Washington State Legislature

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

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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Breaking Bread With Lobbyists
8:01 am
Wed May 1, 2013

The Influence Game: Wining And Dining Washington Lawmakers After Hours

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:39 pm

In the first three months of this year, lobbyists in Washington state spent more than $200,000 on entertainment. Much of that money was spent to wine and dine state lawmakers during the just-concluded 105-day session. But what are lobbyists and their clients getting in exchange for picking up the tab?

After the legislative day ends up at the Capitol, it’s pretty common for some of the players to decamp. They go to one of a handful of usually higher-end Olympia establishments. This is where – over a meal, perhaps a bottle of Washington wine – the work continues.

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Special Session Called
9:11 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Washington Legislature Adjourns, But Not For Long

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 9:46 pm

The Washington legislature has adjourned after a 105-day session. The final gavels fell just after 6 p.m. Sunday night.

“The 2013 regular session of the 63rd legislature is adjourned Sine Die," declared Lt. Gov. Brad Owen to applause.

But the adjournment won’t last long. Governor Jay Inslee immediately called a special session for two weeks from now because the House and Senate failed to come to agreement on a two-year budget. 

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High School Exit Exams
12:16 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

New Wash. Math Requirement May Delay Graduation For 3,730 High School Seniors

Math is the only state standard standing in the way of graduation for 3,730 high school seniors.
Lou FCD Flickr

Two months before high school commencement, 9,083 seniors still haven’t passed Washington state’s new math graduation requirement.

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Fake License Program Continues
8:52 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Washington House Authorizes Fake Driver License Program Over Objections

Washington Department of Licensing

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 5:51 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington House has voted to allow the Department of Licensing to continue to issue fictitious driver licenses to undercover police officers. But with new safeguards. Even so, the vote Tuesday came over the objections of some Republicans.

The Department of Licensing has issued so-called confidential driver licenses for decades. But it never had direct authorization from the legislature to do so. The program is supposed to be for law enforcement officers.

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Politics & Government
9:00 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Ask Governor Jay Inslee

Governor Jay Inslee.
Credit Courtesy/Washington Secretary of State

It's getting down to the wire at the state capitol in Olympia, where lawmakers are working to pass a budget in the final weeks of the 105-day state Legislative session. Legislators are bargaining over how to best meet a state Supreme Court ruling to amply fund public education to the tune of $1 billion. There's also talk of toughening DUI laws, and a dispute over funding for the Columbia River Crossing in Southwest Washington. We'll ask Governor Jay Inslee about the latest news. Have a question for the governor? Call us at 206.543.5869 or send an email to weekday@kuow.org.

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Food & Travel
9:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Roast Penguin? Jason Anthony On Antarctic Cuisine

Explorers fishing for food in the Antarctic in the early 1910s.
Credit Flickr Photo/State Library of New South Wales/Credit Frank Hurley

What is there to eat in Antarctica? Not much, though you could try penguin. In 1897, stranded Captain Georges Lecointe said penguin tasted like “beef, odiferous cod fish and a canvas-backed duck, roasted together in a pot with blood and cod-liver oil for sauce.” Desperate and trapped Antarctic explorers have eaten all kinds of awful things. Author Jason Anthony explains the culinary lengths people will go to in order to survive.

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