State News

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...
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...
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...

Photo by Taylor McVoySenate 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...
The state House of representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that would reduce car tab taxes that help finance regional transportation projects. The bill, HB 2201, would require Sound Transit to change its formula for valuing cars and, by extension, tab rates--a move that mass transit advocates...
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...

Caption info: Puget Sound orcas surface near Tacoma. Photo by Mike Charest via Flickr.
Washington state’s orca whale population could receive a wealth of new legislative support, as a Senate committee Tuesday afternoon heard a bill that would require the state to add greater protections for the marine mammals, which are on the U.S. endangered species list. Senate Bill 6268, comes...

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