Washington State Journal - Building a stronger, more just & transparent democracy

Articles written by Brooklynn Hillemann

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Legislature 2022: What passed and what didn't

Gov. Jay Inslee said lawmakers delivered on his call to take “big, bold, action,” after the 60-day legislative session came to a close March 10 in Olympia, working until the midnight deadline to push through a $64.1 billion sup... — Updated 6/9/2022

 

Kelp help is on the way

Below the surface of Puget Sound, disappearing kelp forests and eelgrass beds are threatening the stability of dependent species. The shrinking population is now drawing the attention of lawmakers, with a variety of approaches... — Updated 5/2/2022

 

School "active shooter" drills traumatic for students

K-12 schools have more guidance on how to conduct active-shooter lockdown drills with a new bill signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee. The bill prohibits schools from conducting drills involving life-like simulations or reenactments... — Updated 4/28/2022

 

Cannabis workers want longer sentences for robberies

Cannabis dispensary owners and employees are hoping to see a decrease in armed robberies with the passage of a bill imposing stricter penalties for offenders. The bill proposes increasing the standard sentence range by 12 months... — Updated 4/28/2022

 

Mask mandate in most setting ends March 11

Washingtonians will see the end of the state masking mandate 10 days earlier than expected, following a dramatic decline in COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths. “We want to move forward as a state at the appropriate... — Updated 3/23/2022

 

Transportation funding package moves to the House

A package that pays for free passes on public transportation for young people and upgrades to major bridges are all part of a 16-year transportation funding plan approved by the Washington State Senate. The Senate approved the prop... — Updated 3/16/2022

 

Democrats push $16 billion transportation plan

A $16 billion plan, crafted mainly by Democrats, to fund hybrid-electric ferries, high speed rail, highway maintenance is gaining speed in the state Legislature. “‘Move Ahead Washington’ is a promise to put Washingtonians... — Updated 3/16/2022

 

Awash in money, lawmakers propose big increases in spending

Small business owners and schoolchildren hurt by the pandemic will see some financial relief with approval of state supplemental budget proposals now under consideration. “We’re looking at the basics, food, shelter, health and... — Updated 3/11/2022

 

Statewide COVID-19 restrictions begin to relax

With data indicating a decline in cases and COVID-19 related hospitalizations, the state is entering a period where restrictions can be lifted, Gov. Jay Inslee said. While there is no date to end the universal indoor mask mandate,... — Updated 3/11/2022

 

Inslee urges action on multi-agency plan on homelessness

Homeless people would have quick access to shelters and other facilities under a $815 million, multi-agency plan supported by Gov. Jay Inslee. Flanked by Democrat officials from King County, Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma, Inslee on... — Updated 3/11/2022

 

Future fund would help close income gap, supporters say

Young adults will be able to access a fund years from now to give them a boost if lawmakers pass a bill aimed at narrowing the gap between the rich and poor. Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver, sponsor of HB 1861, said the... — Updated 3/11/2022

 

Bill would post warnings about cold water shock

March 23, 2021 was a sunny day in Lewis County. Zachary Lee Rager, an 18-year-old Centralia teen wanting to take advantage of the pleasant weather, headed to a familiar hang out with some friends, a bridge connecting the banks of... — Updated 3/11/2022

 

Inslee calls for swift action on housing, homelessness, climate change

Immediate action must be taken to address climate change, the housing crisis, transportation, and education, Gov. Jay Inslee said in his annual State of the State address Jan. 11. "... — Updated 3/11/2022

 

Lawmakers propose Women's Suffrage Day

Women fought a decades-long battle for the right to vote, and now lawmakers want to memorialize the crusade by designating March 22 Women’s Suffrage Day. The 19th Amendment, prohibiting voting discrimination on the basis of sex,... — Updated 3/11/2022

 

Inslee would support law to ban lying about elections

On the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Gov. Jay Inslee announced he will support legislation criminalizing lying about election results. “It should not be legal in the state of Washington for... — Updated 3/11/2022

 

Salmon habitat rules would restrict agricultural uses

Advocates hope mandatory conservation of key habitat areas will help salmon runs recover, but opponents worry farmers will pay a price. House Bill 1838, to be known as the Lorraine Loomis Act in honor of the late Northwest Indian... — Updated 2/9/2022

 

Employment test for marijuana use questioned

Washington marijuana users won’t face losing their job over a positive drug test if a proposal under consideration in the state Legislature wins approval. SB 5517 would update the Washington law that currently allows employers... — Updated 2/9/2022

 

Proposed law would require student registration by age 5

Early childhood education is so critical to student success that now some educators are pushing for enrollment in school by age 5. Currently, Washington parents are allowed to delay their child’s enrollment with the local school... — Updated 2/9/2022

 

More aid for college students proposed

College students struggling to balance the cost of higher education with everyday expenses will have the burden slightly alleviated if lawmakers pass a bill increasing access to funds through the Washington College Grant program.... — Updated 2/9/2022

 

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