Government

Washington state capitol
Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Mark Schoesler, the new Republican state Senate Majority Leader, about his background, the issues he cares about and his governing philosophy. 

A transport vehicle carries the new front end of the bearing block for Bertha. First though, the machine has to be dug out from beneath Pioneer Square.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

They were not reassuring words.

Engineers hired to rescue Bertha, the deep boring machine stalled under downtown Seattle, wrote to state officials: “If we continue the current ‘repair as we go’ method of excavation, we significantly increase the risk of a catastrophic failure.”

Washington State Legislature in Olympia.
Flickr Photo/amishrobot (CC-BY-NC-ND)

State lawmakers begin a high-stakes legislative session today with big decisions to make on how to pay for roads, transit and schools. Bill Radke finds out what to watch for on day one from KUOW's Olympia correspondent, Austin Jenkins.

School funding, a roads-and-transit package and medical marijuana are among the hot topics as the Washington legislature convenes Monday.

The 'Week in Review' panel broadcasts in front of a live audience at Little London Plane in Pioneer Square on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Caroline Dodge

What's the Seattle connection to this week's attack on a French satirical magazine? Is it time to start thinking about a Plan B for Bertha, the slumbering tunnel machine? And should we open an Ivar's fish and chips bar inside the aging Kalakala ferry instead of cutting it apart with a blowtorch?

Bill Radke reviews the week's news along with news analyst Joni Balter, Crosscut's Knute Berger, former Seattle mayor Charles Royer and special guest  chef Matt Dillon in front of a live audience at The Little London Plane in Pioneer Square.

See more photos from the event on KUOW's Facebook page

King County Jail in downtown Seattle.
King County Photo

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is protesting a new King County policy to release more felony suspects after booking them. King County says it’s a budget decision involving nonviolent offenders. The mayor says it’s a threat to public safety.

When the Legislature convenes next week, Rep. Sherry Appleton plans to introduce a bill for a silver alert system in Washington state.

Similar to the Amber Alert for children, this alert would be for elderly people with dementia who wander off. Appleton says 60 people went missing in the past year.

“Six-zero,” says Appleton. “I think it’s a lot of people.”

Republican leaders in the Idaho legislature appear poised to take up measures this year that would boost education funding and make overdue repairs to the state’s roads and bridges.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is defending his call for higher taxes in 2015. The Democrat reacted Thursday to criticism from Republican lawmakers.

Ross Reynolds talks with John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation, about the role of federal mediators in settling labor disputes.

U.S. Capital congress
Flickr Photo/Stephen Melkisethian (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Cathy Allen, political consultant and president of The Connections Group, about Washington state's political clout in Congress now that the majority party is Republican.

No one likes to wait in line. But sometimes, you don't have a choice -- like maybe when you want a driver’s license.

Marijuana will be among the top agenda items when the Washington legislature convenes Monday.

Advanced Aviation Solutions , an Idaho-based startup, has become the first company to win federal approval to use drones in farm settings.

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