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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

New Washington Laws Cover College Aid, Guns, Tanning

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The Washington state capitol building.

This is the week undocumented students in Washington will become eligible for state college tuition aid. The Real Hope Act is just one of dozens of new state laws that take effect Thursday, 90 days after the Washington Legislature adjourned.

There’s already a website,, which gives undocumented students information on how to apply for a Washington State Need Grant.

There’s no guarantee of funding because the program is already over-subscribed. But the Latino students who lobbied for the new law say just winning eligibility to the program is a major victory.

Another new Washington law requires individuals who have a restraining order against them to surrender their firearms. This law is triggered if a judge finds the person poses a credible threat to the safety of an intimate partner.

Also beginning this week, kids under age 18 are prohibited from using tanning beds in Washington. The only exception is if a doctor prescribes UV radiation treatment.

All told some 200 new laws take effect June 12 in Washington.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."