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)


 

Law would celebrate public lands in Washington state

Proposed bill designates fourth Saturday of September as Public Lands Day Lawmakers aim to preserve and protect public lands Holiday would promote connection between people and environment   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau Lawmakers seek to celebrate public...

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Lawmakers seek permanent solution to the homeless crisis

Bill would allow homeless people to survive in public without fear of obstruction Law prohibits discrimination based on housing status   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau A group of 11 Democratic lawmakers aims to address the rights of homeless people and...

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Law would assume kids under 14 incapable of crime

More than 3,000 12- to 14-year-olds were charged with crimes in Washington over the last six years Bill would presume this age group incapable of committing crime in an effort to keep more juveniles out of detention Prosecutors worry this would create too many...

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Lawmakers seek to reduce disparities in Washington state

Law would establish Office of Equity in Washington state Growing diversity in Washington warrants Office of Equity Proposed bill aims to eliminate systemic inequities   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA—A group of 46 Democratic representatives aims to...

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Lawmakers consider 1 percent loans for college students

By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia News Bureau Democrats are pushing to fund a program that would give Washington high school graduates access to state student loans at a one percent interest rate. A program was created in 2009 to issue low-interest educational loans, but the...

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Lawmakers celebrate Filipino Americans in Washington state

October could be designated Filipino American History Month   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau A proposed bill would establish October as Filipino American History Month in the state of Washington. House Bill 1783 is co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 12...

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Proposed legislation would make tiny-home zoning easier

Tiny homes are an affordable housing option Difficult to zone in both urban and rural communities Soap Lake Mayor discusses his zoning experience   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau Tiny houses are a trendy new housing option that are often considered...

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House talks housing: tenants and landlords remain divided

Bills heard in House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee to protect tenant rights Evictions a growing problem that disproportionately affect state’s vulnerable populations   By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia News Bureau A package of bills aimed at reforming eviction...

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Burial, cremation, or…compost?

By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia News Bureau Giving a whole new meaning to “pushing up daisies,” Washington residents may be able to compost their bodies into soil when they die. House Bill 1162 would legalize two environmentally-conscious options for body disposition —...

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Death penalty slated for execution

Legislation would remove death penalty from state statute Comes after Governor Inslee’s moratorium and Supreme Court ruling suspending death sentences By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau Legislators propose replacing the moribund death penalty with the mandatory...

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Lawmakers move to prevent youth suicide in schools

Proposed bill would implement a two-year suicide prevention program Washington state increases mental health promotion Two-year program could prevent youth suicides in Washington state   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA – A bipartisan group of 22...

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Lawmaker proposes tax reform task force

Would make recommendations to Legislature this year Seeks to make to make tax system that “better serves” Washington residents By Sean Harding WNPA Olympia News Bureau A proposal by Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Beacon Hill, would create a Washington state revenue reform task...

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Legislators roll out school safety proposals

Creation of statewide threat assessment best-practices Adds School Resource Officer training standards   By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau School resource officers, threat assessments, and statewide school safety best practices are all topics of proposed...

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Doctors lobby legislature for lower drug prices

Recent visitors to the Washington State Capitol included Rebecca Hoffman, M.D.,  a family physician based in Salmon Creek and Tony Carnevale, M.D., who works at an emergency room in Sunnyside, Oregon. They were meeting with six different legislators on Wednesday, Jan....

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Senators seeks to outlaw dwarf tossing in Washington state

Commercial establishments would be barred from hosting dwarf tossing events Dwarfs would no longer be used as sporting equipment Dwarf tossing would be banned from contests and promotions By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — A proposed bill would ban...

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Suicide review teams could prevent youth deaths

Review team could determine common factors of youth suicide Lawmakers aim to target intervention programs for youth suicide risk Bill would allow a review team to study past youth suicides in the state   By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — A...

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Lawmakers aim to ‘ditch the switch’ on daylight saving

Bill could avoid health risks by allowing year-round observation of daylight saving Daylight saving time could become permanent in Washington state Federal law must approve year-round daylight saving in Washington state  By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau...

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Wheeled drones may be coming to a sidewalk near you

Legislation would establish regulatory framework for small, wheeled-robots State Dept. of Transportation wants more safety features   By Sean Harding WNPA Olympia News Bureau The automation of life has increased significantly over the past decade. Smartphone, drones,...

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Texting motorists may face steep fines in school zones

Bill would double fine for motorists caught using a cell phone or device in school zone Revenues would be deposited into school zone safety account   By Sean Harding WNPA Olympia News Bureau A proposed bill would double the fine for motorists caught using a cellphone...

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Homeless youth support may be extended and refined by Senate

Orion Olsen, middle, testifies in favor of Senate Bill 5324 on behalf of the Mockingbird Society. In his testimony, Olsen spoke to the importance of public school faculty being educated on the resources available to homeless youth. Samie Iverson, left, and Katara...

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Students trek to Olympia to support plastic straw ban

Would ban all single use straws, even if they’re compostable or recyclable Idea came from students in Kirkland   Opposed by groups representing disabled people By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia News Bureau Despite a bus cancellation, a group of students from Kirkland’s Lake...

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Opioid overdose medication easier to access for schools

Tactic to decrease opioid epidemic statistics in Washington state Lawmakers want to make opioid overdose medication more readily available House bill would assist students at risk for an opioid-related overdose     By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau  ...

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Lawmakers seek revisions to wrongful death and injury statutes

Would eliminate residency requirement for wrongful death of a child Parents could claim damages for wrongful death of an adult child Would be retroactive By Sean Harding WNPA Olympia News Bureau A  proposal prompted by the 2015 “Ride the Ducks” accident on the Aurora...

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House bill proposes payment for college athletes

Lawmakers want to reward compensation for student athletes Bill would allow college athletes to hire agents and receive pay By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau College students enrolled in an institution of higher education in Washington state could  receive...

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Kindergartners could be taking over the month of September

Lawmakers want to celebrate young students as they begin K-12 schooling Bill created by 5th graders to support kindergartners September could be dedicated to kindergartners By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau September could be declared as the month of the...

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Thousands show up at hearing on proposed state gun laws

High-capacity magazine legislation reintroduced 3-D printed firearms covered for first time Domestic violence and extreme risk protection orders also addressed By Sean Harding WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — More than 2,000 people signed into the Senate Law and...

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Lawmakers propose plan to reduce food waste by 50 percent

Reducing food waste could help solve hunger A step towards sustainability in Washington state By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau   Three representatives from the Democratic caucus are sponsoring a bill to work towards reducing food waste by consumers and...

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Lawmakers want to eliminate postage for voters

Vote by mail could become postage-free in Washington state Free postage for ballots could change the future of voting in Washington state Could increase voter participation By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau   A proposed law requested by Gov. Jay Inslee...

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Creation of State Broadband Office focus for Gov. Inslee

New agency aims to make internet access statewide   Wide rural and tribal support By Emma Epperly WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA - Jan. 16, 2019 - The creation of a Statewide Broadband Office and an initial investment of $25 million into getting broadband into...

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Lawmakers consider special honor for a clam

The Pacific razor clam could become the official state clam Washington would be the first state showing clam pride By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA - Jan. 16, 2019 - Washington may become the first state to designate an official state clam, according...

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Lawmakers scramble to save Puget Sound orcas

Lawmakers scramble to save Puget Sound orcas

Possible 3-year suspension of southern resident orca watching Many proposals aimed at benefiting Chinook salmon, the orcas’ primary food supply Would also look at strengthening existing law protecting Chinook and orcas By Sean Harding WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA...

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Lawmakers propose law to shield children from marijuana

New distance requirements for marijuana businesses in Washington A proposed bill could shield children from marijuana Lawmakers aim to keep dispensaries away from places frequented by children By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA — Jan. 15, 2019 - The...

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Lawmakers propose new strategy after voters nix carbon tax

Four environmental reform bills filed on Thursday Funding fuels partisan debate Policy switch from big approaches to smaller, regulatory policies   By Emma Scher WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA - Jan. 14, 2019 - After state voters soundly rejected a carbon fee...

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Inslee pushes state capital gains tax

Would impose 9 percent tax on capital gains starting at $25,000 Projected revenue: $975 million Homes, farms and retirement accounts exempt By Sean Harding WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA - Jan. 11, 2019 - Gov. Jay Inslee proposed a $54.4 billion state budget that...

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Medical marijuana could be allowed on school grounds

Legislature proposes bill in support of marijuana in schools Students would be able to medicate at school By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA - Jan. 11, 2019 - A bill proposed by Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, would allow marijuana on school campuses for...

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Tobacco sales to anyone under 21 could become illegal

Proposed law would apply to tobacco and vapor products Lawmakers cite health concerns By Madeline Coats WNPA Olympia News Bureau OLYMPIA - Jan. 9, 2019 - A proposed law requested by State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the Department of Health would raise the...

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Next generation journalists set to bring you news from Olympia

produced by the WNPA Olympia Bureau The Olympia news bureau of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association opened on Tuesday, Jan. 8, with four reporters ready to cover the state’s lawmakers. OLYMPIA - Jan 8, 2019 - With a news team consisting of three University...

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Community Calendar Happenings

Tue 17
Tue 17

Master Gardener Plant Diagnostic Clinic

September 17 @ 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Wed 18

The 2019 Ryan Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament

September 18 @ 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Wed 18
Thu 19

State Parks Commission Meeting

September 19 @ 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM