News from Olympia

As the state capitol, many of the decisions and actions taken in Olympia have a direct impact on readers of the Northern Kittitas County Tribune. The Washington State Journal provides these articles written by WNPA journalism interns stationed in Olympia during the legislative session and other sources for publication by member news media organizations including the Tribune. Most Recent Articles Below (see archives here)


 

Lawmakers send $59 billion budget to governor

Major transportation funding goes undone Budget funnels billions to public health, childcare By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal As the end of the mostly virtual legislative session drew near April 25, lawmakers passed a hefty $59 billion budget that will funnel...

read more

Significant police reform on track in Legislature

When deadly force is justified a key focus More community oversight also proposed By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal Limits on the use of force by police and investigations of officers who have a pattern of misconduct continue to make their way through the...

read more

HB 1356 would end Native imagery for public schools, teams

30 high schools in Washington affected Little opposition to the bill so far By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal Ivy Pete remembers attending high school football games in her hometown. But instead of pride for her school, she felt humiliated. Pete, a junior in...

read more

Worker whistleblower law advances in Legislature

Allows lawsuits for unfair labor practices Opponents say worker protections are adequate now Angelica Relente Columbia Basin Herald A bill moving through the Washington Legislature would allow workers to bring legal action if labor laws are not upheld. The bill, House...

read more

Proposed phone tax will pay for suicide prevention

FCC makes 988 new number for National Suicide Prevention line Program and call centers funded by phone line tax beginning Oct. 2021 By Joseph Claypoole Washington State Journal Conncecting people considering suicide with immediate help is the aim of a proposed law...

read more

College Bound Scholarship gets boost

Help for low-income students passes Senate At least 10,000 more students eligible with current changes By Joseph Claypoole Washington State Journal The College Bound Scholarship for Washington students is being reworked to reach more students across the state....

read more

Eviction protections approved by Senate 

Democrats pass bills over GOP objections Free legal advice approved for tenants By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal As the end of an emergency eviction moratorium looms over thousands of Washington renters, a bill requiring landlords to have just cause for...

read more

Capital gains tax narrowly passes Senate

Vote was 25-24 after several hours of debate Saturday Lawmakers against the bill call it an income tax By Patric Haerle Washington State Journal A tax on capital gains, the sale of assets like stocks and bonds, passed the Senate by a single vote March 6. The bill was...

read more

 Frontline workers to start receiving vaccines March 22

Inslee lays out vaccination plan National distribution effort appears steady By Patric Haerle Washington State Journal Essential frontline workers, such as grocery store employees, will begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines later this month, Gov. Jay Inslee announced...

read more

Inslee signs bills to help students

Teachers now priority in vaccination plan  Graduation requirements waived for some By Patric Haerle Washington State Journal The return to in-person education in public schools is underway. Gov. Jay Inslee signed two bills March 2, assuring students affected by the...

read more

State revenue forecast rosier than expected

Employment growth expected by mid-2021 Construction and housing sectors see increase By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal Though unemployment and consumer uncertainty remain high, the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council officials told...

read more

Bill that bans private prisons wins bipartisan support

Would close an ICE facility in Tacoma in 2025 Complaints made of spoiled food, use of solitary confinement By Patric Haerle Washington State Journal Washington’s only private detention center is proposed for closure. House Bill 1090 prohibits any person, business or...

read more

Curbside alcohol service proposed for extension

Bill passes House on a 86-12 vote ID verification changed to check-and-sign By Joseph Claypoole Washington State Journal People will continue to be able to get a mixed drink with their takeout food until 2023 under a bill now moving to the state Senate for...

read more

House approves ban on certain police use-of-force tactics

Chokeholds prohibited, car chases limited Military equipment not allowed By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal A ban on the use of chokeholds, military equipment, and most types of car chases by law enforcement passed the House of Representatives after lawmakers...

read more

Clean fuels bill approved by the House

Bill was heavily opposed by Republicans, fuel producers Some industries exempt until 2028  By Joseph Claypoole Washington State Journal A low carbon fuel bill passed the state House of Representatives Feb. 27 in a 52-46 vote with every Republican voting no. Its next...

read more

Juneteenth steps toward state holiday status

Marks the day many slaves learned they were free Some think the state cost is too high By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley, D-Seattle, often sees her grandmother’s features when she looks in the mirror. She thinks of how her...

read more

Police accountability bills push through Legislature

Limits proposed on use of lethal force Better training, higher qualifications endorsed By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal Outrage over deaths of citizens in police custody sparked efforts by lawmakers to address racial equity, hiring and training, and the use of...

read more

Republican budget proposal cuts programs, uses rainy-day fund

Plan ends bonus for National Board Certified teachers Budget balanced without new taxes By Patric Haerle Washington State Journal House Republicans released their proposed state budget Feb. 16, saying it shows how a Republican-controlled Legislature could craft a...

read more

Revised capital gains tax advances

No Republican amendments approved Homes, small businesses exempted By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal A capital gains excise tax moved one step closer to approval Feb. 17 despite opposition from Republican lawmakers who call the law an unnecessary income tax and...

read more

Suicide prevention team idea moves forward

Amendments broaden scope of project Next stop for bill is appropriations By Joseph Claypoole Washington State Journal A Washington Youth Suicide Review Team is one step closer to reality after legislators passed substitute HB 1354 out of committee in a 11-2 vote. Rep....

read more

Free attorneys, extended ban on evictions considered

Broad new powers proposed for renters Property owners call bill “horrible” By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal An extension of an eviction moratorium for another two years and free attorneys for tenants who face eviction are proposed in a new bill that landlords...

read more

Year-round school coming to Washington

Lower income students hit harder by summer learning loss 30 school districts can choose to participate  By Joseph Claypoole Washington State Journal The summer months are coming to an end, children are heading back to school, but they are experiencing summer learning...

read more

In wake of major data breach, cyber security office proposed

By Patric Haerle Washington State Journal Reeling from a December breach that allowed hackers to access the personal information of roughly 1.6 million Washington residents, state lawmakers are working with Gov. Jay Inslee to establish a new office to protect state...

read more

Inslee defends regional reopening plan

State has vaccinated over 700,000 individuals Freedom Caucus forms to press for quicker openings By Joseph Claypoole Washington State Journal Gov. Jay Inslee defended his plan to phase in the opening of businesses by region, saying he knows it goes too slow for some...

read more

Mandated homeless shelters draw criticism

Bill requires police presence on site Drugs and alcohol not allowed By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal Homeless shelters would be located in many cities and counties and supplied with mental health, employment and police resources if a bill under consideration...

read more

Democrats push new tax on billionaires 

Could raise $5 billion from fewer than 100 taxpayers Detractors fear plan could drive Washington’s wealthiest out of state By Patric Haerle Washington State Journal House Democrats are rallying around a proposal to tax Washington State’s billionaires. House Bill 1406...

read more

Navy gets approval for state park training

Commissioners vote on amended proposal, 4-3 in favor Navy says public won’t notice any differences By Joseph Claypoole Washington State Journal Training for Navy SEALs in state parks was approved by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission in a 4-3 vote...

read more

Elementary school class wants state dinosaur named

Only fossil found came from Sucia Island 12 other states have official dinosaurs Staff Washington State Journal Washington State may soon have a new state dinosaur, thanks to the efforts of an elementary school class and the Washington State Legislature. The proposed...

read more

$25.8 billion transportation plan hikes gas tax 18 cents

$2.5 billion set aside for carbon reduction Republicans baffled by lack of involvement By Joseph Claypoole Washington State Journal Washington drivers will pay an extra 18 cents per gallon in gas taxes if a new 16-year, $25.8 billion transportation package backed by...

read more

Lawmakers push competing COVID-19 packages

Republicans want to spend more using rainy day fund Both plans aid schools, businesses, vaccine distribution By Patric Haerle Washington State Journal Relief for renters, schools, public health agencies and small businesses is rushing through the state Legislature,...

read more

Unlawful calls to police get scrutiny

Some calls appear motivated by racism Is this a problem here? opponents ask By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal A person who unlawfully summons the police on someone could face a civil action lawsuit under a proposed law that is gaining traction in the...

read more

Capital gains tax gets a harsh reception

New more business friendly bill likely Republicans say it looks like an income tax By Patric Haerle Washington State Journal A different take on Gov. Jay Inslee’s capital gains tax, less broad and friendlier to small family-owned businesses, will likely be introduced...

read more

Inslee lowers age of those eligible for vaccines

He acknowledges roll out has had problems Just when vaccine shipments will increase is unknown  By Joseph Claypoole Washington State Journal Just when residents of Washington will have access to a COVID-19 vaccine depends on how many doses the federal government...

read more

Security increased for Legislature’s opening day

Officials weigh security preparation in light of Wednesday attacks and planned protest No arrests made after an attack on governor’s mansion in Olympia Inslee acknowledges contrast between security response Wednesday in nation’s capital    By Joseph Claypoole...

read more

Parents, educators worry Inslee schools budget falls short

Concerns voiced around school transportation, special education, enrollment See proposed budget as ‘a good start’ By Patric Haerle Washington State Journal Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed budget for the upcoming biennium calls for $570 million in new education spending,...

read more

Use of police force elicits emotional testimony

Minority communities disproportionately affected Some police representatives say the bill goes too far By Sydney Brown Washington State Journal A proposed ban on the use of chokeholds, unleashed K-9 dogs and other use-of-force tactics by law enforcement is just the...

read more
Cle Elum NOW TONIGHT TOMORROW Clear 27° Mostly clear 26°LO Mostly clear 38°HI Get your Christmas tree as soon as you can More Maps