Unable to Manage Costs, Cities & Counties Pitch Tax ‘Flexibility’ To House Finance Committee

Washington’s cities and counties say they’re expecting to run low on the money needed to keep pace with growing costs such as health care and paying benefits for more retirees, so their associations went before the House Finance Committee Wednesday to lobby for new revenue sources.

Critics of Class-Size Initiative Say it’s Like Voting for ‘Puppies and Apple Pie’

As is often the case, some of the most heated debates in this year’s election cycle seem to be centered on classrooms and education reform. Chief among them is Initiative 1351, a call for reduced class sizes that if passed, would add 25,561 new teachers and non-teaching support staff to the public school system’s payroll.

Senate Republicans Call for Formal Investigations into Mailers Targeting Sen. Sheldon

Election mailers from a national Democratic group targeting Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, drew a stern rebuke from the state Republican Party on Tuesday, with party leaders charging that the mailers were illegally issued because the group hasn’t filed as a political committee, and hasn’t divulged who’s funding them.

Legislators Examine Proposed EPA State Carbon Emission Targets, With Washington Ranked Highest in U.S.

While federal courts hash out whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate carbon emissions under a seldom-used section of the Clean Air Act, Washington state is left with a regulatory conundrum of its own – how to move forward with implementing the EPA rule despite the legal challenges, and how to […]

Mailers Prompt Outcry in 35th District Senate Race

Republicans are crying foul over a trio of independently funded campaign mailers that have hit mailboxes in the 35th District painting Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, as having decidedly liberal positions on federal health care and immigration reform.

Washington Considering New Safety Rules as Crude-By-Rail Traffic Spikes

The issue of oil train safety in Washington state will have another turn in the public spotlight Thursday night in Olympia, when the public is invited to weigh in on recommendations that the state ramp up spending to respond to a potential oil train derailment.

Coalition Caucus Boosted Sen. Ericksen’s Profile in the Legislature

Sen. Doug Ericksen’s legislative career was at a crossroads two years ago following the 2012 election cycle. Ericksen, a Republican from Ferndale, was midway through his first term in the Senate after serving since 1998 in the House.

Sharon Nelson: A Local Fight Leads to Top Senate Caucus Post

Every lawmaker has a story to tell about his or her political awakening – of the cause that needed championing, of an issue stuck too long on the Legislature’s backburner,  or a system failing those it was set up to serve. It’s an oft-cited element of stump speeches, and a vital crutch in a business […]