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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.

A fiery partisan battle has erupted in Olympia over a union-backed measure involving homecare workers. Underlying the fight is whether these workers should be able to opt out of their union.

The debate led to tense moments on the floor of the Washington Senate late Wednesday night.

Washington’s 60-day legislative session is approaching the halfway mark and majority Democrats are flexing their newfound one-party control of Olympia. That’s especially evident in the state Senate where several priority Democratic bills have been put on a fast track.

"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.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

It's been five months since former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigned after a fifth person accused him of sexual abuse decades ago. Murray has denied all of the allegations.

A new investigation from The Seattle Times offers a glimpse behind the scenes as the scandal unfolded between April and September last year. 

Updated at 9:31 a.m. ET

The latest political sandstorm in the Russia saga is over four pages of paper that have never seen the light of day. Here's what you need to know to make sense of what's going on with this story.

1. What exactly is this memo that everyone is talking about?

The Washington state Senate has passed a measure that would expand health insurance plans to cover birth control, including abortion.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is calling on state lawmakers to “step up” and pass a carbon tax this year. The Democrat made his comments Tuesday as the midpoint of the legislative session approaches.

Updated at 7:16 p.m. ET

President Trump is planning a bipartisan pitch to Congress with his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, but he will have his work cut out for him with a public that is more divided than ever.

"Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family," Trump will say, according to excerpts of the speech released by the White House.

The Washington state Senate has passed a ban on trigger modification devices known as bump stocks that allow semi-automatic firearms to operate more like automatic weapons.

The vote Thursday evening came in response to last October’s mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and left hundreds more injured.

Victims of sexual harassment are urging Washington lawmakers to take steps to make the workplace safer. At a public hearing Wednesday, lawmakers heard personal stories and a rare acknowledgment of past failures.

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday he is willing to be interviewed under oath by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign.

In an impromptu meeting with reporters, Trump said he is "looking forward" to talking with Mueller. "I would love to do it," he said, going on to say he "would do it under oath." Trump added he would take his lawyers' advice.

Hundreds Rally In Olympia To Protest Reproductive Rights Bills

Jan 23, 2018

Hundreds of abortion rights opponents gathered in the rain at the Washington state Capitol Monday. They were there to protest a number of efforts by lawmakers to expand access to reproductive health services, including one bill that would require health insurers who cover maternity care to also cover abortions.

Young smokers in Washington state may have trouble getting a pack of cigarettes in the near future. State lawmakers are considering raising the minimum age to buy tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Friday signed the state’s long-awaited $4.3 billion construction budget.

Uncertainty reigns about which federal public lands will be open and which closed if the congressional budget standoff leads to a partial government shutdown Friday night.

Washington lawmakers are taking steps to address sexual harassment at the state Capitol. The House passed a resolution Thursday to establish a task force on sexual harassment. Members will include lawmakers, lobbyists and staff.

Communities and schools across Washington state are getting some welcome news. After a months-long delay, lawmakers Thursday night passed a $4.3 billion, two year state construction budget.

After a months-long standoff, legislative Democrats and Republicans say they’ve reached a bipartisan deal on a thorny water rights issue that will pave the way for quick passage of a $4.5 billion capital construction budget that’s been held up since last spring.

While Washington state lawmakers have vowed to protect net neutrality, thousands of people in rural communities still lack access to high speed internet. Now, the state House is considering a bill that would dedicate $300 million to fund private internet access projects for underserved communities.

A ban on bump stocks has passed out of a Washington state Senate committee. But it faces an uncertain future.

Victims Of Las Vegas Shooting Testify On Gun Legislation In Olympia

Jan 16, 2018

Hundreds of people crowded hearing rooms in the Washington state Capitol Monday to testify on proposed gun control legislation. Among other things, lawmakers are looking to ban so-called bump stocks which allow firearms to fire faster.

Gun rights activists from across Washington state rallied in Olympia Friday. They came to protest proposed gun control legislation that supporters say will reduce mass gun violence.

A bill to ban the controversial practice of trying to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ people is making its way through the Washington Senate.

In Spokane, the city council and the mayor are at odds over a new city ordinance. It changes how the city funds local campaigns. The mayor vetoed the new law, but the city council hopes to override that veto Monday. 


Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen said he’s not taking a job with the Trump administration and plans to run for re-election.

The Washington Legislature is set to open it's 2018 session on Monday. The 50 State Project from CQ Roll Call asked Austin Jenkins to come up with the top five issues facing Washington lawmakers this session.

Here's his list:

The Washington Legislature convenes Monday for a 60-day election year session. For the first time since 2013, Democrats will have one-party control of the Capitol.

The top issues include: education funding, a carbon tax and passage of a state capital construction budget.

The Republican leader in the Washington state House says he was sexually harassed at the Capitol more than a decade ago. Dan Kristiansen revealed his experience Thursday during a legislative preview event hosted by the Associated Press.

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