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

Articles written by Leona Vaughn

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State mulls goals for reducing homelessness

Lawmakers are scrambling to confront a crisis that leaves homeless people sleeping out in the cold and rain. At a Legislative preview, arranged by the Associated Press Thursday,... — Updated 1/8/2021

 

"Chinese fire drill" comment by Kuderer draws complaint

Washington Asians for Equality and the American Coalition for Equality filed a complaint to the Secretary of Senate and Senate Counsels against Sen. Patty Kurderer, D-Bellevue, demanding an apology for her use of what they... — Updated 1/8/2021

 

Five new lawmakers take seats in 2020 Legislature

Two state Senators and three new House of Representatives members were welcomed to their newly appointed positions for the 2020 legislative session in Olympia this week. In the... — Updated 1/8/2021

 

Governor talks up state's positives, notes areas to improve

OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee stood before the Washington Legislature to deliver his 2020 State of the State Address on Tuesday, Jan. 14. "Washington state indeed embodies the best in... — Updated 1/8/2021

 
 By Leona Vaughn    Justice

Expanded protections for workers, minorities headed for approval

Several bills that expand protections for workers and minorities are headed for Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for approval. House Bill 2567, which would outlaw arrests for civil matters at court houses unless there is a warrant issued,... — Updated 1/8/2021

 
 By Leona Vaughn    Education

Sex education measure passes on party lines

Public school students will be taught about sexuality, sexual abuse and the importance of consent under a new law passed by Washington state legislators. Senate Bill 5395 requires all public schools in Washington state to give publ... — Updated 1/8/2021

 
 By Leona Vaughn    Health

Feminine hygiene products to be exempt from sales tax

Women in Washington state will soon be relieved of paying sales tax on products that are fundamental to their feminine health, thanks to action by lawmakers this week. Senate bill 5147 will exempt feminine hygiene products,... — Updated 3/12/2020

 

Want a plastic bag? It will cost you

Consumers will need to remember to bring their own reusable shopping bags if they want to avoid the fee that a new law will put on plastic bags. Senate Bill 5323 will ban retailers and grocers from handing out single-use plastic... — Updated 3/9/2020

 
 By Leona Vaughn    Health

Informed consent for pelvic exams winning approval

Pelvic exams on unconscious women won’t be allowed in Washington State without permission, under a bill cruising toward approval in the state Legislature. Currently, it is legal in several states, including Washington state, for... — Updated 2/28/2020

 
 By Leona Vaughn    Education

Undocumented students could soon be eligible for college loans

Students who are undocumented immigrants may soon find it easier to finance their higher education with a proposal working its way through the state legislature. Senate Bill 6561, now under consideration in the House, establishes... — Updated 2/28/2020

 

Bill would stop immigrant arrests at courthouses

Undocumented immigrants in Washington state may no longer need to fear unexpected arrests thanks to the protection that legislation currently under consideration in Washington state promises to provide them. House bill 2567, and... — Updated 2/25/2020

 
 By Leona Vaughn    Health

Lawmakers move to lower cost of insulin in state

Bringing down the cost of insulin for people with diabetes is the goal behind two Senate bills and one House bill. Senate bill 6087 and House bill 2662 both cap the cost of insulin for patients at $100 per month, while Senate bill... — Updated 2/21/2020

 

Ban proposed for polystyrene foam products

Products made of polystyrene foam will be on the way out if some members of the Washington State Legislature get their way and stop their sale and distribution. Senate bill 6213, sponsored by Senator Mona Das, D- Kent, and its... — Updated 2/12/2020

 
 By Leona Vaughn    Justice

Solitary confinement for juveniles called inhumane

Solitary confinement as a form of punishment in juvenile detention facilities is should be banned, lawmakers say. “Nationally, there’s a growing consensus that solitary confinement is both unconstitutional and inhumane, and in... — Updated 2/12/2020

 

Proposed law adds a fee to plastic bags at check out

In an attempt to reduce plastic pollution, a bill banning retailers from handing out free single-use plastic bags in the state of Washington is moving in the Legislature. The bill,... — Updated 2/12/2020

 
 By Leona Vaughn    Justice

Lawmakers move to ban high-capacity magazines

Gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition would be outlawed under a proposed law moving through the state Senate. Supporters cite safety concerns, while opponents... — Updated 2/12/2020

 
 By Leona Vaughn    Health

Lawmakers propose to treat the mentally ill without consent

People unable to care for themselves due to mental illnesses could be subject to receiving treatment, even without their consent, if Washington state legislators pass a law to establish executorships for people who are incapacitate... — Updated 2/12/2020

 
 By Leona Vaughn    Justice

Senate moves to kill death penalty

The death penalty would no longer be a sentencing option in Washington state if lawmakers enact a bill passed by the Senate on Friday, Jan. 31. Senate Bill 5339 has bipartisan support to eliminate the death penalty — a... — Updated 2/12/2020

 
 By Leona Vaughn    Justice

More options for treatment proposed for drug offenders

More people convicted of some crimes would be eligible for treatment in lieu of prison sentences if bills moving throught the Legislature become law. Senate Bill 6211 was heard by the Law and Justice Committee in an executive sessi... — Updated 2/7/2020

 

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