Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 5:51 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington House has voted to allow the Department of Licensing to continue to issue fictitious driver licenses to undercover police officers. But with new safeguards. Even so, the vote Tuesday came over the objections of some Republicans.
The Department of Licensing has issued so-called confidential driver licenses for decades. But it never had direct authorization from the legislature to do so. The program is supposed to be for law enforcement officers.
Pete Holmes is Seattle’s city attorney and that means his clients include the mayor, the City Council, the police and the public. Pete Holmes previously worked as a private attorney in Seattle for almost 25 years before being elected city attorney in November 2009. He was also an original member of the Seattle Police Department's Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) and served as chairman from 2003 to 2008. Ross Reynolds talks with Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes about the recent retirement of Police Chief John Diaz, the Department of Justice and what he was doing in Copenhagen.
It's getting down to the wire at the state capitol in Olympia, where lawmakers are working to pass a budget in the final weeks of the 105-day state Legislative session. Legislators are bargaining over how to best meet a state Supreme Court ruling to amply fund public education to the tune of $1 billion. There's also talk of toughening DUI laws, and a dispute over funding for the Columbia River Crossing in Southwest Washington. We'll ask Governor Jay Inslee about the latest news. Have a question for the governor? Call us at 206.543.5869 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 11:54 am
Editor's note: This story does not contain any identifying details of undercover officers from law enforcement agencies or agents of the Central Intelligence Agency. Instead, it includes aggregate numbers of confidential licenses issued by the state of Washington to local, state and federal agencies. This is consistent with what the Washington Department of Licensing has proposed to release under pending legislation in Olympia.
Today is the deadline for filing your taxes, and maybe you’re a little burnt out on the whole process. The New York Times reports that Americans spend 9.14 billion hours on government paperwork every year. Of that time 75 percent, or 6.7 billion hours, is spent on documents from The Treasury Department. According to author and law professor, Cass Sunstein, it’s because the Treasury Department houses the Internal Revenue Service, which takes up way too much of our time during tax season. Sunstein was head of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs from 2009-2012, and he wrote a recent op-ed article for the New York Times on this topic. Ross Reynolds talks with Sunstein and asks if the IRS is wasting our time.
The Supreme Court of Washington ruled Thursday that a corporation can be a victim of identity theft just like a person can under state law. The law makes it a felony to steal the identity of a “person, living or dead.”
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 4:13 am
The Pentagon's intelligence arm has "moderate confidence" that North Korea may have developed the technology to create nuclear weapons that are small enough to fit on a long-range missile.
NPR's Larry Abramson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The Defense Intelligence Agency assessment says such a weapon would probably not be very reliable. This is the first time the U.S. has concluded that Pyongyang's nuclear efforts have reached this point.
Governor Inslee released his budget proposal a couple weeks ago, and then came the Washington Senate budget. Yesterday the House released their budget and today Ross Reynolds talks with Representative Ross Hunter about how the House budget differs from the Senate and gubernatorial budget plans.
Supporters of immigration reform call the outside of the Federal Building in downtown Seattle their patio. That’s because they’ve gathered here so many times in the past decade to push for an overhaul to the country’s immigration system, including a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants who are in the US illegally.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 4:45 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington House Democrats have unveiled a proposed two-year budget that looks a lot like Governor Jay Inslee’s. It would renew expiring tax hikes, close several tax exemptions and put the new money into public schools.
House Democrats would actually spend a tad more than the governor. But their approach is very similar. For example: extend an expiring tax on beer and end the sales tax exemption for bottled water and shoppers from sales tax free Oregon.
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Recent tragedies in Seattle have triggered an emergency discussion of drunk driving laws. Governor Jay Inslee said Tuesday it’s not acceptable that it takes a fifth DUI in ten years before a driver is charged with a felony. But changing that policy would be costly.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:50 am
The U.S. Postal Service has backed off a plan to halt Saturday mail delivery, saying that Congress has forced it to continue the service despite massive cost overruns.
In a statement released Wednesday, the USPS Board of Governors said restrictive language included in the latest Continuing Resolution, which keeps the government operating until September in lieu of a budget, prevents it from going ahead with the plan.
Some Northwest cities and counties are exploring whether to use local or private money to keep their airport control towers open. By mid-June, the federal government plans to close the control towers at 13 small to medium sized airports across the region.
Seattle’s police chief stepped down on Monday. John Diaz announced his retirement 33 years after starting with the Seattle Police Department – and one week after a pair of outside reviews criticized SPD under his tenure.