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New Washington state laws give debt relief to people exiting prison
Starting this summer, people convicted of crimes in Washington will face fewer court-ordered fees. That’s thanks to the state’s third law in recent years aimed at easing the debt burden of “legal financial obligations,” or LFO’s, on people with criminal convictions.
45 candidates are running for Seattle City Council. Who are they and what do they stand for?
KUOW’s politics editor Cat Smith has been talking to the candidates since last week’s filing deadline. She joined Morning Edition host Angela King to talk about some of the key issues and races so far.
Microsoft joins plea for government regulation of AI tools like ChatGPT
Microsoft President Brad Smith went to the other Washington this week to ask government officials to put guardrails up around artificial intelligence.
Renton grants help high school grads who can’t afford college
Called the Renton Program, the new partnership’s goal is to create a new pathway to higher education for students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend.
Are Seattle's democracy vouchers working? The results so far are mixed
Dozens of people are running for Seattle City Council this year, 45 to be exact. And they’re vying for just seven council seats. But, when you look at the last comparable election, the candidate field isn’t as crowded as you might think. There are about 18% fewer candidates than 2019, which is the last time we had seven council seats on the ballot in Seattle.
Seattle introduces legislation to protect gig workers from abrupt termination
Network companies such as Uber and GrubHub use the term “deactivation” to describe workers being effectively fired and no longer able to accept new work orders. This week the Seattle City Council will introduce a bill aimed at protecting gig workers from sudden deactivation, which will provide transparency guidelines for companies that engage in the practice.
Rail workers call for safety improvements in Washington state
Democratic Washington Senator Maria Cantwell said this week that lawmakers need to pass new safety rules to help prevent train derailments and prepare communities in case of railway emergencies. The legislation would also increase penalties for companies that violate federal rail safety statutes.
Bellevue struggles to open safe parking lot for people living in cars
The City of Bellevue wants to open a parking lot for people experiencing homelessness who live in vehicles. The city has the land and the funding, but can’t find a service provider to run the site.
WA mushroom farm ordered to pay $3.4 million for discriminating against female workers
A little more than a year ago, a Sunnyside mushroom farm put a job posting on Facebook, looking for only male workers. The post was made by a lead employee of the then Ostrom Mushroom farm. Now, the farm will have to pay out 3.4 million dollars to settle allegations of discrimination against workers it fired.
Will WA’s new drug law help or hurt people struggling with addiction?
Washington has a new law on drug possession. Governor Inslee signed it Tuesday, just hours after lawmakers returned for a special session. It contains increased penalties for drug use and possession, and more funding for addiction treatment. Mayors say the language grants them the autonomy they needed, while proponents of harm reduction worry that cities will stymie their efforts amidst a crisis of drug overdose deaths.
Seattle schools approves budget plan, but hard choices remain ahead
Seattle Public Schools officials are celebrating having a solution in place for next year. But they're also quick to caution that Washington's largest school district isn't out of the weeds yet.
How bad was the pandemic on WA students? It depends on where you live, study says
Learning loss varied vary widely from district to district — even neighboring ones — largely depending on poverty.