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Politics Northwest

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

Category: State government
February 7, 2015 at 10:47 AM

Whales, personhood, vaccines: your political week in review

Busy week in the realm of politics, both in Olympia and elsewhere in the state. To recap: 1. Lawmakers heard bills that would: bring back psychiatric boarding, open the Woodland Park Zoo to public-records and open-meetings laws and ban whale captivity. 2. And abortion foes pushed parental notification and personhood bills. 3. Meanwhile, industrial hemp got state…

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Comments | More in Marijuana, Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: Jay Inslee, mike o'Brien, Pam Roach

February 6, 2015 at 3:59 PM

Worries about religious hospitals snag WSU medical-school bill

OLYMPIA — A  bill authorizing Washington State University to open its own medical school in Spokane has hit a snag following a Seattle legislator’s demand that the school promise to not limit its teaching based on the beliefs of religious-affiliated hospitals. The WSU proposal (House Bill 1559) has broad bipartisan support, with 65 co-sponsors. It…

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Comments | More in State government, State Legislature | Topics: medical school, Rep. Gerry Pollet, university of washington

February 5, 2015 at 9:00 PM

Vaccines, voter initiatives, energy: what Democrats said Thursday

For your pleasure, a trio of highlights that came out of Thursday’s state House and Senate Democratic media availability: 1. House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, says he anticipates support for a bill dropped Wednesday that would limit reasons for exempting children from vaccines. “When we look at exemption rates in [school districts] across the state, I think we’re all surprised…

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Comments | More in State Legislature | Topics: ballot initiatives, climate change, measles

February 5, 2015 at 8:33 PM

Elephant in the room: Lawmakers consider zoo open-records bill

OLYMPIA — The fallout over Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo elephants, and more recently, its decision to shut some protesters and media out of a public meeting, continues. This time, the battle came south, to the halls of the Legislature, where lawmakers Thursday heard testimony on a bill that would make the zoo subject to state…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: seattle aquarium, woodland park zoo

February 5, 2015 at 7:52 PM

Pam Roach offers lessons in winning and government: ‘I won’

OLYMPIA – In an email promoting Thursday’s public hearings on a trio of bills that would change the ballot-initiative process, activist Tim Eyman predicted the hearing would include “fireworks.” Fireworks did ensue — but not from Eyman. After criticizing a panel of spokespeople testifying for one of the bills at the Senate Government Operations and Security Committee, Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, shut…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: ballot initiatives, Don Benton, Marko Liias

February 2, 2015 at 5:47 PM

Abortion foes push parental notification, personhood bills

OLYMPIA — With Democrats in control of the state House and governor’s office, there is little chance serious restrictions on women’s right to abortion will be passed into law this year. Abortion opponents haven’t stopped pushing. Last week, 13 House Republicans introduced a so-called “personhood” bill (HB 1687) that would bestow full constitutional rights to zygotes “at…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State government, State Legislature | Topics: abortion, parental notification, Sen. Mike Padden

February 2, 2015 at 1:17 PM

Bill introduced to bring back psychiatric boarding

Ever since the state Supreme Court last summer ruled it unconstitutional, state officials have sprinted to end the warehousing of psychiatric patients in hospitals and other facilities. In the past, the practice, known as psychiatric boarding, has lead to patients being strapped to hospital gurneys, sometimes for weeks and without medication. Now, three lawmakers are proposing to bring back…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: 2015 legislative session, psychiatric boarding

January 30, 2015 at 9:17 PM

Crotch grabs, earthlings, minimum wage, sex workers: your political week in review

Take some time Sunday and catch up on all your political happenings. Oh, wait …. 1. Inslee climate bill gets hearing 2. GOP bill to kill Bertha and the tunnel project gets … killed 3. Push in Olympia to broaden ban on using smartphones while driving 4. After fiery “kids-these-days” speech, Minimum wage bill passes out…

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Comments | More in Governor, Minimum wage, Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council, State Legislature, U.S. House of Representatives | Topics: week in review

January 30, 2015 at 5:01 PM

Sex-worker activists frustrated they couldn’t testify in Olympia

OLYMPIA — Transgender and sex-worker activists opposing a bill to increase punishments for people soliciting prostitutes are frustrated they weren’t allow to testify last week in a committee hearing. Seattle-based Gender Justice League (GJL) and Sex Workers Outreach Project signed up Jan. 22 to speak against SB 5277, which would elevate the crime of soliciting a…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature | Topics: gender justice league, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Mike Padden

January 29, 2015 at 5:08 PM

$12 minimum-wage bill advances after fiery debate

OLYMPIA — A bill to boost the state minimum wage to $12-an-hour over four years passed out of a House committee Thursday, but not before an opposed GOP lawmaker ripped minimum-wage activists as entitled in a “kids-these-days” diatribe. Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, the ranking Republican on the House Labor Committee, argued low-wage workers need to…

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Comments | More in State government, State Legislature | Topics: minimum wage, Rep. Matt Manweller, Rep. Mike Sells

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