Under the Dome

Under the Dome

Despite some GOP support, death penalty ban faces tough road

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, with backing from some Republicans as well as by fellow Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee, is embarking on a new push to abolish…

Lawmakers try to curb student debt

Though many universities offer financial aid counseling, student loan borrowers — busy balancing classes, work and extracurricular activities — might never seek out these services…

Inslee defends his budget, promises to resist Trump

Gov. Jay Inslee today gave a spirited defense of his tax plan for the state, while vowing to resist any major changes by the Trump…

Day 1 in Olympia, and etiquette is already out the window

An agreement, then a last-minute snub: That’s what Democrats allege took place last week during negotiations over the state’s school funding crisis. Republican legislators skipped…

Divided, police reform advocates push dueling initiatives

After an initiative to change Washington’s law on prosecuting police officers for the use of deadly force fell short of the 250,000 signatures it needed…

Washington dawdles as megaquake looms

Back in the summer of 2015, an article on “The Really Big One” in the New Yorker had just captured national and Northwest attention with its…

Taxing the rich: A solution to Washington’s budget mess?

If only Washington had taxable brothels and gambling. Or oil reserves. Or hordes of flip-flopped tourists descending on our rocky beaches, dollar bills falling out…

Inslee proposes record budget. Republicans recoil.

Adding to education plans previewed Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee has rolled out a new two-year state budget of $46 billion that includes major additions for…

Ending Washington’s biggest budget battle

It's a multi-billion-dollar elephant in the room. Or not — because, unlike the proverbial elephant, this beast gets mentioned incessantly. So what should we call…

If Legislature flips, here’s how priorities will change

Dreams of the tables being turned are among the fondest in all of politics. A vote peeled off here, a deal struck over there —…

The race to manage Washington’s budget mess

Sitting in a bright, empty doughnut shop along Seattle’s Third Avenue, Erin Jones does something politicians normally don’t: She admits she was wrong. Then she…

Could families get real help when they need it most?

While the nation is preoccupied with presidential wars and impending elections, the next big thing is brewing almost unnoticed. It is a universal issue, but…

Primary sharpens fight to control Legislature

Could Washington Democrats take both houses of the state Legislature this year? With most of Washington’s votes counted Tuesday night, it wasn’t out of the…

The fight for the tough job running state schools

It seemed like a scenario that would create news headlines so big that they would force action in Olympia. A Washington Supreme Court ruling that…

Lt. Governor race gets bloody

The realist, the fighter, the outsider, and the really, really experienced one — that’s how you might think about the four top candidates in the race for…

Despite warnings, Seattle still dangerously unprepared for megaquake

When it comes to our pathetic lack of action on earthquake safety in some of our most-used buildings, you can’t really blame the infamous Seattle…

Can Washington get money out of politics?

Six years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling effectively transformed American campaign finance laws. It allowed so-called “Super PACs” to raise and spend…

Inslee to allow severe layoffs for state spending watchdogs?

There’s extra money flowing in to state government, enough that the Legislature added $200 million in new spending in the supplemental budget passed last week.…

Senate Republicans kneecap toxic-waste help for public

OLYMPIA — Senate Republicans scored a little-noticed but significant victory this week against grassroots environmental and community groups, zeroing out funding for the groups to…

Legislators manage 11th-hour action on budget

After a special session lasting some two weeks, state legislators approved an operating budget Tuesday containing major concessions by Democrats on two top priorities —…

In corrections scandal, a new problem for Inslee?

In a hearing Wednesday, lawmakers on the Senate Law and Justice Committee turned their attention to why a smaller fix to sentence calculations at Department…

Legislators hope for express exit from Olympia

Legislators are working quickly on how to bring back more than two dozen bills vetoed by Gov. Jay Inslee — without creating an opening for…

Behind Jay Inslee’s most radical move

When Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed 27 bills last week, he partially made good on his threat to hold up the entire legislative process until lawmakers…

At last minute, kids’ mental health bill loses partial funding

Republicans in the state Senate cut out part of a bill aimed at addressing children's mental health issues Thursday, a maneuver that bill supporters said was…

Inslee tries to break Legislature of a bad habit

On the last day of the Legislature's regular session — the time allotted for lawmakers to do their job in Olympia — the mood in the…