Washington State Legislature | KUOW News and Information

Washington State Legislature

The Washington state House voted 91-7 Wednesday to exempt junior hockey teams from teen labor laws by expressly classifying the players as non-employees.

In California, March 31 is a legal holiday. Schools and government offices are closed for César Chávez Day.

It appears the days are numbered for Washington’s sprawling and largely unregulated medical marijuana marketplace.

The push to raise the gas tax by nearly 12 cents per gallon gas is still alive in the Washington legislature. But time is running out.

marijuana
Flickr Photo/North Cascades National Park

Marcie Sillman talks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the future of medical pot in Washington state. 

In Washington state, the tax rate for those living in poverty is seven times higher than for those in the one percent.
Courtesy of Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

Marcie Sillman speaks with Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton about why Washington state's tax system has been called "the most unfair state and local tax system in the country."  

There's money in a state highway budget that passed the Washington House Thursday to study a one-of-a-kind possible toll bridge fashioned out of retired Navy aircraft carriers.

Washington drivers might get to drive 75 on some rural highways.

Flickr Photo/krupp (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov came up with three laws of robotics: a robot may not harm a human, a robot must obey humans and a robot must protect its own existence.

The Washington State Senate thinks even more regulating laws are necessary. On Wednesday senators voted unanimously to outlaw ticket bot computer software that buys up to 40 percent of the tickets for a concert before the public gets a stab at them.  This is only the latest effort to regulate robots and robotic software.

For the third year in a row, railroad workers in Washington have been dealt a defeat in the legislature.

A proposal to make it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving has died in the Washington House. The measure failed to get a vote before a key deadline Tuesday.

The Washington House and Senate will soon begin to negotiate a new two-year budget, but first they have to get past a roadblock.

The Washington state Capitol in Olympia.
Flickr Photo/amishrobot (CC-BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/4PxvK4

Marcie Sillman talks with KUOW Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the dysfunction in Olympia and what that means for the state budget.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Wednesday hinted at a minimum wage ballot measure in 2016. The Democrat said that Washington voters will decide the issue.

Majority Republicans in the Washington state Senate unveiled a no-new-taxes budget Tuesday that would still boost spending by $4 billion.

Two of the highest priority issues for Washington House Democrats are a $12 per hour minimum wage and paid sick leave.

House Democrats on Friday unveiled a proposed $1.5 billion tax package. Senate Republicans plan to rollout their proposed budget later this week.

Majority Democrats in the Washington state House have unveiled a proposed two-year, nearly $39 billion state budget and tax package.

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers in the Washington legislature launched a move Tuesday to ban powdered alcohol.

Legislation to bring together Washington’s two dueling marijuana systems is moving forward. As KUOW’s Amy Radil reports, the challenge may come in deciding which medical dispensaries get to stay open.

The Washington state Auditor’s office says it’s turned over documents to the Department of Justice in response to a subpoena.

Monday morning in Tacoma Troy Kelley's neighbors heard a knock on the Washington state auditor's door. Agents of the U.S. Treasury Department announced themselves, entered through the front door and searched his home for about five hours. Kelley's office submitted documents in response to a federal subpoena Thursday.

A Better Way To Tax Cigarettes

Mar 18, 2015
Flickr Photo/David Grant

Bill Radke talks with Washington state Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, about Governor Jay Inslee's proposal to raise cigarette taxes.

The site of the deadly Oso, Washington mudslide on March 22, 2014.
Flickr Photo/GovInslee (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Kim Malcolm talks with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the policy changes state lawmakers are considering one year after the Oso landslide that killed 43 people. 

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has accused a mobile home park owner of a scheme to evade inspections.

If you ride a bicycle or motorcycle, this has no doubt happened to you: You stop at a red light controlled by a sensor in the pavement and you wait... and wait.

A cast of characters from Washington’s TV and film industry descended on Olympia Tuesday seeking an expanded tax credit for the film industry.

A bill in the state Legislature would prevent people under age 18 from buying vaping products
Flickr Photo/Joseph Morris (CC-BY-NC-ND)

People who want to quit smoking have credited e-cigarettes with helping them kick the habit. But vaping is also attracting a new group of users — teenagers. 

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would crack down on retailers who sell vaping products to minors.

Ross Reynolds talks with Lara Zarowsky, policy director for Innocence Project Northwest, about a legislative proposal that would require most DNA evidence collected in violent felonies to be preserved for the entire length of someone's sentence.

Washington lawmakers are on the honor system when it comes to accepting free meals from lobbyists.

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