Washington State Legislature | KUOW News and Information

Washington State Legislature

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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.

Marcie Sillman talks with state Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, about his push for more transparency in government.

Also, Ross Reynolds gets the scoop on various transparency bills in the legislature from KUOW's Olympia correspondent, Austin Jenkins.

Marcie Sillman speaks to Washington state Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, about powdered alcohol. The U.S. has approved its first powdered alcohol product, Palcohol.

Washington lawmakers have approved a flurry of bills -- and killed a bunch too -- as they crossed a key deadline in the 105-day session.

Washington State Capitol
Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to state Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, about her bill that passed the state House that would amend the Equal Pay Act, ensuring that employers can't punish employees for talking about their salary.

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

This week in Olympia, high-profile bills fall to a procedural deadline and budget talks begin KUOW's Kim Malcolm talks with the Everett Herald's Olympia reporter, Jerry Cornfield.

Oregon and Washington lawmakers flinched within hours of each other Wednesday when it came to toughening mandatory vaccination requirements for schoolchildren.

Washington lawmakers face a 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday to pass bills out of their House of origin.

Mental health is one of the top issues in the Washington legislature this year. Several measures cleared the Washington House Monday in advance of a Wednesday cut-off deadline.

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