State News

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-...

Toppenish School District Superintendent, John Cerna, speaks at a press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 28 about his existing program arming certain trained school administrators.
Republican lawmakers introduced a bill that would allow school administrators, and in some cases teachers, to carry firearms in Washington state classrooms. Conversation around gun legislation and school safety programs ignited across the country in response to a shooting at a high school in...
An amended version of Governor Jay Inslee’s proposal to tax carbon emissions to fight climate change is effectively dead in the state Legislature. The primary sponsor of the carbon tax bill and its shepherd in the state Senate, Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D–Seattle, said on March 1 in a phone interview...
In a down-to-the-wire decision, Governor Jay Inslee vetoed a controversial bill that would have immediately exempted the state Legislature from public disclosure law three hours before the bill would have been enacted into law. At 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, Inslee’s office sent out a press...
When Governor Jay Inslee vetoed Senate Bill 6617 on Thursday night, he had some time to spare. But not much. The governor had until had until 11:59 p.m. to decide whether to sign the controversial bill, veto it entirely, partially veto it, or let it pass without his signature. He faced the prospect...

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