Washington state voters legalized marijuana last fall, but the drug still remains illegal under federal law. Most of Washington’s congressional members, including Rep. Dave Reichert and Sen. Patty Murry, have not been supportive of I-502. On the other hand, Rep. Denny Heck of Olympia is co-sponsoring a bill that would allow banks to handle transactions for marijuana businesses without being subject to federal charges. Rep. Heck discusses the proposal with The Conversation’s David Hyde.
Governor Jay Inslee has called for a second special session of the state legislature in the hopes that they will reach a budget agreement before July 1st. KUOW’s Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins talks about the budget and recent legislative compromises with David Hyde.
It’s Friday—time to talk over the week’s news. Without a budget deal Governor Inslee says the government will shut down. The Seattle City Council is calling to close Nickelsville, the tent city for some of the homeless in Seattle. Will shutting things down fix the problems? Joni Balter of the Seattle Times, Knute Berger of Crosscut and Eli Sandersof the Stranger discuss the week's news.
There were dramatic developments in Olympia overnight. Governor Jay Inslee held a midnight bill signing to amend Washington’s estate tax. The move means the Department of Revenue will not begin to issue refund checks Friday morning to the heirs of some multi-million dollar estates.
The state of Washington was about to embark on a months-long process of refunding an estimated $140 million to more than 100 estates. This was the result of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year. The money would have come out of a fund dedicated to public schools.
As Washington state moves toward licensing marijuana retail stores, a major concern for public health experts is preventing kids from eating marijuana. They are asking the state to ban marijuana-infused candy and other sweets, and require packaging and flavors that are less appealing to kids.
In the wake of revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance program, a coalition of nearly 90 organizations from Greenpeace USA to the Electronic Frontier Foundation have come together to protest the NSA and FBI’s surveillance program. The coalition formed the website Stop Watching Us, which calls for the immediate end to internet and phone record surveillance without probable cause and a full public account of the data collection program.
In January 2012, many of these same internet groups showed their power by successfully stopping the anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA that would have expanded law enforcement’s ability to combat online crime such as copyright infringement and counterfeit goods trafficking. David Hyde talks to Rainey Reitman, Activism Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and listeners voice their concerns (or lack thereof) about government surveillance.
The Supreme Court has recently heard cases on everything from same sex marriage to DNA evidence. Marcia Coyle’s new book, "The Roberts Court: The Struggle for the Constitution," delves into the landscape of the the Supreme Court under chief justice John Roberts. David Hyde sits down with Coyle to find out what makes the highest court tick.
Beginning in 2015, Seattle residents might see a big change in how they’re represented in city government. A proposal that is likely to make the ballot this fall would create a hybrid system with seven geographical districts and one councilmember representing each. Two council seats would remain at-large.
Currently, Seattle voters elect nine at-large councilmembers who represent the entire city, and that’s fairly unusual. For cities with more than 500,000 residents, only Detroit, Mich. and Columbus, Ohio currently have at-large city council systems. So what are the arguments for creating a hybrid system? What are the arguments for keeping things the same?
David Hyde talks to Eugene Wasserman, president of the North Seattle Industrial Association and campaign coordinator for Seattle Districts Now, an organization proposing its own map of districts. David also hears from former city councilmember Jim Street and University of North Carolina government professor Kimberly Nelson.
Federal investigators released a preliminary report Tuesday about last month’s I-5 bridge collapse over the Skagit River. The report says the driver of the truck that struck the bridge before it fell had moved over closer to the edge of the bridge because of a passing truck.
It's obvious from his interview with The Guardian newspaper that Andrew Snowden knew leaking NSA secrets would get him into hot water. But he seems to have planned for that. Somehow, he's disappeared from his Hong Kong hotel room. Some have suggested he might find refuge in Russia, on mainland China, or on some remote island in the Philippines.
Christopher Pyle knows a thing or two about blowing whistles. In 1970, while in the U.S. Army, he disclosed the extent of the military's surveillance of the protest movement. That led, in part, to the Watergate scandal. Mr. Pyle now teaches politics at Mount Holyoke College and is the author of several books on military surveillance of civilians. The CBC's Carol Off asked him for insight on Snowden's situation.
Last week, we began running an outstanding series on human trafficking from WGBH called "The Underground Trade." We're halfway through, with more episodes scheduled through the week. If you've just tuned in, this is your chance to catch up.
A System Of Modern Slavery That Touches All Points On The Globe
Boston-based reporter Phillip Martin began with a police bust of a ring of massage parlors that offer more than massages. Many reporters would have stopped there. But Phillip started pulling on the "thread" of that story, and over his eight-part series, he's unraveled the whole sweater, tracing the route of human traffic all around the world to its roots in Southeast Asia.
In a recent radio piece, WGBH’s Phillip Martin explored forced prostitution in East Asia. That’s a problem in the Puget Sound region, too.
Pimps here often prey on young girls who’ve run away from home. Detective Todd Novisedlak of the Seattle Police Department says that in some ways it’s similar to cases in Vietnam. He said traffickers here, too, prey on young girls’ susceptibility to fall in love.
Since gay marriage became legal late last year in Washington, there have been thousands of same-sex weddings. The Department of Health for the state says there were 2,413 gay marriages between December 6 of last year and March 31 of this year based on the number of signed marriage certificates have been turned into the state.
Your Take On The News Former Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna has launched a new web site and nonprofit, leading people to wonder whether or not he is done with politics. Snohomish County now has a new County Executive, John Lovick. The former sheriff took the position Monday. Governor Inslee has been criticized for the lack of progress being made on the budget and without a deal there may be a second special session for the Washington state legislature. Joni Balter of the Seattle Times, The Stranger’s Eli Sanders and Crosscut’s Knute Berger join us to wrap up the week’s news.
Ask State Attorney General Bob Ferguson A federal judge has ordered Washington state to fix hundreds of culverts allow water to flow underneath roads. Many Washington Indian Tribes claim the culverts block salmon passages. Why is state attorney general Bob Ferguson appealing that ruling? Also, what’s the possibility the state might sue over leaking tanks at Hanford? And what’s happening with the process to legalize marijuana? Ferguson joins us this hour to take your questions. Send yours now to Weekday.
Science News Xconomy’s Luke Timmerman brings us the latest news in biotechnology.
Weekend Weather State climatologist Nick Bond joins us with a weekend weather forecast.