State News

A bill prohibiting the criminal history question on job applications passed the Washington state House of Representatives with a 52-46 vote. HB 1298 was passed with votes along party lines on Feb. 7 with Republicans largely against it. “I speak to you today with great gravity and heaviness of heart...

Rep. Mike Steele
The state House of Representatives unanimously approved a measure Thursday that would make it a civil infraction for a person to misrepresent their pet as a service animal. Rep. Mike Steele, R-Chelan, who authored the bill, says the idea came from a 12th District business owner. While drafting the...
A proposal to establish the Evergreen Free College Program would phase in funding to pay tuition for students from low and middle income families. SB 6101 applies to state residents enrolled in a state university or community college with 45 credits and maintaining a grade point average of 2.0 or...

Amy Anderson, government affairs director of the Association of Washington Businesses, shows lawmakers the association’s review of 70 Washington manufacturers at the hearing for HB 2177 on Monday, Jan. 29. She said every industry expressed a need for skilled workers.
A proposed program could provide grants for community college students to learn trades in high demand in rural areas. All counties in the state would qualify except for King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Watcom, Thurston, Clark, Benton, and Spokane counties. Lisa Perry, representing Sierra Pacific...
A bill that would tax oil in pipelines to fund oil spill prevention planning passed out of a state Senate committee —but only after a proposed tax hike was dropped. The legislation, SB 6269, would levy taxes on oil transported in Washington state, including oil that travels by pipeline, to fund oil...

Frame 352 of the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film, which allegedly depicts a Sasquatch walking in Northern California.
The mythical Sasquatch, an integral piece of Pacific Northwest folklore, got another shot at recognition this year with a bill that would name the creature Washington’s official state cryptid. But just as it has done to so many explorers and scientists, the furry, bipedal creature once again evaded...
A pilot project before lawmakers would provide funding for six college districts to provide services for homeless students. The plan requires the Washington State Board of Education to establish four pilot programs in community or technical colleges, two on each side of the Cascades. It also...

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks about Washington’s oil reserves at a press conference Monday and responded to federal government plans to open offshore drilling on U.S. coastlines.
Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday announced his intention to resist any Trump Administration plan to develop offshore drilling in Washington state, in an attempt to protect what he called the “best coastline” in the United States.  U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke in January announced federal plans to...
A tax on carbon emissions proposed by Governor Jay Inslee has taken a big step forward. On Feb. 1, the state Senate Energy, Environment, and Technology Committee passed a revised version of Inslee’s carbon tax plan with a 6-4 vote. In early January, Gov. Inslee proposed a $20 per ton of emitted...
Amid national and state-wide awareness of women’s healthcare, Washington state lawmakers are considering a bill that would require community and technical colleges to provide free tampons or sanitary pads to students. Representatives in the House Higher Education Committee passed the bill out of...

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