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Under the Dome

Under the Dome

If North Korea attacks, is Washington doomed?

From his offices at Columbia University, Dr. Irwin Redlener spends his days thinking about the unthinkable. An earthquake opens up beneath midtown Manhattan, for example.…

Legislature back for a second chance on budget talks

After some weekend gamesmanship aimed at embarrassing the opposite party, legislators launch a special today with one big task: writing a state budget for the…

Legislature: What, us worry about finishing on time?

Think of a chess game that won’t begin because neither side wants to move the first pawn. That is how Washington state’s Legislature has tackled…

Lawmakers like the environment. Will they pay up?

Bipartisan. Unanimous. Two words not heard often in contemporary politics describe a pair of bills passed by a divided Washington Legislature to revitalize forests in…

When it comes to car tabs, how do you spell relief?

The size of future car tab fees for vehicle owners in the Puget Sound region could come down to dueling formulas on how to calculate…

Inslee pushing for big increase in mental health spending

Gov. Jay Inslee went to Western State Hospital on Tuesday to pitch his $227 million mental health budget proposal, which largely focuses on adding 1,000…

Carbon tax is down but don’t count it out

Could 2017 be the year Washington emerges as the first state to tax emissions of a greenhouse gas? Barring some unusual turn of events as…

If Canada ups its oil shipping, should we worry?

Every week, a barge laden with a crude oil called dilbit makes the journey from Vancouver, B.C., to Tacoma, winding its way through the passages…

Democrats say they are cracking the school-funding code

You can expect the state Legislature to go into overtime session — maybe into the summer — because the House Democrats and Senate Republicans’ budget proposals…

Another lost year for kids’ health in Olympia

OLYMPIA — In the wake of the lead-poisoning water scandal in Flint, Michigan, and with 10 Washington children a week being diagnosed with dangerously elevated…

The loser bills in Washington Legislature

While the Legislature set a steady cadence of progress on some bills, Democrats and Republicans also began notching their first notable defeats of the session…

Hometown crowd peppers Ericksen with EPA, environment questions

At home in Whatcom County on Saturday, Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen faced a host of environmental questions, including about his bicoastal role as a…

Avoiding the truth about lead poisoning can hurt WA kids

Washington lags behind the nation in finding and dealing with kids exposed to excessive levels of lead. Lawmakers and the governor are looking at ways…

Confirmed: Republicans were $1 billion short on school funding

Republican state senators knew all along they’d have to come up with some extra money to pay for education, but now it looks like they’ll…

A future star in Olympia?

It’s mid-morning, and Sen. Rebecca Saldaña is in her office, listening to a briefing from a nonprofit. Somewhere nearby, a phone rings with the odd…

Environmental prospects look iffy in Olympia

OLYMPIA — An abruptly canceled meeting, a moonlighting state senator and the nascent Trump administration all had something to do with killing several high-profile attempts…

Uber, Lyft could score win in Olympia

A proposal in the state Senate would solidify the contractor status of drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft — a win for the companies…

Legislature may let police face shooting charges

Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places. That’s what happened this week, when a proposal to reform laws protecting police from prosecution for using…

Eyman tax cap now has some big supporters seeking relief

The city of Rosalia, about 40 miles south of Spokane, brings in $660 dollars a year in property taxes. A good chunk goes to paying…

Did GOP cover up a $1 billion school-funding error?

Democrats in the state Senate are angry about what they say were actions by Republicans that apparently misled colleagues and the public over mistakes in…

Washington could double down on clean energy

The sponsors of a successful 2006 clean energy initiative say they’re willing to start a new signature campaign if they don’t receive legislative approval of…

Seattle to Vancouver in an hour: Is that our future?

The dream is to send super-fast trains — the type capable of going 250 miles per hour — between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. Gov. Jay…

Inside the high-stakes chess match over school funding

After a long wait, the debate over state education funding got underway in earnest last week, as Democrats grappled with the year’s first major proposal…

Drive now, talk later: Lawmakers look at traffic safety

A pair of road-safety proposals —  one increasing penalties for drunk driving, the other aimed at unleashing police on distracted drivers — face important reviews in…