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 […]

Washington State Talks Strategies for Weaning Solar Off Subsidies

Almost 10 years after instituting financial incentives for Washington residents to install solar panels, the state is debating if those tax breaks are too generous for an electricity source that amounts to a pittance of its renewable energy portfolio.

Did State Value Money Over Justice in Horrible Abuse Case?

The case in question resulted in the largest ever settlement payout by the state in a child abuse case — $9.75 million for five siblings who suffered terrible abuse at the hands of their parents. Faced with a tough case, internal records show that the AG’s office signed contracts with experts for hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to downplay the long-term psychological problems the five siblings could be expected to experience.

Unions Endorse Proposed Oil Transfer Terminal at Port

The Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council, Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters and International Union of Operating Engineers said Thursday that they’ve endorsed a proposed oil transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver and have reached an agreement with the project’s backers to ensure the terminal would be built with union labor.

Where Are the Charter Schools?

While the state sees a dramatic decline in applications, Tacoma and Seattle worry about those already approved. It’s hard to say how many more charter schools might be coming down the pike, given the drop-off in numbers. Still, the Tacoma board is considering lobbying the legislature to change the law in a way that instructs the commission to consider how many charter schools are in any given city.