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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

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You are currently viewing all posts written by Amelia Dickson.

March 19, 2013 at 3:42 PM

House committee considers changes to marijuana law

The House committee overseeing the state’s marijuana law today heard feedback about a bill that would change state regulations.

Rep. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, introduced House Bill 2000 to modify Initiative 502, a voter-passed measure allowing the sale and possession of marijuana for adults. He said he introduced the bill to preempt the “myriad of problems” the Washington State Liquor Control Board will face while implementing the initiative, especially given the lack of marijuana regulation the state has long had.

“We really have done nothing to regulate marijuana in Washington state,” Hurst said. “I could walk to downtown Olympia and find someone to sell him marijuana within five minutes.”

HB 2000 would change where businesses could legally sell marijuana. Under I-502, marijuana can’t be sold within 1000 feet of certain public facilities, including schools, parks, playgrounds and transit centers. HB 2000 would cut that distance to 500 feet, except near schools.

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: Alison Holcomb, I-502, marijuana

March 13, 2013 at 6:41 PM

State House passes ‘Washington Dream Act’

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Dream Act was approved by the state House on Wednesday, bringing undocumented students one step closer to being eligible for the State Need Grant. The measure was approved 77-20, with unanimous Democrat support and a split vote on the Republican side. It was the last piece of House legislation to make…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: ed murray, larry haler, Washington State Dream Act

March 12, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Senators aim to prevent ‘flash robs’ with organized retail theft bill

For many people, flash mobs are a delightful fad. Videos of performers breaking into dance in train stations, parks and shopping malls are popular on YouTube. But Washington state senators are worried the trend could take a more sinister form: flash robs.

Sen. Mike Carrell said he introduced a bill in response to a group of teens staging a flash rob at a Portland Nordstrom last April. The Lakewood Republican said there haven’t been any flash robs in Washington, and he hopes the legislation will prevent them from occurring.

Under Senate Bill 5178, groups of at least six people who steal at least $500 in merchandise can be charged with organized retail theft. The group must also have used electronic communication – emails, text messages or social media – to organize the theft.

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: flash robs, organized retail theft, Sen. Mike Carrell

March 11, 2013 at 7:35 PM

State Senate passes bill limiting Seattle sick leave law

OLYMPIA — The state Senate today approved 29-20 a bill to limit a recently implemented Seattle sick leave law. Democratic Sens. Tracey Eide of Federal Way, Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam, Brian Hatfield of Raymond, and Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens, joined the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus to support the measure. The bill will now go to the…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: paid sick leave, Sen. Brian Hatfield, sen. ed murray

March 7, 2013 at 7:23 PM

State House approves several election-related bills

As part of this week’s bill-passing marathon, the Washington state House approved a flurry of election-related bills during Thursday’s floor session. Despite heated Republican opposition, representatives passed the Washington Voting Rights Act of 2013. House Bill 1413 would make it easier for minority individuals or groups that are disenfranchised in at-large elections to require jurisdictions to shift…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: Rep. Bays, Rep. Bergquist, Rep. Fitzgibbon

March 6, 2013 at 8:59 AM

State House passes bill preventing alcohol poisoning deaths

OLYMPIA — The state House passed a bill Tuesday that aims to prevent alcohol-related deaths by encouraging minors to report cases of alcohol poisoning. If enacted, House Bill 1404 would prevent minors suffering from alcohol poisoning from being prosecuted under minor-in-possession charges if they need medical attention. Minors helping alcohol-poisoning victims would get the same…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: alcohol poisoning, Rep. Brad Klippert, Rep. Marko Liias

March 5, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Senate aims to put harsher penalties on sex trafficking

OLYMPIA — The state Senate tackled the issue of sex trafficking Monday, passing two bills increasing penalties for the crime. Senate Bill 5488 would add a $5,000 fine to additional penalties for advertising sex with minors online. The legislation also would repeal a law passed last year requiring online classified advertising companies to verify the ages…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: backpage.com, first amendment, Sen Kohl-Welles

February 21, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Bill regulating unmanned drones gets committee approval

OLYMPIA — A bill regulating the use of unmanned drones in Washington state cleared the House Public Safety committee Thursday after heated public testimony about privacy rights and crime prevention. House Bill 1771 sponsored by Rep. David Taylor, R-Moxee, would require agencies using or buying drones to get approval from the Legislature or local governments. Drones…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: aclu, rep. david taylor, Rep. Matt Shea

February 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Bill giving university students a louder voice passes House

OLYMPIA — Washington students are one step closer to having a larger role in decisions made by public university officials. House Bill 1331, which allows student governments to form committees advising school administrations, passed the House on Wednesday, 95-1. Bill sponsor Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, said student input is becoming increasingly important, given rising tuition. “As students…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: Angie Weiss, Margaret Shepherd, Rep. Marcus Riccelli

February 18, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Legislative items to watch this week: unmanned drones, marijuana convictions and unemployed veterans

This week the state Legislature will once again consider a diverse assortment of topics. Various committees will hold hearings on bills covering unmanned drones, marijuana convictions and unemployed veterans. Two weeks after Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn grounded the Seattle Police Department’s unmanned drown program, the House and Senate will hold hearings on legislation to outline regulations…

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Comments | More in Marijuana, State Legislature | Topics: I-502, marijuana, mike mcginn

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