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Seattle Ethics and Elections Comission

The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission says the city's democracy voucher program is working. That conclusion is based on a recent analysis from the agency that oversees city elections.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law four bills aimed at expanding access to voting. They include a new state Voting Rights Act.

Sixteen and 17-year-olds will soon be able to pre-register to vote in Washington. That’s just one of several voting-related bills the governor is scheduled to sign into law Monday.

Washington Employment Security Department Commissioner Dale ​Peinecke is resigning following a workplace investigation into allegations he behaved inappropriately toward women on his staff.

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.

Several efforts to protect sexual assault victims failed to pass in Washington’s 60-day legislative session which adjourned last Thursday. Now lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expressing frustration.

On the final day of the Washington legislative session last week, lawmakers passed a bill to make it easier to prosecute police for negligent shootings. It was a compromise agreed to by groups on all sides to keep a potentially divisive initiative off the November ballot.

Now professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman, who wasn't previously involved on this issue, filed a lawsuit Monday that argues the legislature wrongly denied the voters a say.

Shortly after the final gavels fell Thursday night on Washington’s 2018 legislative session, Gov. Jay Inslee stepped before a smattering of reporters and cameras gathered in his conference room and touted “a long list of accomplishments” over the 60 day session.

After the recent mass shooting in Florida, Washington state lawmakers faced immense pressure to enact gun control legislation. But a bill to address school shootings made little progress, despite Democratic control of the House and Senate.

UPDATE: Washington state lawmakers adjourned Thursday night after a short, 60-day election year session during which Democrats flexed their new one-party control to pass a slew of legislation. Here’s a look at some of the bills that passed and some that didn’t.  (Note: some of these bills have already been signed into law by the governor, others await his signature.) 

The Washington Legislature Thursday approved further study of a super-fast train from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver, BC.

More than 100 Washington high school students rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday demanding restrictions on purchases of military-style weapons and tougher background checks.

Your internet service should be free of slow lanes and corporate favoritism if legislation just signed in Washington state and awaiting the governor's signature in Oregon works as intended. The states' objectives were to block a federal rollback of Obama-era net neutrality rules.

SounderBruce / Flickr


A grassroots group in Everett is launching its latest effort to create districts for the city council.

The Everett City Council is currently made up of seven seats, and each of them is an at-large position. But a group called Everett Districts Now wants to see five geographic districts with only two at-large seats.

In the face of intense pressure from the public and media, and following hours of behind-the-scenes negotiations, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee late Thursday  vetoed a bill that exempts the Legislature from the state’s voter-approved Public Disclosure Act. 

Will he or won’t he? That’s the question as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee faces immense pressure to veto a bill that exempts the Legislature from the state’s Public Records Act. Inslee has until midnight Thursday to decide.

The issue has galvanized the public. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Inslee’s office said it had received more than 8,000 emails and over 4,000 calls. The governor’s staff called the volume “unprecedented.”

Washington Republicans Propose Voluntary Firearm Training For Teachers

Feb 28, 2018

Lawmakers in Washington state continue to look for ways to prevent mass shootings in schools. On Wednesday, Republicans in the state Senate proposed creating a voluntary training program for school staff on how to respond to an active shooter.

Updated at 3:37 p.m. ET

During a gathering with governors at the White House, President Trump called for strengthening school defenses and improving the "early warning" system in response to this month's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

"Our nation is heartbroken," Trump said. "We'll turn our grief into action."

Washington House Votes To Pass Bump Stock Ban

Feb 26, 2018

Lawmakers in Washington state on Friday passed a ban on bump stocks. That’s a gun modification that allows certain weapons to fire more rapidly. They debated the ban under the shadow of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments Monday in a case that has big potential consequences for public-sector unions in Washington state. If the conservative majority on the court rules against the unions, they could be hurt financially, according to one legal expert.

As a politician, Washington state Rep. David Sawyer of Tacoma says he’s in the business of getting to know people and networking. As a 34-year-old unmarried man, the Democrat says he sometimes tries to date within political circles because those are people who understand his life best.

In the space of 20 minutes Friday, Washington lawmakers voted to exempt themselves from the state’s voter-approved Public Records Act. The Senate first passed the bill and then sent it to the House where it was immediately taken up.

Washington lawmakers are fast-tracking a bill to exempt themselves from the state’s voter-approved Public Records Act. The move comes after the Legislature lost a public records lawsuit filed by several news outlets, including public radio. That lawsuit is now on appeal. 

An allegation against Washington state Rep. David Sawyer of Tacoma has led House Democrats to restrict his contact with staff.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is reiterating his call for state lawmakers to pass a series of what he calls “common sense” gun control measures. The Democrat made his comments Wednesday in response to the Florida school shooting.

Robb Car / Pool Photo via AP

Since the election of President Donald Trump, question after question has emerged about presidential power and the potential checks on those powers. There were so many questions that the University of Washington law school quickly put together a class on the subject last winter.

Washington House Democrats on Tuesday proposed nearly $1 billion in short-term property tax relief, followed by a longer-term tax cut funded by a new state capital gains tax on a minority of wealthier residents.

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.

In a vote unprecedented in modern times in the state of Washington, the state Senate voted Wednesday to abolish the death penalty and instead impose life in prison without the possibility of parole for those convicted of aggravated first degree murder.

Efforts to address sexual harassment in the Washington state Capitol have suffered a setback. Legislative leaders had pledged to improve the workplace climate following reports late last year that revealed a history of misconduct at the Capitol. But finding a solution has proven more difficult than expected.