In what Washington Governor Jay Inslee calls "a dang shame," plans for a new bridge over the Columbia River are shelved -- if not dead. The Washington legislature adjourned without funding the construction phase of the project.
You might call the Columbia River Crossing “the bridge to the archives.” That’s where the blueprints will go now that the Washington Senate said “no” to a gas tax increase. That nixes $450 million for the new bridge over the mighty Columbia between Vancouver and Portland.
You can bet the U.S. Supreme Court was toasted a number of times over the weekend by same-sex couples and their friends. Last Wednesday, the court overturned a key provision of the national Defense Of Marriage Act. That decision extended federal rights and benefits to same-sex couples in states like Washington where such marriages are legal. But national conservative groups aren’t calling it quits just yet. They’re working to stop the spread of same-sex marriage to other states.
Washington voters will decide in November whether food products with genetically engineered ingredients should be labeled. California voters rejected a similar measure in last year’s general election—but the vote was close with nearly 49 percent in favor of labeling and 51 percent against it.
Here in Washington, the campaigns are already recruiting supporters. Ross Reynolds hears from both sides of the debate. On the pro-labeling side representing the Yes On 522 Campaign is Trudy Bialic. She’s the campaign’s co-chair and also the public affairs director for PCC Natural Markets. Heather Hansen is the spokesperson for the No On 522 Campaign. She’s also executive director of Washington Friends of Farms and Forests—an umbrella group that advocates for various AGRA-business interests.
The Washington state legislature failed to pass a transportation package this past weekend. With the recent collapse of the Skagit Bridge at the forefront of our minds, we take a look at what this means for current and future transportation projects in the state. Ross Reynolds hears from Dan O'Neal, the chairman of the Washington State Transportation Committee.
This (Last) Week In Olympia The 2013 Washington state legislative session draws to a close. Everett Herald reporter and columnist Jerry Cornfield gives us a roundup of what lawmakers did – and did not – achieve in Olympia.
Working In Television: Frank Buxton Did It All Frank Buxton spent much of his career working in television as an actor, director, writer and producer before moving to Bainbridge Island. He hosted a game show, wrote for “The Odd Couple” and appeared in countless TV commercials. He talks with Katy Sewall about what it was like to work with Woody Allen and travel the world for ABC.
“Change They Can’t Believe In” The Tea Party has risen in politics over the past few years, bringing conservatism on social issues and economic policy to Washington, DC. They've impacted local and national politics, so what’s their message that’s bringing people together? University of Washington professor Christopher Parker joins us to talk about his new book examining what motivates the Tea Party.
The Washington state legislature finally came to a budget proposal this week, narrowly avoiding a massive government shutdown. What held them up? How will the new budget cover the increases in education spending mandated by the state supreme court? Ross Reynolds talks about that and other state news with KUOW’s Olympia correspondent, Austin Jenkins.
Weekday's“News in Review” roundtable comes together to talk over the week’s news.
It was a big week at the Supreme Court. The justices struck down provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and decided the federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. A filibuster by Wendy Davis rocked the Texas legislature, stopping a vote on an abortion bill. The bill will be revisited in the second special session Gov. Rick Perry called.
Washington's own legislature's second session budget problems still divide the floor; but issues will need to be resolved soon to avoid a government shut down on July 1.
What stories caught your attention? What hasn’t been covered enough? What story made your blood boil? Share your thoughts with the panel right now by emailing Weekday.
It's still not clear what the Supreme Court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act will mean for many same-sex couples in the Northwest. That's because of new legal questions surrounding the hundreds of couples who have marriage licenses from Washington state but live in states like Idaho and Oregon that have banned same-sex marriage.
A proposal to raise Washington’s gas tax by 10.5 cents to fund transportation projects has failed in the state House. Supporters Wednesday came up one vote short. But they vow to try again.
The transportation revenue package would raise $10 billion for maintenance and preservation of existing roads and to fund new projects. The proposal calls for a 6 cent gas tax increase this summer followed by another 4.5 cent increase next July.
The King County Council has approved new legislation allowing elected county officials to collect money from anyone at any time — even when contributors have business before the county.
Officials will be able to set up an office fund to pay things related to their jobs, but not part of their pay: like travel, dining, office supplies and other expenses not covered by public funds. Contributors will be able to put up to $1,000 into the office funds every four years.
Ross Reynolds talks with Erica Barnett, news editor for Seattle Met’s political blog Publicola, about what this means for King County Council’s transparency.
Same-sex couples around the Seattle area celebrated Wednesday’s historic ruling from the US Supreme Court that struck down some bans on gay marriage. The ruling spurred some couples to think about making wedding plans, now that they would receive new federal benefits. Others were inspired to apply for a marriage license, or even get married on the historic day. For many, Wednesday started out as a day of anticipation and anxiety and ended as a day of elation.
The dual victories the Supreme Court handed to gay-marriage supporters Wednesday seemed to temporarily shift the focus of the fight from Washington to the states.
For instance, one of the more notable reactions to the Supreme Court decisions overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and upholding a lower court ruling that blocked California's Proposition 8 from taking effect came from the American Civil Liberties Union.
This week, we've been airing DecodeDC's excellent interview with Log Cabin Republican founder Rich Tafel. Tafel makes the case that progress on big issues can only occur when there are parallel movements in both the Republican and Democratic parties. He says that explains why same-sex rights have advanced so rapidly lately, whereas the environmental movement has largely failed to escape its self-imposed ghetto within the Democratic party.
Tafel's uniquely post-partisan approach isn't confined to national politics. Washington state has its own chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans. Republican and former Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed says they haven't been a major force in this state. But they're doing important work in making friends with Republicans. And it's Republicans with gay and lesbian friends who are changing the Republican party.
Here are a few interviews KUOW's Joshua McNichols conducted with Troy Bodnar, vice president of Washington state's chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans:
In an interview today on The Conversation with Ross Reynolds, Nicolas said one question that remains regarding the today’s Supreme Court decision is whether legal same-sex marriages will be recognized across state borders.
The U.S. Senate wants to put a stop to Border Patrol checkpoints and warrantless searches taking place far from the border with Canada. The policy change was included in an amendment to the larger immigration overhaul being debated this week. It pleases civil liberties and immigrant advocates, but concerns frontline Border Patrol agents.