Washington State Legislature

When police are called to a report of domestic abuse, often someone goes to jail.

Gov. Jay Inslee has been pushing for a “polluters pay” carbon reduction plan for the majority of his time in office. Tuesday marked the first time that plan went before the state legislature, when the House Environment Committee held a hearing of HB 1314. The bill, which was drafted by the governor’s office, has 37 sponsors, all Democrats.

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

Marcie Sillman talks with KUOW's Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about one of the legislature's priorities this session: mental health. 

Smoking tobacco
Flickr Photo/Laurence Currie-Clark (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Washington state considers raising the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 -- the highest in the country. Plus: deflated footballs, deflated employment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Seattle’s cutest mobster and a sad farewell to talking about the Kalakala ferry. 

Bill Radke’s guests this week include KUOW reporter Deborah Wang, Crosscut’s Knute Berger, Jonathan Martin of the Seattle Times and KUOW reporter Patricia Murphy.

Sens. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, left, and Kevin Ranker. On Christmas Day, Ashley Ahearn asked them to join her at the Spar Cafe, a bar in Olympia.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Earlier this winter, Ashley Ahearn was growing tired of polarized political debate.

She wondered: Did politicians actually believe what came out of their mouths? So she invited Sens. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, and Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, leaders, to drinks at Spar Cafe in Olympia.  

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

Jeannie Yandel talks with University of Washington political science professor Mark Smith about "dark money" and how that fits into campaign financing. 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will ask the legislature to amend a new voter-approved class size measure. That was the word this week from the governor’s budget director.

Sales of small, camera-equipped drones are soaring. Aside from air safety issues, these remotely-piloted aircraft can raise privacy concerns if they fly uninvited over your backyard or past your bedroom windows.

Elephants at Addo Elephant Park in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Flickr Photo/Clive Reid (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to University of Washington biology professor Samuel Wasser about how his lab uses elephant DNA to pinpoint where large ivory poaching operations happen in Africa. Representative Eric Pettigrew has sponsored a bill in the Washington state House of Representatives that would ban ivory in the state.

Flickr Photo/Joseph Morris (CC-BY-NC-ND)

This week a state senate committee will hear a proposal that would make it illegal to sell e-cigarettes and vapes to minors.

Last fall Sen. Judy Warnick got a tip from a police officer from her district in Moses Lake. He noted that students were buying e-cigarettes easily. “They were modifying them so they could use marijuana in those cigarettes," Warnick said. 

Umbrellas, strollers and backpacks were already banned from the public viewing galleries in the Washington House and Senate.

One of the most famous sights on the University of Washington Seattle campus is when the cherry trees bloom in the quad each spring.
Flickr Photo/Michael Matti (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with University of Washington President Michael Young about the university's top priorities for the 2015 legislative session.

What Happened This Week? Thanks For Asking

Jan 16, 2015
Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch watches the closing moments of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014.
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

An engineer said “catastrophic failure” in the same breath as “Bertha” – what does that mean? Washington state has America's most regressive tax system, is that about to change? Should Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch have to talk to the media if he doesn’t want to? And if you weren’t born in the Pacific Northwest, can you ever truly fit in?

Guns are allowed in the Washington state Capitol, but state law makes it illegal to carry a firearm in a manner designed to intimidate.

Marcie Sillman talks to Hugh Spitzer, University of Washington law professor, about the constitutionality of the Senate Republicans' rule change for bringing new taxes to a vote on the full Senate floor.

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