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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 Walker Orenstein.

February 19, 2015 at 5:09 PM

House Democrats say they will wait on transportation package

House Majority Leader Rep. Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, said Thursday that even if the state Senate quickly approves a proposed transportation package fueled by an increase in the gas tax, the measure won’t be heard in the House until lawmakers address education funding. Sullivan said a plan to fund the requirements of the Washington Supreme Court ruling known as…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: 2015 Legislature, contraception, education

February 11, 2015 at 7:32 PM

Navy crew that rushed to Oso landslide honored in Olympia

OLYMPIA – A crew of Navy helicopter pilots and firefighters were honored Wednesday at the Capitol for saving lives in a search-and-rescue effort in the immediate aftermath of the Oso landslide that killed 43 people last March. Backed by a Navy musical ensemble in the Capitol’s rotunda, Gov. Jay Inslee, former Secretary of State Ralph Munro and current…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Dan Kristiansen, gov. jay inslee, navy

February 10, 2015 at 5:11 PM

Gun regulation activists lobby for new legislation in Olympia

Activists hoping to repeal or amend Initiative 594 requiring background checks for private gun sales and transfers have been visible this year in Olympia, but supporters for further gun regulations packed a news conference Tuesday to support legislation that would build on the initiative. Jane Weiss, aunt of Veronika Weiss, who was murdered in a…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: gun regulations, Initiative 594

February 3, 2015 at 6:04 PM

Executive orders, body cams and a sweep of amendments: things Republicans said today

Four weeks into the legislative session, bills are seeing floor action and discussions of big-ticket issues like Gov. Jay Inslee’s carbon cap-and-trade policy are being hashed out in more detail. Here’s what Republicans had to say at a Tuesday media availability on some key topics: 1. Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy said Inslee isn’t coercing Republicans into…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: body cameras, cap and trade, Gov. Jay Inlsee

January 29, 2015 at 3:26 PM

Crotch grabs for charity? Seahawks fines should stay local, says state lawmaker

OLYMPIA — Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has been racking up fines this year for his brevity with the media and on-field gestures. Lynch tallied $20,000 for a crotch-grabbing touchdown celebration in the NFC championship game alone. Typically, fine money goes to football-related charities according to past statements from league representatives. The NFL Player Care Foundation…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: fines, NFL, Rep. Drew MacEwen

January 28, 2015 at 1:51 PM

Activists, lawmakers rally at Capitol to end homelessness

OLYMPIA — Activists and lawmakers rallied inside the Capitol on Wednesday for legislation to end homelessness. Among the bills and policies the group discussed were Senate Bill 5404, the “Homeless Youth Act,” and working to ensure that the Housing Trust Fund, which helps low-income families and provides transitional housing, is fully funded in the state…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: homelessness

January 26, 2015 at 1:06 PM

Joel’s Law, revenue forecasts, rules and transportation: things Democrats said today

Update, 9:15 p.m.: We told you (below) about the Democrats’ ideas earlier Tuesday for the Senate Rules Committee. Well … the committee will grow from 18 to 21 members, according to a release from the Majority Coalition Caucus. Two positions go to Democrats Tim Sheldon, of Potlatch, (who caucuses with Republicans) and Andy Billig, of Spokane. Sen. Doug…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest

January 22, 2015 at 5:24 PM

Medical marijuana regulation gets hearing in Olympia

OLYMPIA — A crowded Senate hearing Thursday reviewed controversial legislation proposed by State Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries the same as recreational stores. Growing operations, the Washington CannaBusiness Association, the city of Seattle and others were there in favor of more regulation. Eric Cooper, co-owner of Monkey Grass Farms, a growing and…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: I-502, marijuana, medical marijuana

January 17, 2015 at 4:23 PM

Lawmakers aim to combat patent ‘trolls’ with new bill

OLYMPIA — Homebuilders in Washington say they are being inundated with letters claiming patent infringement for the simple process of using fans and dehumidifiers to dry out a home after it has been framed. Radio stations are being threatened with lawsuits for how they store music on hard drives and then process it for broadcast. Both groups…


Comments | More in Attorney General, Politics Northwest, State Legislature

January 15, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Bills to raise minimum wage, require paid sick days introduced in Olympia

OLYMPIA — Washington already has the highest minimum wage of any state in the country, but a packed hearing room at the Capitol was filled with supporters of a new minimum-wage bill saying it’s just not high enough. “Income inequality is as  bad as it has been since my grandmother was a small girl in 1929,”…


Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: minimum wage, paid sick leave, Washington Legislature