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The Seattle Times: Give every student access to computer-science education

The Seattle Times: Give every student access to computer-science education

Despite Washington’s status as a technology hub, more than 40% of the state’s public K-12 school districts didn’t offer a single class in computer science, according to recent data. That’s abysmal. Not every young Washingtonian will want to grow up to work in computer-related industries, but each student should have the opportunity to explore these in-demand and lucrative careers. Click here to read more.

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KING 5: Open carry ban at state Capitol, near demonstrations signed into law in Washington

KING 5: Open carry ban at state Capitol, near demonstrations signed into law in Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gun owners can no longer display guns at the state Capitol in Olympia or near demonstrations anywhere in the state. Calling it “common sense” legislation, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Washington, signed the bill Wednesday afternoon. It became effective immediately. The law prohibits the open carry of firearms within 250 feet of permitted demonstrations and on the Capitol grounds in Olympia. Click here to read more...

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Everett Herald: Workers’ protections expanded during, after covid

Everett Herald: Workers’ protections expanded during, after covid

By Karen Keiser and Mike Sells / For The Herald We have heard a lot of talk about “essential workers” over the past year, as we depend on people whose work cannot be done remotely; tens of thousands of workers braving all hazards to keep our medical system functioning, our pantries full of food, and our buses moving. Our reaction in the state Legislature, which concluded its regular session on Sunday, was to not just call them “essential” but to treat them that way. And that’s exactly what we did, with historic legislation to strengthen workplace protections, both during ...

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The Olympian: Lawmakers OK tenants’ civil right to counsel bill. Will it be ready to stop an eviction cliff?

The Olympian: Lawmakers OK tenants’ civil right to counsel bill. Will it be ready to stop an eviction cliff?

A bill signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday makes Washington the first state in the country to guarantee legal representation to low-income tenants facing eviction. Cities such as Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, and Cleveland have passed similar laws in recent years, which require courts to appoint an attorney for any tenant earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level, but Washington is the first state to do so.

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Crosscut: How fired cops win their jobs back: arbitration

Crosscut: How fired cops win their jobs back: arbitration

Backup was only about a minute away. But by the time it arrived, Centralia Police Officer Phil Reynolds had already used his Taser three times on a handcuffed suspect in the back of his patrol car. Two days later, Reynolds used his stun gun on another suspect, with one of the deployments lasting 44 seconds, nearly nine times as long as the standard Taser cycle. An internal review found four other incidents where Reynolds used his Taser in ways that violated department policy, then filed inaccurate reports about those uses of force. Click here to read more...

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The Olympian: State House votes to end eviction moratorium June 30

The Olympian: State House votes to end eviction moratorium June 30

Washington is poised to become the first state in the country to guarantee legal representation for low-income tenants facing eviction, with Senate Bill 5160 now approved by both chambers after its vote in the House of Representatives Thursday night. Some tenants may need to put that new guarantee to work right away because the House’s version of the bill adds a major concession: an amendment sponsored by Rep. Michelle Caldier (R-Port Orchard) that would end the statewide eviction moratorium on June 30.

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Seattle Times: Washington may soon be first state to guarantee lawyers for low-income tenants facing eviction

Seattle Times: Washington may soon be first state to guarantee lawyers for low-income tenants facing eviction

Washington may soon become the first state in the country to ensure that low-income tenants have legal representation when faced with an eviction, an idea lawmakers see as a way to head off a feared wave of evictions once pandemic-era rental restrictions are lifted. A bill likely to pass the state Legislature follows years of organizing by tenant advocates across the country who say guaranteeing lawyers for tenants during evictions, also known as “right to counsel,” keeps people in their homes at far higher rates than the current system. Yet a last-minute amendment added to the  bill would ...

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Washington State Wire: When and why the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs changed their position on ESSB 5226

Washington State Wire: When and why the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs changed their position on ESSB 5226

At a press conference Tuesday, Sen. Jamie Pedersen (D – Seattle) said that the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) did not fully support ESSB 5226 until an amendment from Sen. Annette Cleveland (D – Vancouver) was added. But after assessing public testimony offered by WASPC and following up with the organization to hear about how their stance on the bill developed, the Wire found that Sen. Cleveland’s amendment had no such impact.

ESSB 5226, removes the penalty of driver’s license suspension for failing to pay a ticket for a non-criminal traffic infraction. If individuals are ...

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PubliCola: Post-Pandemic Renter Protections on the Line in the State Senate

PubliCola: Post-Pandemic Renter Protections on the Line in the State Senate

A bill that would bring an end to no-cause evictions in Washington (HB 1236) had a confusing day on the Senate floor on Monday. Republicans managed to get three amendments added to the bill, stripping away its protections for tenants facing no-cause evictions and exempting small rental properties from the bill entirely, before it was eventually taken off the floor. An updated version of the bill is heading to a senate floor vote today. The legislation lists 16 possible causes for a landlord to evict a tenant. “They’re very expansive,” Representative Nicole Macri (D-43, Seattle), the bill’s primary sponsor, ...

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Seattle Times: Washington’s culvert challenge deserves federal funding

Seattle Times: Washington’s culvert challenge deserves federal funding

By The Seattle Times editorial board

A federal court order to open up hundreds of fish passages beneath roads by 2030 has been Washington’s burden for years. This $3.7 billion undertaking deserves federal funding so it does not starve other critical state infrastructure needs. Restoration of threatened salmon and steelhead runs is an unavoidable priority.

Washington’s congressional delegation should press to address this environmental need in legislation to revive the post-pandemic economy. The U.S. Supreme Court didn’t exactly send the state money in its 2018 ruling requiring it fix 425 Western Washington fish passages. The U.S. Treasury Department and ...

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