Government

Demonstrators in Seattle form a human chain around City Hall in support of a $15 minimum wage in April 2014.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle starts phasing in a higher minimum wage on April 1 this year. The key term here is "phasing in." Everyone receiving the minimum wage won’t immediately get $15 an hour.

KUOW’s Deborah Wang sat down with Ross Reynolds to explain.

In this Nov. 20, 2008, file photo, the execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary is shown with the witness gallery behind glass at right, in Walla Walla, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Sara Lerner speaks with Robert Boruchowitz, one of the lead authors of a new Seattle University study released Wednesday that finds that Washington state cases where the death penalty is pursued cost the justice system a million dollars more on average.

One of the big draws at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is the rapidly advancing technology surrounding driverless cars.

A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday is scheduled to hear arguments on the constitutionality of a hotly contested abortion law in Texas. The measure mandates stricter building codes for clinics that perform the procedure, and Fifth Circuit judges in New Orleans will decide whether that poses an undue burden.

The Texas law — HB2 — requires clinics that perform abortions to operate like ambulatory surgical centers. Think wider hallways and hospital-style equipment — upgrades that could cost millions.

Tow boat captains, wheat exporters, and the directors of the farthest inland ports in the Northwest are breathing easier today.

Washington voters would prefer no new taxes and no deep cuts to state services. But if that’s not possible, they’re open to some new taxes.

At a business summit in Portland Tuesday, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber urged business executives not to forget about those left behind in the state's economic recovery.

Seattle Medical Marijuana van, usually parked outside a dispensary on Fremont Avenue near the Woodland Park Zoo. Tensions have mounted between medical marijuana entities and state-licensed pot shops.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Ross Reynolds talks with John Davis, owner of the Northwest Patient Resource Center, about why we wants medical marijuana to be regulated by the state. Davis is also executive director of the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics, a cannabis industry group.

Executive Constantine and a Seattle delegation visited Boston and New Jersey to learn about their universal preschool models in 2014.
Flickr Photo/Dow Constantine (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks to King County Executive Dow Constantine about his proposed program, "Best Starts For Kids," which would help build early education programs in King County.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Ross Reynolds talks to Andrea Seabrook, founder of DecodeDC, about how local initiatives create laws in spite of the stalemate in Congress.

traffic commute transportation car
Flickr Photo/JBLM (CC-BY-NC-ND)

It should only take half an hour to drive between Everett and Seattle on Interstate 5, which was possible during the holidays.

But it’s back to reality now, and the regular commute can take longer than an hour.

LUMMI RESERVATION, Wash. -- The Lummi Nation issued a letter Monday to the U.S. government seeking to end the project's permitting process for a coal-shipping project encircled by their Puget Sound fishing grounds.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has until January 12 to put the finishing touches on his inaugural address. But writing the speech should be old hat to the governor.

The Washington legislature convenes next Monday for a 105-day session. Transportation funding is one of the top agenda items.

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