Articles written by Renee Diaz

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 By Renee Diaz    Health

Bill restricts collection of health data

Use of consumer reproductive health data would be much more restricted under House Bill 1155, the proposed “My Health, My Data Act.” The proposed law requires the consumer’s consent before sharing or collecting personal health data... — Updated 3/22/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Justice

Task force on missing indigenous women proposed to continue

A state task force on missing indigenous women, created in 2021, will be extended at least two more years if a Senate-passed bill is approved by the House and governor. The bill, Senate Bill 5477, sponsored by Sen. Nikki Torres,... — Updated 3/10/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Potpourri

Finland's president addresses state Legislature

For the first time in history, a foreign head of state has addressed a joint session in the Washington State Legislature. President, Sauli Niinistö, of the Republic of Finland,... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Health

Death with Dignity waiting period shortened in proposed bill

Terminally ill patients seeking help to end their lives with the aid of a physician shouldn’t have to wait so long to get approval from the state. That’s the position of Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, who said he intends to eli... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Health

Lawmakers plan to expand the number of students who receive free and reduced meals

Free lunches for all public-school students is apparently off the table in the state Legislature, but House members are now considering phasing-in paid lunches for kindergarten through fourth grade. “While I am disappointed we a... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Health

Washington State moves to cap insulin costs

Washington State is moving to keep out-of-pocket costs of insulin at $35 per month until Jan. 1, 2025. “For people with Type 1 diabetes, this bill is literally life or death,” said Matthew Hepner, the father of a child with dia... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Education

Advocates press for highly capable testing for all students

School districts should be required to test all students to see if they qualify for more challenging classes. That is the message behind Substitute Senate Bill 5072, proposed by T’wina Nobles, D-Fircrest. It requires districts t... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Justice

Senate approves safety measures for road workers

Installing automated vehicle speed cameras and other measures to improve highway safety were approved in separate bills by the state Senate Feb.23. “Speed kills. Our work zones have lower posted speeds for very good reasons. This h... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Education

Mandatory recess for elementary students approved over objections

Elementary schools will be required to give students 30 minutes of recess every day and teachers would be prohibited from denying recess as a disciplinary measure, under a bill that passed the Senate despite objections. The bill,... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Education

Test for paraeducators needs reform, educators say

A national test given to people who want to be paraeducators in public schools often slows the process and presents roadblocks for bilingual applicants, some educators say. Substitute House Bill 1015, sponsored by Rep. Sharon... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Justice

Legislature moving on tighter drunk driving laws

Ashley Bonus said she began her fight against impaired driving after her sister, Stacy Gammons-Ankerfelt, died in an accident in 2012. Now, she wants a new law that lowers the blood alcohol level needed to sustain an impaired drivi... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Health

Legalizing fentanyl test strips proposed

Allisone McClanahan suffered from severe chronic pain and fibromyalgia. To ease her pain, the 26-year-old took a pain pill from a friend she thought contained oxycodone. Instead, she died of a drug overdose in 2021. After her... — Updated 3/8/2023

 

Seahawks get some support from Olympia

Seahawks legend Walter Jones joined Gov. Jay Inslee and Secretary of State Steve Hobbs in raising the 12th-man flag at the capitol Jan. 11 to promote this weekend's playoff game.... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Justice

Crime victims get added confidentiality

Victims and witnesses who track perpetrators in prison to know when they are released will be able to keep their identities private, if a bill that passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support becomes law. “This bill creates a... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Justice

Effort to make roads safer wins bipartisan support

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and Gov. Jay Inslee say they are backing a package of new laws aimed at protecting workers, pedestrians and commuters. New bills would... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Justice

Constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights stirs support, protest

Mary Le Nguyen stood in front of a group of 70 abortion-rights activists on the Capitol steps for a "reproductive freedom rally" in early January and she shared her personal story... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Justice

Bill proposes sealing name changes for abuse victims

People who change their names to hide from their abusers should be afforded more privacy. That, at least, is the conclusion Maia Xiao came to after a transgender friend committed suicide after being harassed online despite a name... — Updated 3/8/2023

 
 By Renee Diaz    Environment

Bills push for improving salmon habitat, removing barriers

Starting at the Olympia Ballroom in the state capital's historic district, students from across Washington carried inflatable orcas and salmon and marched through the streets of Oly... — Updated 3/8/2023

 

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