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KOMO News: Boulder, Atlanta mass shootings stirring up gun debate in Washington state

KOMO News: Boulder, Atlanta mass shootings stirring up gun debate in Washington state

The mass shootings in Boulder and Atlanta are igniting new calls for gun control and a heated debate all over the country.

Here in Washington state, one high profile bill is still alive in the state legislature after previous gun control measures have failed.

Eight lives were lost in Atlanta and 10 were lives lost in Boulder during back-to-back mass shootings.

Lawmakers said the killings are a wake-up call.

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Crosscut: Police accountability agenda loses some teeth in WA Legislature

Crosscut: Police accountability agenda loses some teeth in WA Legislature

After last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, Washington state lawmakers set out to enact a sweeping collection of police accountability reforms in 2021.

Some of those measures are advancing swiftly through the Legislature, including a proposal to ban chokeholds and a bill to beef up the state’s system for decertifying police officers.

But other police reform bills have stalled — including a plan to end the qualified immunity that can shield officers from civil lawsuits and a measure to stop arbitrators from reversing police discipline.

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Bellingham Herald: Whatcom Prosecutor: ‘We must stop using courts and laws to act as debt collectors’

Bellingham Herald: Whatcom Prosecutor: ‘We must stop using courts and laws to act as debt collectors’

(Photo:  COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALD) The role of a prosecuting attorney is to hold individuals accountable for their actions and keep Washingtonians safe. Every day, I and my staff hold individuals accountable for crimes against our state and those within it. It is important that we spend as much of our time and resources as we can on this mission and providing safety and security to victims. However, it is not our desire, nor our job, to punish people for actions outside the public safety sphere. Click here to read more...

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STAT News: Washington may become the second state to distribute its own generic drugs

STAT News: Washington may become the second state to distribute its own generic drugs

A bill moving through the Washington legislature may make the state only the second in the U.S. with hopes of distributing its own line of generic drugs, an idea hatched last year in California as a way to combat the rising cost of prescription medicines that are straining government budgets.

The legislation would authorize the state Health Care Authority to form partnerships with other state agencies or nonprofits to distribute generics and insulin. However, any drug must be made or distributed by a pharmaceutical company that is registered with the Food and Drug Administration.

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NBC Right Now: Ag work week bill passed by Senate

NBC Right Now: Ag work week bill passed by Senate

OLYMPIA — Washington would be the first state in the nation to bring the 40-hour work week to agricultural workers, some of the nation’s lowest-paid workers, under a bill passed by the state Senate.

Farmworkers were exempted from the original federal Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1938.

A late compromise negotiated by Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, and Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, enabled the legislation’s passage on a bipartisan vote of 37-12 just before a key legislative deadline.

Sen. Shelly Short, R-Addy, is a co-sponsor of the original bill, but voted against the amended proposal. Sen. Brad ...

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Edmonds Beacon: An honor for Washington Kids in Transition

Edmonds Beacon: An honor for Washington Kids in Transition

The Washington State Senate will honor Washington Kids in Transition 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 18, with a resolution for the good work it's done in local communities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From distributing federal CARES funds from the city of Edmonds to securing an Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction grant and supporting the Edmonds Hub, children and families in the Edmonds School District have benefitted greatly from their dedication.

Click here to read more...

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Crosscut: Is this the year Washington state starts a public bank?

Crosscut: Is this the year Washington state starts a public bank?

(Photo: Jovelle Tamayo for Crosscut) It’s a high-stakes year in the Washington state Legislature. If you’ve been reading the news, you’ve probably heard about proposals to provide pandemic relief, tax the richprotect tenants from mass eviction and more. But some transformative bills have been flying mostly under the radar. One of them, Senate Bill 5188, could create a Washington state public bank. If this bill succeeds, our state will be poised to establish the second public bank in the nation. The first opened its doors in North Dakota all the way back in 1919. Click ...

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The Stranger: Today the Seattle City Council Will Decide Whether Tenants Facing Eviction Deserve Attorneys

The Stranger: Today the Seattle City Council Will Decide Whether Tenants Facing Eviction Deserve Attorneys

As the end of Washington's eviction moratorium approaches, state lawmakers hope to stem the tide of a potential tsunami of evictions with a bill that would establish a "right to counsel" for tenants facing eviction statewide.

That's great! But it's not as great as it could be. The state bill, sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer, would only provide lawyers for people making less than 200% of the federal poverty level, or around $53,000 for a family of four. Since landlords evict most people for non-payment of rent, that provision amounts to a pretty unnecessary means test. More worrisome ...

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The Stranger: The Senate Must Not Weaken Just Cause Eviction Protections Any More than the House Already Has

The Stranger: The Senate Must Not Weaken Just Cause Eviction Protections Any More than the House Already Has

Over the next few weeks lawmakers in Olympia will consider a few major pieces of legislation designed to strengthen tenant protections and help stem the tide of a potential wave of evictions set to begin at the end of the month, when the Governor's moratorium is scheduled to lift.

Next week the House will hear a big ol' Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer, that requires landlords to offer reasonable payment plans for tenants who got behind during the pandemic, hooks up landlords with rental assistance dollars, sets up a temporary eviction resolution program, and gives poor ...

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The Spokesman-Review: Bill to provide property tax relief for residents rebuilding after wildfires passes state Senate

The Spokesman-Review: Bill to provide property tax relief for residents rebuilding after wildfires passes state Senate

OLYMPIA – A bill that would provide tax relief to Washington residents when rebuilding homes damaged by natural disasters passed the Senate unanimously.

The bill, sponsored by Ritzville Republican Sen. Mark Schoesler, began as an effort to help Eastern Washington residents whose homes were destroyed in Labor Day fires last year. After the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied individual assistance to Whitman County, Schoesler said he wanted to provide some assistance to people trying to rebuild.

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