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Under the Dome

Under the Dome

In Olympia, lawmakers see the finish line

Democratic and Republican budget negotiators in Olympia reached a handshake deal Wednesday morning that they believe will head off a looming government shutdown. Few details…

At community colleges, who pays for tech upgrade fail? Students

Each year, a full-time Washington community college student pays an extra $115.56 for a long-planned upgrade of all the schools' computer software. The extra tuition…

State shutdown could wreck your 4th — and a lot more

People going to state parks for the Fourth of July weekend are in line to take the first hit. If the Washington Legislature cannot pass…

State Legislature plans for the world of 5G

How fast Washington can boost its internet speeds and capabilities largely boils down to utility poles: unglamorous wood logs, stuck in the ground and usually…

Inslee: Budget deadline is non-negotiable

If the Washington Legislature’s sluggish budget talks drag beyond June 30, Gov. Jay Inslee will block any move to use stop-gap legislation to keep the…

State government stumbles toward shutdown

The Mariners’ annual early season swoon. The Washington Legislature’s annual deadlocked overtime sessions. Both are yearly rites of the late spring. Both frustrations are so…

Washington businesses hope to kill Inslee’s carbon cap

Can a state environmental-protection regulation be considered a "tax"? That’s a central question in a lawsuit by business interests against Washington’s regulatory cap on carbon-pollution…

Legislature paves way for more farm, forestland development

State Rep. Liz Pike was hard at work, baking cookies. Ninety-eight cookies to be precise — one for each member of the Washington House of…

Washington is ‘shockingly’ unprepared for a nuclear attack

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…