Washington State Legislature

DREAM Act
11:06 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Washington House Re-Passes College Aid For Immigrant Students

Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (left) and Rep. Larry Haler.
Washington Legislature

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:50 am

It wasn’t all pomp and circumstance on Monday. The opening day of the Washington Legislature included something rare for day one: a floor vote.

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Legislature
4:35 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Seattle Sends A New Face To Olympia – Brady Walkinshaw, 29

Brady Walkinshaw, newly appointed representative from Washington's 43rd Legislative District, at his home on Seattle's Capitol Hill
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

When Brady Walkinshaw was a young child growing up in rural Whatcom County, his parents noticed he had a particular affinity for politics.

By the age of 4 or 5, “I have vivid memories of him organizing books on the floor [about] states and trying to figure out where the capitals were,” his father Charlie said.

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Washington Legislature
3:35 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Will State Lawmakers Pass A Big Transportation Package In 2014?

Transportation is a top priority for the Washington State Legislature in this next session.
Flickr Photo/Lee Le Fever

Marcie Sillman talks with KUOW's Austin Jenkins about the latest news from Olympia, where Washington's legislative session starts Monday.

State Senate Shakeup
9:15 am
Mon January 13, 2014

2014 Elections Will Loom Over Washington Legislative Session

Art Boruck with Boruck Printing and Screening in Seattle has been making political signs for more than 40 years.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 9:15 am

Washington lawmakers convene Monday for what could prove to be the most partisan session in a decade.

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K-12 Funding
9:01 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Supreme Court To State: Figure Out Education Funding By April

The Washington state Supreme Court has found that state lawmakers have once again failed to make significant progress toward fully funding basic education, and ordered the Legislature to submit a K-12 funding plan by April 30.

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Education
3:05 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

State Sen. Litzow Says Legislature Unlikely To Act On Education Spending This Session

A hallway in Washington's capitol building.
Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with the chair of Washington's Senate Education Committee, Senator Steve Litzow, about how the legislature will respond to the state supreme court's warning that education spending is not increasing fast enough.

State Legislature
3:22 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Tis' The Season Of Inaction In Olympia

Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova

Marcie Sillman talks with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about how many of Gov. Inslee's pet projects aren't getting off the ground.

Olympia
7:23 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Frosty Politics On Display At Washington Capitol

This sign at the steps to the Washington statehouse captures more than just the weather conditions.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 4:31 pm

It’s not just the weather that’s been frosty. So are political relations in the Washington state Capitol.

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Legislature
7:39 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Testy Exchanges, No Consensus On Governor's Climate Change Panel

File photo of the Washington State Capitol Building
Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:09 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has been dealt a setback in his campaign to reduce carbon emissions.

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Transportation
3:41 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

What Progress Is Being Made On Transportation Package?

Flickr Photo/Lee LeFever

Ross Reynolds talks with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the State Senate's transportation proposal and when we will see a transportation package.

Psychiatric Boarding
2:35 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Wash. Mental Health Advocates Pushing For Increased Funding Of Outpatient Programs

Emergency rooms in Washington often act as stop gap for those needing mental health care.
Flickr Photo/Michael J (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Washington state is facing a crisis when it comes to providing beds for psychiatric care. On a per capita basis, according to a 2009 national report, Washington ranks at the very bottom.

When beds are unavailable at psychiatric hospitals and regional mental health providers, hospital emergency rooms are often a last resort. Mental health advocates say this is a huge problem, because in some cases, mentally ill people are housed in emergency rooms for months, without access to sufficient treatment.

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Asian-American Community Mourns
6:07 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Long-Time Seattle Community Leader Kip Tokuda Dies

Kip Tokuda at a May 6, 2013 press conference announcing reforms in police recruiting
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

A prominent leader in Seattle's Asian-American community has died.

Kip Tokuda passed away suddenly, according to a statement from his family. He was 66 years old.

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Legislative Ethics
9:26 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Conflict Of Interest Lines Blur In Citizen Legislature

Washington Legislature

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 8:55 am

Washington lawmakers have departed the Capitol and are getting back to their normal lives. For most of them, that means going back to their regular jobs as farmers, lawyers, nurses, business owners. It’s the essence of a citizen legislature.

But this dual existence – one job as a lawmaker and another job back home - can invite conflicts of interest.

Family Matters

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Estate Tax Legislation
9:29 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Washington Estate Tax Refunds Halted After Midnight Bill Signing

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 3:16 pm

There were dramatic developments in Olympia overnight. Governor Jay Inslee held a midnight bill signing to amend Washington’s estate tax. The move means the Department of Revenue will not begin to issue refund checks Friday morning to the heirs of some multi-million dollar estates.

The state of Washington was about to embark on a months-long process of refunding an estimated $140 million to more than 100 estates. This was the result of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year. The money would have come out of a fund dedicated to public schools.

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State Budget
10:06 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Washington Special Session Starts With No Budget Deal

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:20 am

  The Washington legislature reconvenes Monday for a 30-day special session. But there’s still no budget deal in sight – despite a two week break to negotiate.

Senate budget chair Andy Hill, a Republican, says both sides are “working in good faith.” But “true negotiations” have yet to begin. That’s because the House, Senate and governor are still working to agree on the basic assumptions for the next two year budget.

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