State News

Under a sea of umbrellas, hundreds of pro-life activists held roses and signs on the steps of the Capitol Legislative Building in Olympia on Monday, Jan. 22.  Republican lawmakers spoke to the crowd at the annual March For Life calling for a halt to several abortion and contraception bills. “We...
For the second year in a row, state lawmakers are pursuing legislation to ban the use of the death penalty in Washington. As written, the bill—which was requested by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and has bipartisan support—would prevent local prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in...
Democrats in the state Senate are pushing back against the Federal Communications Commission through a number of bills designed to protect net neutrality in Washington. In April 2015, the FCC established new rules that reclassified broadband services as telecommunications, which made the internet...
The state Legislature passed a capital budget on Thursday, Jan. 18—a day late for affordable housing projects across the state to receive crucial funding. Affordable housing developers had until 5 p.m. on Jan. 17 to apply for federal low income housing tax credits from the Washington State Housing...
Washington's new Commissioner of Public Lands
Hilary Franz is sworn in as Washington State’s Commissioner of Public Lands Jan. 11. — Photo provided by the Department of Natural Resources
OLYMPIA, Jan. 26 -- Hilary Franz became the state’s new commissioner of Public Lands last month after earning that title in the November election. The management of much of the state’s natural resources rests with her department. Washington is one of only four states that elect public lands...
OLYMPIA, Jan. 26 –– Two new bills could drive a deeper wedge between you and your smartphone on the road if passed by the state Legislature. Drafted by Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-Seattle, House Bill 1371 effectively prohibits any hands on interaction with handhelds of any kind while behind the wheel....

Rick Halle, national coordinator of the Gun Rights Coalition, addresses attendees to the Rally 4 UR Rights rally at the Washington State Capitol Jan. 13. "Gun rights is a non-partisan issue,” Halle said, urging supporters to remember the second amendment is an American right, not just a conservative or republican right. Various bills have been introduced to the legislature regarding gun rights and control, including a bill that would require gun dealers to offer to sell or give a lock or lock box with every gun sale. — Photo by Enrique Pérez de la Rosa, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
After the heavily backed and massively popular ballot measure, Initiative 1491, passed with 69 percent of the popular vote in Washington last November, lawmakers in Olympia have proposed legislation to protect gun rights from further restrictions. The initiative has not significantly changed the...
Hirst Decision impacts development
A well driller works on the end cap of a well just finished. As a result of a Supreme Court decision last fall, management of groundwater withdrawals are in turmoil as counties now left with the task are unable to determine how well systems affect nearby rivers and those already with operating wells. Rural landowners are being denied building permits as a result. — Photo courtesy of Department of Ecology
OLYMPIA Jan. 26 — A polite but passionate debate concerning water access in rural Washington unfolded Tuesday before the Senate Agriculture, Trade, Water and Economic Development Committee. A public hearing on SB 5024 and SB 5239, aiming to relieve water resource limits as a result of a recent...

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