State News

Despite the passage of last year’s bipartisan agreement to fully fund K-12 public education with a property tax hike, the state Legislature is still wrestling over the issue. In November, the state Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature needs to ramp up funding for teacher and other school staff...
Today the Senate Law and Justice Committee received public testimony on Senate Bill 6408, aimed at clarifying the rules surrounding the use of police body cameras. The measure is sponsored by Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, the ranking member on the committee.   In 2016, the Legislature...

Governor Jay Inslee met with the Associated Students of the University of Washington. He said fully funding higher education is the next step after the capital budget fix.
University of Washington students from the Bothell, Seattle, and Tacoma campuses met with lawmakers in support of higher education bills during the annual Huskies on the Hill lobby day, Monday, Jan. 29. The Associated Students of the University of Washington from all three UW campuses asked their...
Washington state’s health insurance market is increasingly volatile. While the number of people without insurance has decreased every year since 2013, monthly premium rates have spiked and only one insurer is available in some counties, according to state officials. Prospects for consumers don’t...
A proposed pilot project would partner mental health professionals and local law enforcement officers on calls that involve a mental health crisis. HB 2892 creates a grant from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs to fund services from mental health professionals who would...

Senator Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, shakes hands with Senator Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue after SB 6219 passed the senate chamber.
The state Senate approved a measure that would provide greater access to birth control and other reproductive health services, including abortions. Passed by a slim margin, 26-22 on Wednesday, Jan. 31, the vote marks the farthest the Senate Bill 6219, the Reproductive Parity Act,  has advanced...
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...
On the heels of the state House approved bill to reduce car tab taxes, Sen. Steve O’Ban, R–University Place, and Rep. Mark Harmsworth, R–Mill Creek, called for steeper cuts and lambasted Democrats for not joining them. Last week, the House passed a Democratically-sponsored bill that would change...
Seattle area Democratic lawmakers could repeal a 20-year-old voter initiative meant to outlaw preferences based on race and gender in college admission, public employment, and contracting.   The bill’s prime sponsor, Senator Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, and co-sponsors of SB 6406 believe that...

Senate Labor and Commerce Committee members Senators Karen Keiser, D-Kent, Bob Hasegawa, D-Beacon Hill, and Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue
Proposals before the state Legislature would grant new protections from sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace. The bills come after national reports about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s alleged repeated bullying and sexual harassment of women who worked for him. The news came at...

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