As a public service, the Northern Kittitas County Tribune offers these full length press releases from National, State, Regional and Local agencies to all website users. Click on article title to see full stories of the summaries listed below.

Personal objection will no longer exempt children from school vaccinations

Lawmakers aim to improve “herd immunity” in Washington state Lawmakers aim to stop the ongoing measles outbreak with passage of bill   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA – The Washington House of Representatives concurred with Senate amendments on Tuesday that remove the personal exemption to the measles vaccine and send the legislation […]

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New law erases or extends statute of limitations for various sex crimes

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee shakes hands with Dinah Griffey after signing Senate Bill 5649. Inslee mentioned both Rep. Dan Griffey and his wife Dinah Griffey in his remarks on the bill. – Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau   Removes statute of limitations for most child sex offenses Increases statute for rape […]

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SuperSoncis player Jack Sikma honored with Senate resolution

Former Seattle SuperSonics NBA player, Jack Sikma, took the podium in the Senate chamber on Thursday, as he was honored with a Senate resolution. Sikma was recently inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. – Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau

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Woman completes 17-day hunger strike for Southern Resident Orcas

Lanni Johnson breaks her 17-day fast with an orange on Wednesday. She is joined by supporters including Phil Myers from the North Olympic Orca Pod activist group dressed in an orca suit. – Photo by Emma Emperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau   Johnson reached her goal to not eat for 17 days Orca activists push […]

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Daylight saving time year-round passes Senate

Dependent on U.S. Congress approval Other states have similar legislation in the works   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — Legislation to make daylight saving time the year-round standard passed the Senate Tuesday evening in a bipartisan 46-2 vote. The bill would put Washington on Pacific Daylight Time year-round, pending approval of […]

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Felon voting rights legislation signed by Gov. Inslee

Governor Jay Inslee signs Sen. Manka Dhingra’s bill April 17. The bill requires information to be provided to felons on their voting rights after being released from custody. – Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau   Clearly outlines process for felons to regain their voting rights Provides felons with voter registration form and […]

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Getting eyeball tattoos to be illegal in Washington State

Bill will ban the procedure of scleral tattooing Lawmakers aim to prevent potential eye damage   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — The state Senate voted on Tuesday to make the procedure of scleral tattooing illegal in Washington State. The bill passed the House on March 8 in a 94-4 vote. Scleral […]

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Activists rally for woman on hunger strike to draw attention to plight of orcas

Photos by Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau Lanni Johnson of Snohomish is on a 17-day fast in front of the Washington State Capitol building, to convince lawmakers the Southern Resident Orcas need help now. On Friday more people who worry about the survival of the orcas, which have been declining in numbers, set up […]

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Legislation to reduce rape kit processing times heads to governor

Currently 10,000 untested kits in Washington Sets the goal of ending the backlog by 2021 Would reduce testing time to 45 days beginning in 2022   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — A bill to reduce the processing time for sexual assault kits passed the Washington legislature in two unanimous votes. Sexual […]

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Olympia sized cherry blossoms in full bloom

Spring brings a burst of cherry blossoms to the Washington State Capitol as lawmakers put the finishing touches on their 2019 legislative session, scheduled to end on April 28. – Photos by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau

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Woman on a 17- day hunger strike to save the Southern Resident Orcas

Lanni Johnson sitting in front of the capitol building steps where she has been on a hunger strike for the last 9 days to save the Southern Resident Orcas. Johnson is joined by supporter, Phil Myers, who can be seen in an orca onesie. – Photo by Emma Emperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau   Lanni Johnson […]

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Senate passes amended operating budget, negotiations begin

More than half of expenditures to go to K-12 education Senate version still smaller than House version Negotiations between House and Senate begin with session scheduled to end April 28   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — The state Senate passed an amended version of the operating budget totalling $52.5 billion for […]

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Legislation to confiscate firearms in domestic violence situations moves forward

Firearms would be removed from domestic violence situations for 5 days Already considered a best practice but not done statewide Measure has already passed the House   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — A bill to require the removal of firearms from domestic violence calls if there is probable cause that a […]

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School librarians demonstrate at the Capitol to protest funding cuts

Seattle Public School’s librarians hold up signs on the capitol building steps, in protest of funding cuts that have resulted in cuts to libraries. Kate Eads, who organized the event, can be seen holding a megaphone addressing the group.—Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau   All Seattle schools will go to half day […]

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Brexit for Brits … Lexit for Washington’s eastside

by Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau With Brexit in international news this week, the Washington Capitol had its own version with a “Lexit” rally in support of carving the State of Liberty out of the eastern side of the state. About 50 people traveled across the Cascade Mountains from Eastern Washington to let their […]

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Senate Democrats roll out budget and accompanying “Fix Our Tax Code” plan

Includes a graduated Real Estate Excise Tax and separate Capital Gains Tax Large increases in funding are similar to House proposal Includes new insurance premium tax increase to combat wildfires   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau The Senate Democrats introduced their operating budget proposal on Friday totaling $52.2 billion — an increase of […]

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Bill to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21 heads to governor to sign into law

18-year-olds will still be able to purchase tobacco products on tribal lands Washington is the ninth state to raise the age to 21   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau The legal age to purchase tobacco and vape products is about to rise from 18 to 21 under a bill headed to the governor’s […]

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‘Ghost Gun’ bill moves to Senate Committees

Would make 3-D printed guns illegal, along with the sale of said guns Similar to the previously reported Senate Bill Recent case on ghost guns in New Jersey makes it a national issue   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau Undetectable and untraceable firearms and their creation would be illegal under proposed legislation. These […]

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Malicious harassment renamed hate crime in proposed legislation

By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau Newly named hate crime offenses would let courts infer the offense was due to the perception of the victim’s association with a protected class, unless evidence suggests otherwise. The legislation would also create a multidisciplinary Hate Crime Advisory Working Group under the attorney general. The group would work […]

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House Democrats propose budget that includes new taxes

Utilizes increase economic growth revenue to fund education Includes new taxes like capital gains and real estate excise   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau The House of Representatives’ budget proposal includes a capital gains and real estate excise tax along with business and occupation tax changes to raise revenue. The operating, capital, and […]

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Halfway through his first legislative session Rep. Ybarra plans to run for re-election

DISTRICT 13 State Representative Alex Ybarra (R-Quincy) who was appointed to the House in January. — Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau   By Emma Epperly Rep. Alex Ybarra describes his time so far in the Washington State Legislature as a whirlwind. Ybarra was appointed to the Washington House of Representatives in January […]

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Lawmakers propose an increase in school levy rates

Would increase levy cap from $1.50 to $2.50 Mixed feelings on the policy from school districts statewide Majority of school districts say they need additional funding.   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau Voter-approved school levy lid rates would rise from $1.50 to $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed property, under Senate Bill 5313, currently […]

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Lawmakers consider extending eviction process timeline

Already passed the Senate, Would give tenants 14 days before process begins   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau Protecting tenant rights through increasing the length of eviction proceedings is part of eviction-reform legislation, currently in the state House of Representatives. The House Committee on Civil Rights and Judiciary heard public testimony on Engrossed […]

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Native American Voting Rights Act signed into law

Allows non-traditional addresses to be used for voter registration on tribal lands Election officials must have access by public roads to ballot drop boxes on tribal lands     By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau The Native American Voting Rights act was signed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee at a widely attended ceremony, Thursday. […]

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Daylight saving all the time proposed for state

Washington residents could have the option to vote on permanent daylight saving time Senate passes bill allowing residents to vote on adoption of daylight saving time   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA–Washington residents could vote to make daylight saving time year-round under a bill state senators passed on Tuesday, March 12. Engrossed […]

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