Features

Social Service Shortfalls Hinder Health, Boost Medical Spending

States that spend more money on social services and public health programs relative to medical care have much healthier residents than states that don’t, a study out today. Professor Elizabeth Bradley, lead author of the study, is urging more efficient — not more — government spending.

Sound Transit 3 Benefits Questioned

Sound Transit 3 envisions light rail as the agency’s primary transportation mode in the Puget Sound region by 2050. Some policy experts and business leaders opposed to the measure argue the return of investment isn’t worth it for the average Puget Sound resident who won’t use them.

Dozens Escaped from Mental Hospital Since 2013

A review of police reports and interviews by The Associated Press reveal 185 instances in which patients escaped or walked away over just the past 3 1/2 years or so. Some returned on their own within hours, but many disappeared for weeks or longer. Many were never found.

AG Targets 90 Conservative Groups in Controversial Climate Change Probe

The attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands is targeting dozens of conservative and libertarian organizations in a racketeering lawsuit against climate change skeptics that has been widely described as an effort to silence political opponents. The subpoena was part of a national, coordinated legal campaign by state attorneys general and left-wing advocacy groups to use the legal system against companies and organizations that disagree with and advocate against Democratic policies to address global climate change.

State AG Considers Legal Options to Protect Hanford Workers

Washington state’s attorney general is exploring further legal options to keep Hanford workers safe from chemical vapors, he said in a statement released early Tuesday evening. The announcement came after a day when six more Hanford workers received medical evaluations for possible exposure to chemical vapors.

Whatever Some Candidates Tell You, the Incomes of Most Americans Have Been Rising

After a decade when most Americans saw their incomes decline, the latest Census Bureau income data contain very good news: A majority of U.S. households racked up healthy income gains in 2013 and 2014. The facts may not fit the narratives of Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, but they do help explain why President Obama’s job approval and favorability ratings have finally passed the 50 percent mark.

Mandatory Testing Of Lead In Schools Never Funded

Gov. Jay Inslee issued a directive Monday that orders the Department of Health to come up with new cost estimates to pay for mandatory testing in schools. The directive also requires health officials to assess whether childcare providers should be required to test their drinking water.

Communities of Color Should Lead on Environmental Fight

On Earth Day this year, we released the City of Seattle Equity and Environment Agenda, a blueprint to advance and embed racial equity in the city’s environmental work. In the Agenda, the Community Partner Steering Committee proposes that the city establish an environmental justice fund to invest in community-defined solutions.