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


Sorted by date  Results 1 - 30 of 30

 By Brian Soergel    Health

Ferries: Dangerous Legionella bacteria found on some state boats

In addition to increased wait times due to a lack of qualified personnel, Washington State Ferries now has another potential problem on its hands. According to spokesperson Ian... — Updated 11/17/2021

 By Scott Hunter    Health

Outdoor concert spreads virus

An outdoor music festival in Grant County spread Covid-19 across the state, perhaps underscoring the new realization that the most common variant of the virus that causes it spreads far more easily, even outdoors. The Watershed... — Updated 8/20/2021


Proposed phone tax will pay for suicide prevention

Connecting people considering suicide with immediate help is the aim of a proposed law that funds a 988 emergency number with a new tax on phone lines. HB 1477, introduced by Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, is aimed at tackling... — Updated 3/26/2021


All counties moving to Phase 3

All counties are eligible for Phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Healthy Washington reopening plan on March 22. Inslee made the announcement March 11 following a downward trend in COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations across the... — Updated 3/26/2021

 By Patric Haerle    Health

Frontline workers to start receiving vaccines March 22

Essential frontline workers, such as grocery store employees, will begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines later this month, Gov. Jay Inslee announced March 4. Others set to be vaccinated starting March 22 include workers in... — Updated 3/8/2021


Suicide prevention team idea moves forward

A Washington Youth Suicide Review Team is one step closer to reality after legislators passed substitute HB 1354 out of committee in a 11-2 vote. Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, D-Goldendale, the prime sponsor of the bill, saw the bill... — Updated 3/3/2021

 By Patric Haerle    Health

Inslee signs COVID-19 relief bill, allocating $2.2 billion in federal funding

Additional relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is on its way. Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law Feb. 19, that appropriates $2.2 billion federal dollars to be used for K-12 schools, public health, assistance to... — Updated 2/26/2021


Inslee defends regional reopening plan

Gov. Jay Inslee defended his plan to phase in the opening of businesses by region, saying he knows it goes too slow for some people. "Everybody can have a rational argument against... — Updated 2/17/2021


New suicide review team proposed

The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating a problem already plaguing youth in Washington -- suicide. Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale, says HB 1354 is key to finding out why rates of suicide are climbing in Washington and on how to... — Updated 2/17/2021

 By Patric Haerle    Health

Lawmakers push competing COVID-19 packages

Relief for renters, schools, public health agencies and small businesses is rushing through the state Legislature, with the hope relief can reach people by the end of February. Two... — Updated 2/10/2021


Inslee lowers age of those eligible for vaccines

Just when residents of Washington will have access to a COVID-19 vaccine depends on how many doses the federal government delivers and how many the state can administer in a day. Currently, the state is receiving 100,000 doses per... — Updated 1/28/2021


Inslee centers inaugural speech on COVID-19 recovery

Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his third inaugural speech Wednesday, praising Washington residents for their resiliency and striking an optimistic note for the future. "We have seen rema... — Updated 1/21/2021

 By Paric Haerle    Health

Lawmakers launch session with calls for cooperation, quick action on COVID-19

Washington state legislative leaders on Monday Jan. 11 took turns delivering upbeat messages that promised unity in taking swift action to relieve residents and businesses hit hard... — Updated 1/19/2021


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


Economic windfall applied to homelessness, climate change

Democratic caucuses in the House and Senate rolled out separate spending plans that include hundreds of millions of dollars to address climate change, homelessness, and behavioral health. Without imposing new taxes, the proposed... — Updated 1/8/2021


GOP doubts effectiveness of homelessness spending

Republican leaders in Washington State said they are not confident spending on homelessness proposed by the Democrats will produce significant results. On Monday, Democrats from the Washington House and Senate proposed separate... — Updated 1/8/2021


GOP Senators propose alternative solutions to homelessness

Republican senators pitched their own ideas to address Washington state’s homelessness crisis following the supplemental budgets unveiled by Democratic lawmakers this week. On Thursday, Feb. 27, Senate Republicans gathered the... — Updated 1/8/2021


Coronavirus fears prompt $5 million to assist businesses

A last minute amendment to the senate Democratic Caucus supplemental operating budget earmarks $5 million to help businesses negatively impacted by international responses to the coronavirus outbreak overseas. Businesses like... — Updated 1/8/2021


Narrow Senate vote approves collection of gun violence data

The Washington Legislature is closer to creating an Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention to collect data on gun violence and suicides following a 25-23 vote in favor of Senate Bill 6288. The office created by this... — Updated 1/8/2021


Washington scrambles to boost supply of protective gear

Millions of N-95 masks and other types of personal protective equipment are being delivered to Washington State as public health and emergency response officials scramble to obtain the equipment needed to respond to the growing... — Updated 1/8/2021


State steps up response to coronavirus outbreak

Public health officials asked the Washington State Legislature for $100 million for a coordinated response to the coronavirus outbreak in the state. Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman said March 2 that the state is 42... — Updated 1/8/2021


Governor rolls out assistance plan

Economic assistance to workers, renters and small businesses suffering from the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak will be provided by Governor Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 response plan.. At the beginning of the week, Inslee mandated... — Updated 1/8/2021


Healing Together

Editor's note: The Center for Public Integrity and Columbia Journalism Investigations joined forces with newsrooms around the country to dig into an often-forgotten part of the... — Updated 10/15/2020


Shoalwater Bay Tribe helps address covid-19 hunger

RAYMOND - A newly formed program delivering hot meals to people in North Pacific County was given a boost this month after the Shoalwater Bay Tribe donated $2,500 in support of the... — Updated 7/29/2020


Methow Valley Doctor reflects on NYC experience

This is an update I wrote to my family and friends about my time serving in Brooklyn. I was hesitant to post this (on Facebook). It is an intensely personal reflection on my... — Updated 5/26/2020

 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

 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    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


Sweeping regulations proposed for vaping products

Legislation requested by the governor's office and supported by Democratic senators aims to ban flavored nicotine vaping products and impose sweeping regulations on the vaping industry. If passed, Senate Bill 6254 would limit the... — 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


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