Washington State Legislature

Mental Health
4:04 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Mental Health Advocates Push For Change Of ‘Shattered System’

A proposed law would allow people to petition a court to have family members involuntarily committed to a mental facility.
Flickr Photo/Micheal J (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with mental health advocate Sandi Ando about a proposed law that would allow people to petition a court to have a family member committed against his or her will.

Ando is public policy chair for Washington's chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Young Activists
11:34 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Kids Take On Washington Legislature In Picking New State Symbols

Palouse Falls
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:20 am

Washington may get at least two new official state symbols, thanks to some young students.

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Gun Control
9:33 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Gabby Giffords Makes Case For Washington Gun Checks

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, a retired astronaut and combat veteran, are leading a national campaign for expanded background checks for gun sales.
AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was the star witness at a hearing on gun control and gun rights in Olympia.

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Tax Breaks
9:22 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Washington Governor Makes Another Push To Close Tax Exemptions

File photo of Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Christina Salerno TVW

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 4:48 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee continued his push on Tuesday for lawmakers to close tax exemptions to fund education.

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Alternative Fuel Vehicles
9:14 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Slow Uptake Of Electric Cars Prompts Calls To Extend Washington Tax Break

Nissan Leafs charge on the Washington state capitol campus Tuesday.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 3:48 pm

The slow uptake of electric cars by Northwest drivers is prompting calls to extend a tax break in Washington state for new vehicles powered by alternative fuels.

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Gun Background Check
4:07 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Dueling Gun Bills Get A Hearing In Olympia

State Representative Laurie Jinkins (left) and Senator Mike Padden.
Washington State Legislature

Steve Scher talks with state Representative Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, and state Senator Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, about two opposing gun background check proposals holding public hearings in Olympia this week.

Politics
10:39 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Washington Considers Private 'Pay-For-Success' Investments To Fund Public Programs

Wall Street may help fill gaps in state funding for human services programs.
Flickr Photo/htmvalerio

Someday in the not too distant future, social service programs in the Northwest could get funding from Wall Street.

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Politics
10:05 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Lawmakers Consider Naming Endangered Person Advisory 'Silver Alert'

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:15 pm

We often hear of patients with dementia who wander from home or their nursing facilities. In Washington when they can’t be found, authorities can use what’s called an “Endangered Missing Person’s Advisory” to notify people of the disappearance.

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Interstate Bridge
9:37 am
Tue January 28, 2014

The Hour Of Decision Is Near For The Columbia River Crossing

Interstate 5 spans the Columbia River between Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington.
Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:51 am

The Columbia River lazily passes under Interstate 5 between Portland and Vancouver, Wash. You wouldn't really call the water troubled. The bridges over it, however, are. 

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Texting While Driving
9:39 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Washington Lawmakers Want To Crack Down On Distracted Driving, Again

Jason Weaver Flickr

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 4:03 pm

In Washington and Oregon, if you want to talk on your phone while driving, you’re required to use a hands-free device. But now a Washington state lawmaker wants to go further.

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Politics
9:08 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Washington House Democrats Propose $12 Minimum Wage

File photo of the House Chamber at the Washington state Capitol in Olympia
Cacophony

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:33 pm

Washington’s minimum wage would rise to $12 per hour by 2017 under a proposal from Democrats in the state House.

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Government
9:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

How The Farm Bill Could Make It Harder To Track Down Pollution

Two provisions in the House version of the latest Farm Bill could limit the amount and type of information federal agencies give out about farms.
Flickr Creative Commons: Scott Butner

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 1:00 am

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency messed up. And now the mistake has led to a fight between open government advocates and farmers.

The EPA accidentally released the names and addresses of 80,000 farmers to environmental groups. That's a lot of information that's supposed to be redacted.

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Youth Issues
3:15 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Stability And Security: The Case For Extended Foster Care

Deontae Cruz and Mockingbird Society founder Jim Theofelis are advocating for a bill that would allow foster youth to remain in the system until age 21.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Ross Reynolds sits down with Jim Theofelis, founder and executive director of the Mockingbird Society, and 21-year-old Deontae Cruz who participated in the original extended foster care pilot program.

They spoke about the importance of allowing young adults in foster care to remain in the system until age 21 — an issue state legislators will address this session.

Politics
10:03 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Washington Lawmakers Consider Ban On Gay Conversion Therapy

Washington lawmakers are considering a ban on gay conversion therapy.
Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC BY-NC-ND)

Mental health experts say it’s dangerous. Now, Washington lawmakers are taking up the controversy over gay conversion therapy.

That was the subject of a hearing Wednesday in Olympia. Psychologists and gay rights advocates testified in favor of a ban on therapies designed to convert patients younger than 18 away from being gay.

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Advocacy Groups
9:46 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Wealthy Donors Fund Never-Ending 'Progressive' Campaign In Washington State

Staff at Fuse Washington meet to update their communications and community organizing efforts.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 9:02 am

You’ve heard of Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and other issue advocacy groups that don’t have to disclose their donors. They are transforming American politics.

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