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Monday, October 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: washington legislature


With Shea under investigation, a look back at the only Washington House member ever expelled

As critics and supporters of Rep. Matt Shea await the findings of an independent investigation of the Spokane Valley Republican, they should know one thing: When voters send a person …


UPDATED: Thu., July 18, 2019, 7:47 a.m.

Spokane School Board votes to dip into reserves to reduce cuts, but it hasn’t decided what will be saved

The Spokane Public School Board of Directors chose Wednesday to spend more of its rainy day funds but to delay many of the tougher budget decisions facing the district next …


Court to hear arguments on whether lawmakers can deny public records requests

Washington Supreme Court will hear arguments whether legislators individually are subject to Public Records Act or can refuse to release some documents.


Delays in Washington drug testing after death leaves some families without life insurance benefits

A process that used to take several weeks is now taking several months, due to a backlog of needed blood tests at the state’s lone laboratory in Seattle. While the …


Psychiatric hospital staff struggle with assault, chickenpox

While Washington’s lawmakers and governor celebrated their efforts to fix the state’s ailing mental health system, workers at the state’s largest psychiatric hospital struggled with a new assault, sewage flooding, …


UPDATED: Fri., May 10, 2019, 8:49 p.m.

Washington state limits exemptions for measles vaccine

Parents in Washington state will no longer be able to claim a personal or philosophical exemption for their children from receiving the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine before attending …


UPDATED: Mon., May 6, 2019, 8:16 p.m.

Lawmakers approved plan to fix the mental health system

Washington legislators took substantial steps to reshape the mental-health system, including funding for new facilities, legislation to increase the number of qualified workers, and the creation of new types of …


Sue Lani Madsen: Road not taken – what didn’t pass in 2019

Once again, the Washington legislature adjourned without agreeing to pay its fair share of election costs. “Could have been worse, but still not a good session for local government. They …


Affirmative action initiative likely to spur local discussions about race, gender in employment and recruiting

The Legislature’s action late Sunday night to overturn a 20-year ban on “affirmative action” policies may cause local school districts, governments and universities to re-evaluate the makeup of their workplaces.


Teacher protests hang over state lawmakers in budget season

The shadow of the past year’s teacher protest movement is hanging over state capitals, where officials are piecing together the money to make good on promised pay raises and try …


UPDATED: Wed., April 24, 2019, 10:35 p.m.

Rape kit backlog bill signed into law

Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a measure that seeks to eliminate a backlog of about 10,000 untested rape kits by December 2021.


UPDATED: Tue., April 23, 2019, 8:59 p.m.

‘Ghost gun’ limits clear Washington Legislature

The Washington state Legislature on Tuesday approved new limits on untraceable, undetectable firearms, including the 3D-printed guns at the center of a high-profile federal case.


UPDATED: Fri., April 19, 2019, 9:34 p.m.

Do nurses spend time ‘playing cards’? Washington senator’s remarks spark outrage

State Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-College Place, has drawn the wrath of state nurses after she said on the floor of the Senate that some nurses may spend a considerable part …


UPDATED: Fri., April 19, 2019, 9:51 p.m.

Holocaust education bill signed in Washington state

Schools in Washington will be ‘strongly encouraged’ to teach students about the Holocaust under a bill signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee, with advocates pointing to a spike in …


Inslee signs measure to codify some health care rules

OLYMPIA – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a measure to ensure that some of the Affordable Care Act’s federal protections are protected in state law. Inslee signed the measure …


Legislature: Breed bans must have ‘good citizen’ exemption

Finding out just who’s a good dog is set to become the responsibility of local jurisdictions under new rules on breed bans passed by the Legislature.


UPDATED: Tue., April 2, 2019, 10:05 p.m.

Washington nurses, hospitals at odds over bill limiting overtime, requiring rest breaks

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Marcus Riccelli, would require hospitals to provide nurses uninterrupted rest breaks as required by state law and prevent scheduling of mandatory overtime. Hospitals say the …


UPDATED: Tue., March 26, 2019, 6:35 a.m.

Staff reductions looming at Spokane, Mead and West Valley school districts following pay raises, change in funding

A shift in the tax burden from local districts to Olympia, paired with wage hikes to teachers last fall, has several local school districts declaring financial hardship as they’re planning …


UPDATED: Thu., March 21, 2019, 9:55 a.m.

Could hemp be Washington’s next cash crop? Lawmakers eye new system amid CBD boom, marijuana expansion

Both chambers of the Washington Legislature have passed laws that would create a state system for licensing hemp production. The long-outlawed cousin of marijuana hasn’t taken off in the Evergreen …


Few pot convictions thrown out in Spokane, as Washington state considers similar amnesty law

The Spokane City Council passed a measure at the end of 2015 that would allow those with misdemeanor marijuana convictions to petition the court for their record to be cleared. …


UPDATED: Thu., March 14, 2019, 10:23 p.m.

Washington bill would allow parents to give students marijuana extract drugs on public school grounds

The bill, which has been introduced twice before in the Washington Legislature, is intended to allow students with a documented condition treated by marijuana to receive the drug on campuses, …


Washington Legislature moves to address ‘surprise billing’ that affects 1 in 5 ER patients

Patients are showing up at emergency clinics with the expectation that their care will be covered by their health plan. But some of the ER doctors aren’t covered by the …


Most Spokane County property owners will pay less in taxes this year as school funding changes

Four out of five property owners in Spokane County will pay less on their property tax bill in 2019 compared to last year. The bulk of that savings has to …


UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 15, 2019, 8:36 p.m.

Washington lawmakers advance limits on vaccine exemptions

A House committee has advanced a measure that would remove parents’ ability to claim a personal or philosophical exemption to opt their school-age children out of the combined measles, mumps …


UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 31, 2019, 10:41 a.m.

Senate proposal would make some lawmakers’ documents public record

Legislators would have to make public some of their correspondence, documents and memos – although not as much as other government officials in Washington – under a proposal filed Thursday.


Focus on issues in this session

This year, lawmakers in Olympia should knuckle down, focus on the core issues, and leave the divisive political ones dead in committees.


Washington legislative preview: Issues to watch in the coming months

Washington legislators return to Olympia on Monday expecting more money to flow into state coffers than ever before, but with demands to spend even more.


State Sens. Mark Schoesler, Shelly Short offer GOP perspective for upcoming legislative session

The two Eastern Washington Republicans pushed back on Gov. Jay Inslee’s requests for more spending and offered their insight into issues affecting Spokane, including homelessness, in a wide-ranging interview earlier …


Public records task force: Legislature should be more transparent

A task force created after Washington lawmakers attempted to exempt themselves from the state’s Public Records Act says the Legislature should be more transparent about its workings.


UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 6, 2018, 10:55 p.m.

Former lawmaker Lynn Schindler remembered for strong values

Former Valley legislator Lynn Schindler died this week.