The Overcast | KNKX

The Overcast

Elaine Thompson / AP

As the legislative session came to a close last week, state lawmakers passed a bill to make it easier to prosecute police officers who use deadly force and require more officer training.

The bill was an initiative to the legislature, Initiative 940. The last-minute compromise means voters won't see I-940 on the ballot in November.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case later this month that could deal a blow to unions representing public sector employees.

It asks whether government workers should be required to pay union dues if they disagree with the union's politics. It builds on another case involving home health care workers paid through Medicaid.

These issues are also playing out in Washington state.

"edge of belltown" by Jeff Wilcox is licensed under CC by 2.0

King County residents may experience some sticker shock when they see their property tax bills this year because of the state's plan to fund education.

love by Johnny Lai is licensed under CC by 2.0

The #MeToo movement has sparked near-daily conversations about sexual harassment and assault. One of the central issues in those conversations is consent.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Seattle transportation planners have dubbed the next three years as the "period of maximum constraint." It's a time when several transportation and construction projects converge to make getting around an already congested city even harder.

Kirsten Harris-Talley served on the Seattle City Council for just 51 days. She was appointed after Councilmember Tim Burgess became mayor following the resignation of Ed Murray earlier this fall.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien is proposing a so-called head tax on large businesses to pay for homeless services.

O'Brien sat down with Seattle Times political reporters Jim Brunner and Dan Beekman to talk about the goals of the tax and why he thinks it's time to pass it. 

Overcast: What's Going On With Salmon In Washington?

Oct 13, 2017
Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

Washington's local ecosystems have been through a lot recently.

First, there was the release of more than 100,000 non-native Atlantic Salmon this summer into the Salish Sea. Now, scientists are also reporting alarmingly low numbers of young salmon from the Columbia River system out in the Pacific Ocean.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Last year's presidential election left many people wondering about the future of American politics. Former Washington state Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance is one of them.

Rachel La Corte / AP Photo

The story of how 5-year-old Gary Blanton came to be placed in his aunt's care near Spokane and his subsequent death have highlighted persistent problems in Washington's child-welfare system.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell was also the city's 54th mayor. At least, he was for a few days.

Harrell took over as mayor directly after Ed Murray resigned amid continued allegations of sexual abuse, which he denies. But about 48 hours after he was sworn in, he declined to remain mayor through the end of the November election.

The Overcast: Amazon's HQ2 News Ripples Through Hometown

Sep 15, 2017
Elaine Thompson / AP

The news that Seattle-based Amazon wants to build what it calls an "equal" second headquarters somewhere else in North America sent shocks through the local political and business communities.

Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press via AP

The fight over safe drug-injection sites is underway in King County.

Earlier this year, county leaders moved to open two of them as part of a larger plan to deal with the opioid crisis.

Elaine Thompson / AP

The City of Seattle is once again considering how to help people living in their cars and motor homes.

To find out more about the debate over the city's latest moves, The Seattle Times City Hall reporter Dan Beekman asked his colleague Vernal Coleman, who covers homelessness issues, to break it down.  They spoke for "The Overcast", The Seattle Times weekly politics podcast recorded at KNKX.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

With primary ballots due Tuesday, Seattle voters are still trying to make sense of a crowded mayor's race.

For the latest episode of "The Overcast," Seattle Times political reporter Jim Brunner and City Hall reporter Dan Beekman hit the pavement to find out what voters care about and which names come up out the 21 candidates vying to lead the state's largest city.  

Courtesy of the Consulate of Mexico in Seattle

From agriculture to planes, Washington state holds its own when it comes to international trade. 

For many people, places like Canada, China and Japan easily come to mind when we think about trading partners. But Mexico also does a lot of business with our state.

House Vote
Ted Warren / AP

Washingtonians are still trying to make sense of the budget passed by the legislature late last week amid the threat of a state government shutdown.

The Overcast: Seattle Wants An Income Tax But It's Complicated

Jun 30, 2017
Simone Alicea / KNKX

The Seattle City Council plans on passing a local income tax in the next couple weeks. But there are a lot of questions about a potential city income tax in a state that doesn't have one.

Mike McGinn
Elaine Thompson / AP

When Seattle residents get their primary ballots in the next few weeks, they are going to see a list of 21 people hoping to lead the state's largest city.