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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Senate Higher Ed panel also OKs WSU med school bill

OLYMPIA -- Washington State University's plans for a medical school in Spokane took a second step forward today as a Senate panel passed the bill that gives its regents the authority to pursue that.

Bill exempts adult riders from mandatory helmet wearing

OLYMPIA – If adults don’t want to wear helmets while riding motorcycles, they shouldn’t have to, said supporters of a bill to lift Washington’s helmet requirement for riders 18 and older. Washington is one of 19 states that require a helmet for anyone riding a motorcycle or moped on state highways, county roads and city streets. The bill, SB 5198, which got a hearing Monday before the Senate Transportation Committee, would allow adults to forgo protective headgear.

Washington’s ‘Sheena’s Law’ presented to committee

OLYMPIA – Family and friends of a woman killed by her husband at a Spokane hospital last July tried to make it clear Monday they are not anti-gun. They are pro-warning. Although a gun-rights group questioned whether Sheena Henderson’s law would infringe on the Second Amendment, her father Gary Kennison said the proposal has nothing to do with taking guns away from people. Instead, it’s about letting family members know when a person who may be suffering from mental health issues or was accused of domestic violence gets their guns back from police custody.

Bill would expand rules on driving, cellphone use

OLYMPIA – Drivers can’t text or make phone calls on Washington roads, but state law doesn’t say anything about checking email, browsing Facebook or taking selfies. Lawmakers didn’t include those activities when creating the restrictions in 2007, just before smartphone apps exploded in popularity. The law took effect in June 2008, and Apple introduced the App Store a month later.

WALeg Day 26: Action on med school bill delayed

OLYMPIA -- A committee vote on the WSU medical school legislation was delayed this morning. Official reason was too many bills on the agenda to get to it. But there's also some behind-the-scenes jockeying over amendments.

State Senate GOP seeks to change clean energy rules

OLYMPIA – Republican legislators want to change the state law that says rivers and streams are not a renewable energy source. A Senate bill would allow electric utilities to spend less on renewable energy but get more of it from hydroelectric dams. State law requires that utilities get at least 9 percent of their power from renewable sources.

Legislative committee takes on testy wolves and wildfire bills

OLYMPIA – Two of the most contentious issues in rural Eastern Washington, wildfires and wolves, are generating demands for change and a stream of legislative proposals. After a hearing on bills directed at one or the other Thursday, the chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee said he’ll try to work with sponsors to craft compromise legislation on each.

WALeg Day 25: Work ahead on wolf and wildfire bills

OLYMPIA –Two of the most contentious issues in rural Eastern Washington, wildfires and wolves, are generating demands for change and a stream of legislative proposals. The chairman of the committee handling both issues said he'll try to work with sponsors to craft compromise legislation on each.

Bills float wage floor for teens

OLYMPIA – Bosses could pay teen workers less in the summer or whenever they start a new job, under a pair of bills aired in a contentious Senate committee hearing Wednesday. New employees between ages 14 and 19 could be paid the federal minimum wage, $7.25 an hour, instead of the state minimum of $9.47, between June and August under one proposal sponsored by Sen. Mike Baumgartner. Another proposal by the Spokane Republican would let new employees between 16 and 19 receive 85 percent of the state minimum, or about $8.05.

WALeg Day 24: Spirited teen wage debate

OLYMPIA – Bosses could pay teen workers less in the summer or whenever they start a new job, under a pair of bills aired in a contentious Senate committee hearing Wednesday.

WALeg Day 24: Hemp, teen wages and energy plans

OLYMPIA -- The Senate unanimously passes a bill legalizing industrial hemp, and committees take up topics ranging from minimum wages for teens to charges for electronic public records

House to address disparities in pot laws

OLYMPIA – A House panel rolled 18 different proposals to change Washington’s marijuana laws into a single wide-ranging bill Monday, hoping to address at least some problems with the state’s medical and recreational pot systems. As currently written, the bill includes some contradictory provisions. Several sections restrict the ability of cities or counties to ban recreational marijuana businesses in some sections; another bans all recreational pot and any medical form of the drug that doesn’t come in a pill.

WALeg Day 22: 18 pot bills rolled into HB 1461

OLYMPIA –A House panel rolled 18 different proposals to change Washington’s marijuana laws into a single wide-ranging bill Monday, hoping to address at least some problems with the state’s medical and recreational pot systems. As currently written, the bill includes some contradictory provisions.

Sunday Spin: Where to start in opening the budget process?

OLYMPIA – Openness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder for government officials. This is clear in the discussions – some might call them grumblings – of proposed raises for state employees included in Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed budget after contract negotiations between his staff and the heads of the employees’ unions.

Bills suggest raising child porn fines for offenders

OLYMPIA – In an effort to fight rapidly growing cases of child pornography in Washington, legislators are considering raising the fines when offenders are found with those images. Washington has nearly 17,000 cases of child pornography possession each year, with more than half directly linked to rape and abuse, law enforcement officials said. A pair of bills would charge offenders $1,000 for each image found in their possession.

Inslee, lawmakers all hail Hawkington

OLYMPIA – Which of the following did not happen at the Capitol on Friday?  A. Seahawks jerseys replaced business attire in the Legislature.

WALeg Day 19: National Guard, Seahawks get shout out

OLYMPIA -- Legislators are honoring the Washington National Guard for its members' service, and the Seattle Seahawks for their season thus far. Many of them are in some form of Seahawks attire, as the dress rules have been loosened for the day.