lawmakers. One top issue is called the Washington Dream Act, which state Senator Ed Murray, D-Seattle, introduced today. Under the measure, undocumented college students would become eligible for state financial aid.

Your Take On The News

Jan 25, 2013
Obama nominations
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

It’s Friday — time to talk over the news with Joni Balter, Eli Sanders and C.R. Douglas. President Obama spoke of unity and equality as he laid out his policy agenda for a second term. How will the message be received in Washington D.C.? Education and labor were the focus as lawmakers in Olympia got to work in the second week of the state legislative session. Also, Chris Hansen says he's struck a deal to bring the NBA back to Seattle, but officials in Sacramento promise they won't go down without a fight. What stories caught your attention this week? Write to us at weekday@kuow.org.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The partisan fallout continues in the Washington state Senate over its response to how a controversial Republican senator treats staff. Minority Democrats took to the Senate floor Wednesday to accuse the new majority of caring more about who leaked a report about Senator Pam Roach than creating a safe workplace.

A new bill will be proposed this week in the Washington state Legislature that aims to limit access to the criminal records of juvenile offenders.

Increases in tuition and investment shortfalls have left Washington state's Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program with a nearly 20 percent funding gap. Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom says it's time for the state to get out of the prepaid tuition business. Tom says that if everyone now enrolled in the program wanted their money right now, the program would be short $631 million. The State Actuary puts the chances of GET not being able to meet its obligations at about one percent. Should Washington state end the GET program? We take a closer look.

Your Take On The News

Jan 18, 2013
Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin



It’s Friday — time to talk over the news with Knute Berger, Joni Balter and Eli Sanders. A new AP-GfK poll finds support for tighter gun laws as President Obama announces his plan for action and the NRA digs in for a fight. Lawmakers in Olympia get down to business and Governor Jay Inslee takes office in the first full week of the state legislative session. Plus, Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell joins the race for mayor. What stories caught your attention this week? Write to us at weekday@kuow.org.

myJon / Flickr

Do people vote based on race? That’s a question the Washington Legislature will likely tackle this session, as supporters of a state Voting Rights Act prepare to push the measure again this year. The law would aim to strengthen minority representation in places with a large population of Latinos or other racial group.

OLYMPIA, Wash. –A new governing coalition of 23 Republicans and two Democrats is now in control of the Washington state senate. The power shift happened Monday as the legislature convened for a 105-day budget writing session.

The day began as the first day of session always does with plenty of formalities – including an a cappella rendition of the national anthem.

But that harmony wouldn’t last. Soon Democrats lost a vote to lead the Senate as the majority party. That paved the way for the new philosophical majority to introduce its own governing rules.

State Legislature Convenes In Olympia

Jan 14, 2013
Washington state capitol
Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova (CC-BY-NC-ND)


Today marks the start of the Washington State Legislature’s 2013 regular session. Lawmakers have their sights set on education as a top priority — they'll be looking at both funding and measuring student success. They’ll also be working with a new governor, Jay Inslee, and a new balance of power in the state Senate. Publicola's Josh Feit joins us with a preview.

Washington DOL

In 2012 the Washington state Legislature passed a law that sponsors called the “driving while poor” bill. The law aims to help people who end up with suspended licenses because they failed to pay traffic tickets.

Washington Speaker of the House Frank Chopp (D-Seattle) will “have to learn” to negotiate. That tough talk comes from former Republican Governor Dan Evans in reaction to the announcement that a philosophical majority of Republicans and two Democrats have formed to take control of the state Senate for the 2013 session.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Some Washington Democrats are reacting angrily to a power grab in the state senate. A coalition of Republicans and two breakaway Democrats announced Monday they will seize the majority, but share power.

The chair of the Washington State Democratic Party says Senators Rodney Tom and Tim Sheldon are turning their backs on their own party. The two Democrats say they will join forces with Republicans to govern the chamber from the middle.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A big shake-up in the control of the Washington state senate could have major implications for how lawmakers address funding for schools next year. A coalition of Republicans and two breakaway Democrats announced Monday it has just enough votes to depose the current Democratic majority.

The chair of the Washington Democratic party calls it a “coup” and a “prescription for instability and division.” But former Republican turned Democrat Rodney Tom -- who will lead the new majority coalition -- says voters want governing from the middle.

Ed Murray
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

State Senator Ed Murray is the new majority leader of the Washington state senate.  But he faces some tough challenges, including a $900 million budget hole, a Supreme Court ruling that requires full funding for basic K-12 education and a possible rebellion by conservative Democrats.  David Hyde sits down with State Senator Ed Murray and asks, What's next? 

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