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Government and Politics
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."

Bills In Washington Legislature Hit First Do-Or-Die Deadline

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Colin Fogarty
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Northwest News Network files

Washington state lawmakers are more than a third of the way through their 105-day legislative session.

Friday is the cut-off for non-budget, policy bills to be voted out of committee.

The dead bills list includes a proposal to abandon the troubled highway tunneling project along the Seattle waterfront. Also, a measure that would have abolished the death penalty in Washington.

Another idea that stalled out in the legislature was a proposal to split Washington into two states. Also not moving was a measure to hold adults criminally responsible when kids get their hands on guns and someone is injured or killed.

Among the bills that are still alive are tighter regulation of the medical marijuana industry, the governor’s proposed cap-and-trade system, an option for families to seek involuntary treatment of a mentally ill loved one, and a bill to allow Washington State University to open a medical school.

The next big deadline in the Washington legislature is March 11. That’s the last day for bills to pass out of their house of origin.