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 WNPA Olympia News Bureau provides these articles written by journalism interns stationed in Olympia during the legislative session and other sources. To learn more about the interns working to bring you this information, see their bios here. 2019 Articles (most recent first)


 

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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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....

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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...

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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...

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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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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Carbon fee back on the table for Washington

By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia News Bureau Despite past voter rejection of similar proposals, Senate Transportation Committee chair Steve Hobbs rolled out a comprehensive funding package that would impose a carbon pollution fee and gas tax increase to fund transportation...

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Senate unanimously votes to create statewide broadband office

Creates grant and loan program to fund broadband expansion Unsure if House will pick up Senate version or go with House version   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau A statewide broadband office would be created under legislation passed by the Washington state...

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House passes bill to increase pay of National Guard

Law would increase pay for National Guard members helping with wildland fires National Guard members could see increased compensation for wildfire response   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA—State representatives passed a bill in a 94-0 vote on...

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AG Ferguson responds to questions about gun control initiative

State AG sends letter to all 39 sheriffs across the state regarding gun control AG Ferguson explains points of confusion in gun control measure   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson released a “Frequently Asked Questions”...

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Legislators get wheelie serious about motorized scooters

Scooter and bike share services have gained traction across the country lawmakers in Washington try and tackle regulation of these services   By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia News Bureau The state legislature may increase regulation on motor scooter share services in...

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Inslee launches 2020 presidential campaign

  By Sean Harding WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA – Governor Jay Inslee announced he is seeking the presidency of the United States in a video focused on climate change posted on his Facebook page early Friday. Inslee joins 14 other Democrats and one Republican,...

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Washington representatives stand up for Puerto Rico

By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — Washington may become the fourth state to petition the federal government to integrate Puerto Rico into the United States, as a step toward becoming a state. Currently, the Puerto Rico is an unincorporated U.S....

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Bill to require comprehensive sex education passes senate

Requires comprehensive sexual education for all K-12 public schools Continues to allow parents to exempt their children from sex ed Focus on medically and scientifically accurate curriculums   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — The state Senate, in a...

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Legislature hears public testimony on $30 Car Tab Initiative

Initiative would reduce car tabs to a flat rate and will appear on November ballot Opponents say it would harm transportation funding   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau The Senate and House transportation committees heard public testimony Tuesday on Tim...

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Ethical issues with facial recognition addressed by Legislature

Many companies have developed facial recognition software House Bill 1654 will place restrictions on how state agencies can use the technology for surveillance   By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia News Bureau Washington State may impose restrictions on law enforcement’s use...

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Law would support full recovery of gray wolves

Lawmakers seek to review the status of gray wolves as an endangered species Washington state aims to protect gray wolves   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — A proposed bill would support the full recovery of gray wolves in Washington state, as well...

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Law could prohibit eye tattoos in Washington state

A proposed bill would ban the procedure of scleral tattooing Lawmakers aim to ban the practice of scarring the human eye   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — Lawmakers aim to prohibit scleral tattooing, otherwise known as the practice of scarring or...

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House passes bill to raise age limit for tobacco sales

Washington state becomes one step closer to increasing tobacco sales age House of Representatives pass bill to raise tobacco sales from 18 to 21   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA--A proposed law to raise the minimum age of vapor and tobacco sales...

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Lawmakers seek to regulate homeless camps on church property

Would prohibit local governments to ban church sponsored homeless camps that are hosted for six months out of the year, or four consecutive months. Bill is in conflict with some cities’ ordinances   By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia Bureau Washington cities like Lynnwood,...

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Senate bill would ban homeless camps near schools

Senator Curtis King, R-Yakima, testifies in support of Senate Bill 5882, which he is prime sponsor, at the Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Committee Monday. If it becomes law, the legislation would prohibit municipalities from sanctioning homeless...

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Proposed Public Records bill is dead

Senator withdraws bill exempting legislature from public disclosure of some records By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau A proposal to provide exemptions to the Public Records Act for the Legislature is dead, according to bill sponsor, Jamie Pederson, D-Seattle....

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Social media extortion could be a new crime in Washington state

Lawmakers seek to ban online extortion of businesses Washington state aims to end cyber extortion   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — Washington state senators aim to make social media extortion a crime punishable as a class C felony. Senate Bill...

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State senators aim to create self-harm hotline

Hotline would receive reports of potential self-harm and criminal acts Proposed bill seeks to improve suicide prevention in Washington state By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA–Lawmakers seek to create a hotline designated for reports of potential...

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People who want to live in State of Liberty rally at Capitol

By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia News Bureau Representative Matt Shea, R-Spokane, was greeted by a few dozen constituents on Friday in support of Second Amendment rights and his proposal to split Washington along the Cascades and create a 51st state to the east called...

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A proposal to remove and replace statue of state pioneer

By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia News Bureau In the front lobby of Washington State’s legislative building stands a larger-than-life bronze statue of Marcus Whitman, an exact replica of one located in the National Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. This, and other...

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Adult entertainers seek safer workplace standards

Proposed bill will hold employers accountable for safety of dancers Lawmakers target unsafe establishments for adult entertainers   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA--Lawmakers aim to improve the safety and security of adult entertainers in Washington...

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Senate passes bill to remove the death penalty

Measure now goes to House of Representatives Senate passed similar bill in 2018, did not get a vote in House Currently the death penalty is not valid per the state Supreme Court   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau The Senate passed a bill Friday to remove the...

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State government digging out

Workers shovel snow off the steps of the Capitol building in Olympia as the Legislature slogs back to resume normal operations Wednesday. The city received several inches of snow, sleet and rain and many legislative hearings were canceled as area snow plows struggled...

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Lawmakers propose new agency to administer guest worker visas

Would create state Office of H-2A Compliance and Farm Labor Aims to increase domestic worker hiring Program to be supported by fees paid by farmers   By Sean Harding WNPA Olympia News Bureau The state Employment Security Department wants lawmakers to create a new...

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