Olympia

Field Notes from Olympia: What if lawmakers were more like the people they serve?

Observing the state legislature, I am struck by how different most lawmakers are from the constituents they represent. Washington’s senators and representatives are largely white,…

Pam Roach says she has highly placed enemies

Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, says that the Republican caucus leaders want to get her out of the Washington Senate. Talking to reporters Tuesday, she also…

Olympia: Death penalty in the docket this week

The state's death penalty goes on trial again Wednesday. That's when the House Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on a bill by Rep.…

Senator takes a new shot at Bertha tunnel work

Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, is taking a second swing at Bertha. And this time, he's got a lot more company. Baumgartner introduced a bill Wednesday…

Opinion: State neglects funding of long-term care

The focus of the 2015 legislative session is on funding K-12 education, to a level that will avert further Washington Supreme Court sanctions. The session’s…

In defense of expensive initiatives

The Legislature has taken a bipartisan dislike of initiatives, viewing them as troublesome, annoying and downright uppity. The initiatives either go too far, or not…

GOP senators offer options on energy and carbon reductions

Some state senators want to tweak Initiative 937 to encourage new efforts at reducing carbon emissions in Washington. The proposed change to the 2006 voter-approved…

Should oil trains’ schedules be public knowledge?

Should the public know when oil trains come through and what type of oil they are carrying? That question was debated Tuesday at a Washington…

Lawmakers eye tax break extension for state’s last 2 aluminum plants

In the 1980s, Washington had 10 aluminum smelting plants employing roughly 10,000 people. Today, the state has two Alcoa plants in Ferndale and Wenatchee that…

Splitting state in two? An invitation to talk

“The Western part of the Territory appears to the people of this valley like some foreign land, and it is about as little talked of…

Mixing and mashing to ease strain on pot issues

It's a Washington House bill that likely will be mangled, sliced, diced and Cuisinart-ed into one or more legislative smoothies. Eighteen House marijuana bills have…

Olympia: An extra long time for pot

Pot. Pot. And more pot. The Capitol Dome would be a pretty mellow place this week if all the expected speakers are allowed to smoke…

Teen wage bills to get new examination

The public will get to have its say Wednesday on two bills to allow teens to be paid slightly less than the minimum wage for…

South Seattle lawmakers want to split Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools would split into two separate districts under a bill filed Friday by Reps. Sharon Tomiko Santos and Eric Pettigrew, both south Seattle…