Articles written by Aspen Anderson

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 By Aspen Anderson    Justice

Building trust in law enforcement a key goal, Lovick says

Sen. John Lovick describes himself as a Black man with brown skin who wore a blue uniform for a combined 37 years as a former state trooper and Snohomish County Sheriff. "Not... — Updated 4/9/2024

 By Aspen Anderson    Justice

Officers soon will be allowed to work part time

Washington remains 51st in the nation for police officers per capita, and one answer to that problem might be allowing officers to work part-time. SB 5424, sponsored by Sen. John... — Updated 4/9/2024


Blending education and technology a goal for Wellman

On the last Monday morning of the 2024 legislative session, Washington State Sen. Lisa Wellman's office brimmed with sunlight, an early peek at spring, as she sipped tea from a... — Updated 3/22/2024


Parental authority initiative approved, but concerns linger

The "Parent's right to know," a citizen-led initiative regarding parental authority over kids in public schools, will become law in June. While the measure won wide bipartisan... — Updated 3/18/2024


Voters to decide fate of state's climate act

The debate over how Washington reduces greenhouse gasses is headed for a showdown in November. To supporters, The Climate Commitment Act (CCA) is a "gold standard" environmental... — Updated 3/18/2024


New ferries to bolster fleet still years away

Washington's ferry system is in jeopardy. It is struggling to meet the demands of its routes, and officials say it may be three to four years before any new ferry can go into... — Updated 3/11/2024


Legislature approves ban on state income tax

An initiative prohibiting imposition of a state income tax was approved March 5 by the state Legislature. "This is a great day for everyone in Washington," said Rep. Jim Walsh,... — Updated 3/6/2024


Effort to improve ballot rejection rates passes unanimously

Washington State is recognized for its effective voting processes, but officials say too many ballots are rejected because signatures don't match. "I think we can do a lot better... — Updated 3/6/2024

 By Aspen Anderson    Health

A bill seeks reduction of lead in cookware

Parents shouldn’t have to worry that the pots and pans they cook in could be poisoning their kids, say scientists and legislators, and a bill proposed in the state Legislature would make sure that is true. HB 1551 limits the p... — Updated 3/4/2024


Bill would allow alcohol in adult establishments

Washington currently has the fewest adult entertainment establishments per capita in the country. The reason? They are not allowed to serve alcohol. But if a bill in the state... — Updated 2/28/2024


Cancer diagnosis redirects Sen. Rebecca Saldaña's energy this legislative session

In the mainly white, buttoned down, business suit environment that is the Washington State Legislature, Sen. Rebecca Saldaña stands out. The Seattle Democrat swapped heels for... — Updated 2/28/2024


Crowd demands hearing on citizen initiatives

A sea of red, white and blue covered the Capitol steps as hundreds of Washingtonians proudly waved American flags and demanded hearings on six initiatives that would roll back... — Updated 2/28/2024


State proposes pesticide ban despite current research

Neonicotinoid pesticides are known for their harmful effects on the nervous systems of insects and a proposal in the state Legislature calls for banning them for household use. “About ⅓ of our agricultural sector needs pol... — Updated 2/24/2024


Budget questions swirl around possible repeal of climate act

Money to expand and upgrade the state’s ferry fleet will be included in this year’s supplemental budget, but lawmakers warn funding could go away if voters choose to repeal the Climate Commitment Act (CCA). “If the CCA is repealed,... — Updated 2/24/2024

 By Aspen Anderson    Health 

Foster moms protest the increase in child fatalities

By Aspen Anderson Washington State Journal As the prevalence of fentanyl rises, so too does the frequency of critical incidents related to parental substance abuse among foster chil... — Updated 2/21/2024


Three of the six citizen initiatives will be granted hearings

Three citizen-led initiatives will receive hearings in this session of the Legislature, said Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, D-Spokane, and Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma. The Legislature will debate I-2113 on... — Updated 2/21/2024


Task force proposed to study impacts of artificial intelligence

Some fear Artificial Intelligence (AI) might open a dark chapter to a dystopian future. Others say the progress it promises is virtually unlimited. To find a balance among those... — Updated 2/12/2024

 By Aspen Anderson    Justice

Public safety must be a priority, legislators say

Public safety should be a top priority for this year's legislative session, Gov. Jay Inslee and bipartisan state legislators said on the eve of the 2024 legislative session. "We... — Updated 2/12/2024

 By Aspen Anderson    Health 

Minimum age of 25 proposed for high-THC cannabis

To protect young people from the dangers of high-strength cannabis, two bills have been proposed in this year’s Washington State Legislature. SB 6220, recently passed in the Senate, establishes the minimum purchase age for h... — Updated 2/12/2024


Inslee reflects in his final year as governor

On the second level of the white and gray marbled Capitol building stands the Governor's office, guarded by a State Patrol trooper stationed outside. On the interior walls are... — Updated 2/12/2024


Legislation would impose fines for untreated sewage discharge

A proposal to fine counties and cities when untreated sewage is released into Puget Sound is part of an effort to save dwindling salmon runs. The bill, proposed by Rep. J.T.... — Updated 2/7/2024

 By Aspen Anderson    Justice

Legislature debates reducing legal limit for blood alcohol level

To curb traffic fatalities, lawmakers are proposing reducing the legal limit for driving while intoxicated. SB 5002 amends the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for driving a... — Updated 2/7/2024


Mandatory process proposed to review complaints about school library books

A mandatory process to guide school districts should be required when protests erupt over books that deal candidly with sexual preferences and gender identity. While proponents of... — Updated 2/2/2024


End to daylight saving time in the sights of "Ditch the Switch" advocates

Washingtonians may lose their cherished ultra-late-night sunsets in the summer if Washington state opts for permanent Pacific Standard Time (PST). "If Congress had acted, we would... — Updated 1/30/2024

 By Aspen Anderson    Justice

Jaywalking laws too severe, critics say

Taking cues from California, there's a push to lighten up on jaywalking fines-a move that hits the headlines for its impact on both the homeless community and Black pedestrians. In... — Updated 1/30/2024

 By Aspen Anderson    Health

Diaper changing stations for dads proposed

Diaper changing stations traditionally were placed only in women's bathrooms, and Alexandra Johnson, a mother of two from Snoqualmie, thinks that should change. “What are the implications for our children when they see that mom i... — Updated 1/26/2024

 By Aspen Anderson    Health

Tribal members confront fentanyl crisis

Tribal members in Washington State are four times more likely to overdose and die on opioids than the state average, and advocates are pushing for state programs to address the... — Updated 1/24/2024

 By Aspen Anderson    Justice

Survivors speak out against child marriage

Twenty women sporting wedding gowns and lustrous veils, with chains around their wrists and tape over their mouths, gathered in protest of Washington State law that allows children... — Updated 1/22/2024


Trump to stay on primary ballot

By Mary Murphy and Aspen Anderson Washington State Journal It was still dark outside when people with MAGA hats and anti-Trump signs gathered outside the entrance of the Thurston... — Updated 1/22/2024


Students push bill to bring overdose-reversal drug to all schools

Concerned about drug overdoses among teenagers, Lake Washington High School seniors Theodore Meek, Joanna Lymberis, Olivia Milstein, Sophia Lymberis and Reilly Jones transformed a... — Updated 1/22/2024


AG Ferguson files lawsuit to stop Kroger-Albertson merger worth $24.6 billion

Kroger and Albertsons claim a proposed merger worth 24.6 billion will result in better prices for grocery shoppers, but many fear food prices will go up and jobs could be lost as... — Updated 1/17/2024


Shift to even-year local elections proposed to boost voter turnout

Low turnouts for local elections are leading some to advocate for moving those contests to even numbered years alongside national races. "Young people are part of the communities... — Updated 1/17/2024


Newhouse building rises on Olympia's capitol campus

Facing health and safety hazards and experiencing overcrowding, in May 2023 the original Irving R. Newhouse Building on the capitol campus in Olympia was entirely demolished and... — Updated 1/15/2024


Victims push for legislation against police deception in interrogations

Amanda Knox, the Seattle resident who spent nearly four years in an Italian prison for a murder she did not commit, offered heartfelt testimony Jan. 8 in favor of a bill that would... — Updated 1/11/2024


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