Articles written by Mary Murphy

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 By Mary Murphy    Potpourri

Counties required to adopt security system

All counties are required to install "Albert Systems," a technology that notifies counties when there is an attempted cybersecurity attack, under a bill Secretary of State Steve... — Updated 3/27/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Education

Zero-emission school bus plan moves ahead

School districts are required to transition to zero emission school buses under a law recently approved by the state House and Senate. The bill received numerous amendments after districts voiced concerns over reliability, range... — Updated 3/27/2024

 

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

 
 By Mary Murphy    Justice

Property crimes can now be hate crimes

Some property crimes now can be classed as hate crimes if they are racially motivated or if they target other marginalized communities. Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, said he was motivated to press for changes in what can be classed... — Updated 3/18/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Justice

Same-day report required for stolen guns

When a student at Seattle's Ingraham High School was shot and killed two years ago, an investigation revealed the gun used in the crime was stolen. Now, advocates from that... — Updated 3/6/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Justice

Police given more leeway to pursue suspects

New rules that give police more leeway to engage in high-speed pursuits were approved by the Legislature and will become law June 5, 2024. “As you know, the people of the state are suffering, increasing rates of crime, property, c... — Updated 3/6/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Health

Proposal gives Attorney General authority to oversee hospital consolidations

Healthcare workers say the state should have the power to review hospital consolidations to make sure levels of care are not reduced when a hospital is purchased. Sen. Emily Randall, D-Bremerton, said she saw her own community... — Updated 3/4/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Justice

New bill advances equal professional opportunities for immigrants

Undocumented individuals are now a small step away from pursuing careers in nursing, dentistry, architecture, psychology, and much more under a bill now waiting for the governor's s... — Updated 3/4/2024

 

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

 
 By Mary Murphy    Education

Paraeducators rally for fair wages

Bus drivers, custodians, and cafeteria workers stood outside of the capitol with signs that read: “Living wages for ESP’S!” and “I’m a paraprofessional, my heart is full, but my wa... — Updated 2/24/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Potpourri

Palestinian organizers rally for cease fire

Hundreds of organizers sporting green, red, and keffiyeh scarves gathered on the capitol steps to read poetry, sing traditional Palestinian songs and call for a cease fire in the... — Updated 2/24/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Education 

Holocaust education bill dies

An effort to make Holocaust and genocide education mandatory in Washington public schools has failed to win enough support to pass in this year's Legislature. "We've been trying... — 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

 
 By Mary Murphy    Justice 

Clergy members could become mandatory reporters of child abuse

When Sen. Noel Frame, D-Seattle, learned how Jehovah’s Witness elders in Spokane had covered up child sexual abuse for years, she looked to the law for answers. Frame found that, un... — Updated 2/21/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Education

Lawmakers push for phone restrictions in schools

Schools across Washington state are developing new cellphone policies to stop under-the-desk texting for teens and game playing while at school. Some of these policies are already in use at Eastern Washington's Reardan-Edwall... — Updated 2/16/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Education

Genocide education bill sparks high emotions in hearing

People held hands between armrests as they waited to tell the stories of loved ones lost to genocide. Almost every seat in the hearing room was filled, and 67 people were scheduled to speak. Prime sponsor Sen. John Braun R-Centrali... — Updated 2/16/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Justice

Legislature to decide on high-speed pursuits

A citizen initiative aimed at giving police wider discretion on when they engage in high-speed pursuits was forwarded to the Legislature on Jan. 11. Secretary of State Steve Hobbs... — Updated 2/12/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Justice 

Condom use requires partner consent, proposal says

Testifying before lawmakers, Mina Hashemi recounted how three years ago she was shocked to see that the condom she had explicitly asked for during sex had been removed. "I felt deeply violated," Hashemi said. "While I was lucky... — Updated 2/12/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Justice

Hogtying ban unanimously passes Senate

Nearly four years after Manuel Ellis, a 33-year-old Black man from Tacoma, died during arrest while being hogtied, the practice that killed him is one step closer to being illegal i... — Updated 2/7/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Potpourri

Hundreds rally for rent caps, affordable housing

As budget negotiations begin in the state Legislature, calls for action on affordable housing and rent caps from the annual Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day are expected to... — Updated 2/5/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Health

Protection for abortion doctors proposed

When she treated an out-of-state patient from Idaho with pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Jennifer Chin of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) knew her... — Updated 1/30/2024

 

Mandatory voting proposed by Democrats

A proposal to make voting mandatory drew criticisms from two thousand people in a Legislative hearing Jan. 25. "We are already in a moment of extreme distrust in elections, so you s... — Updated 1/26/2024

 
 By Mary Murphy    Justice

Proposal allows deadly force cases to be handled by Attorney General's office

Following the concerns over police brutality in 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee directed the Attorney General’s office to form an Office of Independent Investigations to take on cases of death by law enforcement officers. Now Rep. Monica S... — Updated 1/24/2024

 

Demand for affordable homes near transit hubs faces hurdles, critics say

Washington cities could soon be required to block off zones near public transit for multifamily housing, if new regulations are approved by the state Legislature. Some regulation... — 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

 

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

 

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

 

Governor calls for action on homelessness, climate and abortion rights

Defending his record and pressing for more action, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee urged a joint session of the Legislature to stay on a path that protects a woman's right to choose,... — Updated 1/11/2024

 

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