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)


 

Legislature promotes timber industry as carbon-negative

The legislation will make forestry sector more competitive amid carbon-emission fees Forestry advocate says the industry reduces state’s net carbon emissions by 12% By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service Washington state lawmakers have passed legislation that will...

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Washington state Legislature bans single-use plastic bags

SB 5323 banning retailers from giving out single-use plastic bags for free passed in legislation By Leona Vaughn WNPA News Service Consumers will need to remember to bring their own reusable shopping bags if they want to avoid the fee that a new law will put on...

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Fragile elderly at the hub of Washington’s COVID-19 crisis

By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service A week into the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus at a facility caring for frail and elderly people, John Weisman, secretary of the state Department of Health, described the state and federal response from the first cases of...

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Death toll rises in Washington coronavirus outbreak

By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service The coronavirus death count in Washington reached nine on Tuesday, March 3, including two people whose test results were released posthumously. On Monday, when six deaths had been reported, health officials asked state lawmakers...

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State steps up response to coronavirus outbreak

Six reported in-state deaths from the virus in less than a week Washington is first state in the nation to confirm fatalities from virus By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service Public health officials asked the Washington State Legislature for $100 million for a...

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Coronavirus in Washington

Six deaths were reported in the state over the weekend. 18 Confirmed cases in King and Snohomish counties The first death occurred in King County, a man in his 50s who was reported to have underlying health issues. The second death was a man in his 70s. He became ill...

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Parents and teachers express concerns over mandatory sex ed

Opponents to bill say the sex curriculum is not age-appropriate Proponents say school districts can choose their own curriculum By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service Parents, students and educational professionals voiced their concerns in a public hearing about a bill...

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Lawmakers move to lower cost of insulin in state

The legislature passed three bills related to insulin purchases  Bills aim to help lower the out-of-pocket cost of insulin for Washington state residents By Leona Vaughn WNPA News Service Bringing down the cost of insulin for people with diabetes is the goal behind...

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Narrow Senate vote approves collection of gun violence data

Bill sponsor says better data collection would help prevent gun violence Opponents say the legislation could create anti-gun bureaucratic office By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service The Washington Legislature is closer to creating an Office of Firearm Safety and...

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House passes bill to expand court-ordered gun confiscation

Would authorize courts to order someone subject to a vulnerable adult protection order to surrender weapons Would apply to people who have threatened to use a firearm against a vulnerable adult By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service Courts could be one step closer to...

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Washington state moves to eliminate youth solitary confinement

Studies suggest solitary confinement is psychologically damaging, and can lead teens to suicide By Leona Vaughn WNPA News Service Washington state lawmakers plan to ban solitary confinement as a form of punishment in juvenile detention facilities. “Nationally, there’s...

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Advisory votes on tax increases under fire

Senators claim advisory votes confuse voters and use biased language Opponents say voters have approved the practice for a reason By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service Advisory votes that give voters a chance to let lawmakers know their opinions on legislation to...

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Armed 2nd Amendment supporters rallied in resistance at Capitol

Protesters demanded to speak with lawmakers and asked for due process for embattled Rep. Matt Shea attendees warn of the potential for forceful resistance against a “tyrannical” government  By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service Roughly 100 gun rights activists marched...

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Senate moves to kill death penalty

Would eliminate death penalty from state law Capital crime punishment would be life in prison By Leona Vaughn WNPA News Service The death penalty would no longer be a sentencing option in Washington state if lawmakers enact a bill passed by the Senate on Friday, Jan....

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Lawmakers move to ban high-capacity magazines

Supporters say fewer bullets would increase safety. Opponents say it would infringe on their gun rights. By Leona Vaughn WNPA News Service Gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition would be outlawed under a proposed law moving through the state...

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Proposed law adds a fee to plastic bags at check out

The Senate passed a bill that would ban single-use plastic bags and place an eight-cent fee on reusable plastic bags. New carryout bags would be required to meet certain strength, durability, and reusability standards. By Leona Vaughn WNPA News Service In an attempt...

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Industry leaders worry clean-fuel program could hurt economy

Proponents believe it would incentivize necessary switch to green economy Detractors say it would impact businesses and consumers with higher costs By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service Democrats in the state Legislature are backing bills aimed at reducing carbon...

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Gun rights advocates rally at Capitol – Jan. 17, 2020

By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service OLYMPIA - On what turned out to be a cold and rainy day, nearly 150 people from across Washington gathered Jan. 17 on the state Capitol steps in support of their right to bear arms. Lawmakers and activists alike spoke to an...

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Republicans aim to guarantee $30 car tabs amid court hang-up

Lawmakers sponsor companion bills in the House and Senate Claim simplicity of proposal should prevent court interference By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service As Initiative 976, the car tabs measure approved by voters in November, is held up in the State Supreme...

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Governor talks up state’s positives, notes areas to improve

Homelessness and climate among key concerns By Leona Vaughn WNPA News Service OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee stood before the Washington Legislature to deliver his 2020 State of the State Address on Tuesday, Jan. 14. “Washington state indeed embodies the best in America,”...

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Lawmakers move to limit companies that trade your data

Lawmakers propose comprehensive data privacy laws Would give consumers more control over personal data By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service Washington lawmakers have proposed groundbreaking legislation that aims to give consumers more control over their...

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GOP Senators propose free use of state parks

Would do away with Discover Pass Parking passes would no longer be required By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service OLYMPIA — Residents and visitors will get a break if lawmakers approve a proposal to do away with Discover Pass fees for using state parks. Senate...

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Opening ceremony of Washington State Legislative session

The 2020 Washington State Legislative session began at noon Monday, Jan. 13, with an opening ceremony in which Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, was sworn in as Speaker of the House.  Rep. Jinkins is the first woman, as well as the first openly lesbian person to be...

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Homeless emergency grabs the attention of lawmakers

Many suggestions for dealing with homelessness Immediate solutions are elusive By Cameron Sheppard and Leona Vaughn WNPA News Service Lawmakers are scrambling to confront a crisis that leaves people sleeping out in the cold and rain. The complex of contributing...

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WNPA Olympia News Bureau opens for 2020 Legislative session

New WNPA office on Capitol Campus Two reporters for 60-day “short” session WNPA News Service The Washington Newspaper Publisher Association’s Olympia news bureau opened on Wednesday with two reporters in new permanent quarters on the Capitol campus. In a space large...

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Oyster harvester who faked injury must repay state $32K

OLYMPIA — A Shelton man who harvested and sold oysters while claiming he was too disabled to work has been sentenced to repay the state more than $32,000 and serve two months in custody. Jose Cruz Contreras Alvarez, 40, pleaded guilty on Nov. 12 to one count of...

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Washington Attorney General’s statement on DACA argument

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson released a statement November 12th after argument before the U.S. Supreme Court defending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. “Nearly 18,000 Dreamers live and work in Washington, and they make our...

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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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Holiday Guide & Shop Local WISH BOOK

Community Calendar Happenings

Thu 03

Pinochle

December 3 @ 12:00 PM
Thu 03

Roslyn Library Book Club

December 3 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Sat 05
Sat 05

COAL’s Clothing Center

December 5 @ 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Tue 08

Beekeepers of Kittitas County Monthly Meeting

December 8 @ 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Tue 08
Wed 09

Cle Elum Eagles Aerie #649 Meeting

December 9 @ 7:00 PM
Thu 10

Pinochle

December 10 @ 12:00 PM
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