State News

OLYMPIA – County unemployment rates and employment data for June 2018 are now available online. Use the historical estimates report  to view prior months’ data. Please keep in mind:  Unemployment rates at the county level are not seasonally adjusted because the sample size is too small to...
at National Safe Boating Week coincides with the beginning of boating and fishing seasons. During this years campaign, May 19 through 25, the Washington State Parks Boating Program will increase its emphasis on boating safety while encouraging people to have fun on Washingtons beautiful waters. Of...
CHELAN - Rep. Mike Steele announces that he has re-opened his 12th District office in Chelan, as of Monday, April 2. “We temporarily closed the Chelan office in January for the 2018 legislative session. However, the 60-day session ended March 8 and I am back in the district attending events and...
In votes with veto-proof wide margins, state Legislators made themselves exempt from public records disclosure laws. The legislation, SB 6617, was passed through both the Senate and House in a three-day sprint with no public hearing as an “emergency” measure following a January court ruling found...
The Washington Newspaper Publishers Association is deeply disturbed by the Legislature’s action to limit the public’s right to know. As of Friday, the state’s lawmakers and their staffs are no longer subject to the state’s Public Records Act. Most problematic is the way our elected officials went...

Rep. Kristine Reeves, D-Federal Way, battled tears during the House floor debate on a bill to ban bump stocks, while her colleague Tana Senn, D- Mercer Island turned to comfort her.
A bill that would ban bump stocks, a device that increases a weapon’s rate of fire, is a step closer to becoming law. SB 5992 passed the House of Representatives 56-41 on Friday, Feb. 23 largely along party lines. The bill passed in the Senate 29-20 on Jan. 25. “It’s always been my belief that...
A bill that would allow people at risk of suicide to voluntarily give up their gun rights passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 77-20 on Friday, Feb. 23. The bill passed the Senate unanimously on Jan. 24. SB 5553 allows a person to waive their rights to a firearm if they believe they are...
Following last week’s rapid-fire vote on a bill to exempt the Legislature from state public records laws, lawmakers are going into damage control with public backlash mounting. The bill, SB 6617, explicitly exempts lawmakers from the state’s Public Records Act, and applies immediately and...

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility, wearing orange, and gun rights activists packed the Senate Ways and Means hearing room on Tuesday Feb. 27 to hear a new piece of gun legislation.
With less than two weeks left in the session, state lawmakers introduced a new bill in response to the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. SB 6620, and its companion in the House, HB 3004, introduced Friday, Feb. 23, would create a mechanism for students to report dangerous behavior and...

A sign marks the entrance to Forest Park Estates, a planned neighborhood development near Concrete, WA. While 10 lots were sold, only one saw development, as Department of Ecology rules have prohibited homebuilding.
Along its 150-mile course the Skagit River crosses boundaries political and natural, as its journey carries water from British Columbia to Washington state, cutting through the high, dry air of the Cascade Mountains before settling in the low wetness of Puget Sound. The Skagit Basin is the third-...

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