Government and Politics

Political news

Washington Department of Licensing

This story has been updated.

A batch of late-arriving ballots is going out to nearly 7,000 Washington voters in advance of next Tuesday’s special election. That’s because of an error in the state’s Motor Voter system that allows people to register to vote when they get a drivers license.

Washington Legislature

Washington’s 60-day legislative session is approaching the halfway mark and majority Democrats are flexing their newfound one-party control of Olympia. That’s especially evident in the state Senate where several priority Democratic bills have been put on a fast track.

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A tax on fossil fuel emissions is one step closer to becoming law in Washington state. An amended version of the carbon tax proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee passed the Senate Energy, Environment & Technology Committee Thursday night. 




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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is calling on state lawmakers to “step up” and pass a carbon tax this year. The Democrat made his comments Tuesday as the midpoint of the legislative session approaches.

WDFW

Washington Department and Fish and Wildlife Director Jim Unsworth is resigning next month after three years on the job. He presided over a tumultuous time at the department.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Victims of sexual harassment are urging Washington lawmakers to take steps to make the workplace safer. At a public hearing Wednesday, lawmakers heard personal stories and a rare acknowledgment of past failures.

Enrique Perez de la Rosa / Northwest News Network

Hundreds of abortion rights opponents gathered in the rain at the Washington state Capitol Monday. They were there to protest a number of efforts by lawmakers to expand access to reproductive health services, including one bill that would require health insurers who cover maternity care to also cover abortions.

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Young smokers in Washington state may have trouble getting a pack of cigarettes in the near future. State lawmakers are considering raising the minimum age to buy tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21.

Northwest News Network/Enrique Perez de la Rosa

When Elizabeth and David Krout of Seattle woke up Saturday morning at Mount Rainier National Park, they were excited to have a weekend of snowshoeing ahead of them.

They had arrived at the park on Friday afternoon, and since they had no cellphone service there, they didn’t receive any messages—including news that the U.S. government partially shut down late that evening.

Enrique Perez de la Rosa / Northwest News Network

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Friday signed the state’s long-awaited $4.3 billion construction budget.

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