State News

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...
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...
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...
State lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are pushing a bill to exempt themselves from public records requests. The move comes on the heels of a court ruling that the Legislature is required to adhere to the state’s open government laws. The bill, SB 6617, would directly amend the state’s Public...

From left, Reps. Kristine Lytton, House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, Timm Ormsby, and June Robinson announce the House Democrats’ budget proposal. Photo by Josh Kelety
Democrats in both chambers of the state Legislature are at odds over adding more funding to public education and how to cut property taxes across Washington. Banking on a promising tax revenue forecast, Senate Democrats want to use excess tax revenue to fund public K-12 teacher salaries and cut...
A proposed bill that easily passed the House of Representatives would provide discrimination protections for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. HB 2661 makes it unlawful for an employer to fire employee or discriminate in hiring based on victimization of sexual assault or domestic...
Just in time to meet the cutoff deadline to move bills out of committees, the state Senate Transportation Committee passed a bill that would lower car tab taxes, matching similar efforts in the House. The bill, SB 5955, sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer, D–Bellevue, would require that the Puget Sound...
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...
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...
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...

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