Washington

Lawmakers Look to End Harassment Under the Dome | 11-03-2017

What started as a flood of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against powerful Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has morphed into an ever-widening outcry against such outrages regularly committed by men in all workplaces, including statehouses...

Budgets In Brief - October 23 2017 | 10-20-2017

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FREES UP CHIP MONEY FOR FIVE STATES Since Congress failed to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), providing health care for children from low-income families that don’t qualify for Medicaid, the Trump...

Politics In Brief - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

DHS CONTACTS STATES ABOUT 2016 ELECTION HACKING The Department of Homeland Security directly notified election officials in 21 states last month that they had been targeted by hackers connected to the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign...

Seattle Officials Weigh Taxing Foreign Home Buyers | 09-01-2017

Last August British Columbia began imposing a 15 percent tax on the sale of homes in Vancouver to foreign buyers. Starting this year, owners of vacant homes in that city will also have to pay a tax in the amount of 1 percent of their homes’ value...

‘Symbolic’ State Travel Bans Have Real Cost | 08-18-2017

Six states - California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington - recently banned nonessential travel by public employees to states that have passed laws that officials in the six states say discriminate against the LGBT community. All...

Budgets In Brief - August 21 2017 | 08-18-2017

CA LAWMAKERS CONSIDERING BILLIONS IN SPENDIND PROPOSALS CALIFORNIANS could vote on billions of dollars in new spending for low-income housing, water projects and parks improvements next year if Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and state lawmakers approve several...

Growth Lag And Budget Caution In The States | 08-18-2017

The U.S. economy is expanding for a ninth consecutive year, unemployment is low, stock indices are near record highs, despite an early August slump, and the Great Recession of 2007-09 is a distant memory. Despite these positives, state budgets for fiscal...

Will States ‘Drain the Swamp’ In Washington? | 08-11-2017

Unified control of Congress and the White House under a single party this year has done little to end the partisan gridlock in Washington. Congress’ repeated failure to come up with the votes to repeal Obamacare has been particularly frustrating...

Coffee Conundrum | 08-04-2017

Washington drivers can breathe easy – nobody is trying to take away their coffee. As the Seattle Times reports , Evergreen State motorists have been up in arms of late over a new distracted driving law that some have interpreted as banning their...

Energy - July 17 2017 | 07-14-2017

Washington Signs SB 5939a WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signs SB 5939a , a bill that extends until 2030 state tax incentives to Evergreen State consumers who install solar energy units on their homes. The incentive rates decrease each year after purchase...

Budgets In Brief - July 17 2017 | 07-14-2017

IL TAX HIKE WILL IMPACT WI The tax increase that finally allowed ILLINOIS to pass a state budget this month will cost neighboring WISCONSIN , which is facing its own budget impasse, $51 million, according to the state’s nonpartisan Legislative...

Business - July 10 2017 | 07-07-2017

Massachusetts Endorses SB 2093 The MASSACHUSETTS Senate unanimously endorses SB 2093 , which would bar Bay State employers from discriminating against an employee or prospective employee due to pregnancy or a condition related to the pregnancy, such...

Governors In Brief - June 12 2017 | 06-09-2017

Greitens Calls MO Abortion Special Session MISSOURI Gov. Eric Greitens (R) said he will call a special session this week to consider new abortion regulations, in part to counter a St. Louis city ordinance he said made it an “abortion sanctuary...

Social Policy - May 22 2017 | 05-19-2017

Social Policy In Alaska The ALASKA State Medical Board approves new abortion regulations that repeal a requirement that a physician consult with another doctor before performing an abortion after the twelfth week of gestation (ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS...

Potpourri - May 22 2017 | 05-19-2017

Louisiana Approves HB 71 The LOUISIANA House approves HB 71 , which would prohibit the removal of any military monument from any war without approval from a majority of voters. The measure, which is aimed at preventing the removal of Civil War monuments...

Governors In Brief - May 22 2017 | 05-19-2017

Inslee Signs Real ID Bill WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill last week that will make the Evergreen State the 25 th to comply with the federal Real ID law, which requires states to produce driver’s licenses and identification cards...

Crime & Punishment - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Crime In New York The NEW YORK State Court of Appeals unanimously upholds a policy implemented by the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) that allows the state Department of Motor Vehicles to permanently revoke driving privileges for repeat drunk...

Politics In Brief - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Congress Blocks State Retirement Plans Congress voted to eliminate an Obama-administration rule removing regulatory hurdles obstructing states from creating retirement programs for workers who don’t have access to retirement plans through their...

Crime & Punishment - May 1 2017 | 04-28-2017

Crime In Colorado The United States Supreme Court rules that people freed from prison when their convictions are reversed deserve a refund of what they paid in fees, court costs and restitution. The ruling also orders COLORADO to refund several thousand...

Business - April 10 2017 | 04-07-2017

Business In Indiana The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay and lesbian employees from workplace discrimination, the first time a federal appellate court has come to that conclusion. The ruling from the...

Judge Blocks Seattle’s Uber Unionization Law | 04-07-2017

A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking a Seattle law - the first of its kind in the nation - allowing Uber, Lyft and taxi drivers to unionize and collectively bargain for pay, benefits and working conditions. The law...

Business - March 13 2017 | 03-10-2017

New Hampshire Approves HB 436 The NEW HAMPSHIRE House approves HB 436 , which would exempt companies converting or transmitting virtual currency like Bitcoin from state banking laws that regulate money transmitters. It moves to the Senate (NEW HAMPSHIRE...

Potpourri - March 13 2017 | 03-10-2017

Washington Approves HB 1371 The WASHINGTON House approves HB 1371 , which would bar Evergreen State drivers from holding any hand-held devices while driving, including phones, tablets and other electronic devices, even while stopped in traffic. It...

Potpourri - March 6 2017 | 03-03-2017

Arizona Rejects SB 1243 The ARIZONA Senate rejects SB 1243 , which would have allowed Grand Canyon State residents to carry guns into most public buildings (U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT). Washington Approves SB 5008 The WASHINGTON Senate approves...

Governors In Brief - March 6 2017 | 03-03-2017

Wolf Pitches Job Protection Plan PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said new businesses that accept state grants to start their companies must be held accountable for the jobs they say they will create. Wolf’s budget proposal includes a three-point...

Stupid Idea of the Year | 12-16-2016

There are bad ideas and then there are ideas that reek like an animal that crawled up and died inside a wall of your house. A new proposal from a trio of Washington state lawmakers is definitely in the latter category. As Sports Illustrated reports ,...

Majority of States Have Expanded Medicaid Under ACA | 12-16-2016

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but left to states discretion by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius in...

Republicans Maintain Statehouse Dominance | 11-11-2016

Going into the Nov. 8 election, Republicans controlled both chambers of the legislature in 30 states, while Democrats controlled both chambers in 12, and 7 statehouses were split between the two parties. (Nebraska’s Legislature is technically nonpartisan...

Trump Coattails Carry Legislators But Not Ballot Measures | 11-11-2016

The white rural voters who helped propel Donald Trump to his stunning victory in the presidential race and enabled Republicans to keep their majorities in both houses of Congress on Nov. 8 may have helped some GOP candidates further down-ticket too, with...

Ballot Measure Could Indirectly Lead To Income Tax In WA | 11-04-2016

A local ballot measure that will be contested on Nov. 8 could open the door for a statewide income tax in Washington. The citizen initiative on the ballot in Olympia, which would tax household incomes over $200,000, will likely face a legal challenge...

Health & Science - November 7 2016 | 11-04-2016

Health In Washington The WASHINGTON D.C. City Council gives initial approval to so-called ‘death with dignity” legislation that would allow doctors to prescribe a terminally ill patient drugs they could use to end their own life. The Council...

Citizen Initiatives Push Ballot Measures Left This Year | 10-14-2016

In addition to state legislative elections that could flip party control of 18 chambers across the country, 157 statewide ballot measures will also be contested in 35 states on Nov. 8. The measures include an unusually high number of citizen initiatives...

WA Gov. Inslee Orders Anti-Opioid Efforts | 10-14-2016

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) issued an executive order ( EO 16-09 ) earlier this month directing state agencies to devise a broad plan to combat opioid abuse in the Evergreen State. The order directs state agencies, tribal governments and private partners...

WA Voters Have Opportunity To Tax Oregonians | 10-07-2016

For the last three decades, Washington has allowed Oregonians to spend their money in the state without paying its 8.89 percent combined state and local sales tax rate, the fifth-highest in the nation. But an initiative on Washington’s November...

Most States Allow Transportation Network Companies | 08-12-2016

Thirty-seven states have passed laws regulating transportation network companies (TNCs), according to the R Street Institute and LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. The most recent addition to that group is Delaware, where Gov...

Texas et al Win Challenge To Obama Immigration Policy | 07-15-2016

Twenty-five states joined Texas in challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy in November 2014, expanding temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Fifteen states also filed amicus, or “friend...

Let It Grow, Let It Grow, Let It Grow | 07-01-2016

Grass is all the talk around the Washington statehouse these days. Yes, the Evergreen State is one of the handful that have legalized recreational pot use, but we’re not talking about that kind of grass. As Governing magazine reports , groundskeepers...

Obamacare premium increases to vary widely across states in 2017 | 06-10-2016

Premium increases for the most popular category of health insurance plans under Obamacare will vary widely in 2017, based on analysis of proposed rate filings for eight states where complete data is available by Avalere Health. The average proposed rate...

WA’s Public Ed Supervisor Proposes Closing Schools | 06-10-2016

Randy Dorn is the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state of Washington. His constitutional duty is to supervise “all matters pertaining to public schools.” So it may seem a little strange that he has called for the state Supreme...

Majority of States Have Minimum Wage Higher Than Federal Standard | 05-20-2016

As of last month, 29 states had a minimum wage that was higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two of those states, California and New York, have also passed laws that will gradually...

Govs in WA, NJ Order More Lead Testing | 05-06-2016

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) have each announced plans for greater efforts to combat lead poisoning in their states. Reacting to recent testing that shows elevated levels of lead in water supplies for some...

Business - May 2 2016 | 04-29-2016

LA Approves HB 266 The LOUISIANA House approves, HB 266 so-called “ban the box” legislation that bars government job applications from requiring job seekers to disclose a felony conviction. Employers could still require that information...

States Consider Raising Legal Age For Tobacco | 04-29-2016

At least 11 states have considered measures this session mimicking Hawaii’s newly implemented law that raises the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21, according to LexisNexis State Net ’s legislative database. California’s...

Lawmakers Mull Raising Legal Smoking Age | 04-29-2016

Sometime in the next week – maybe by the time you are reading this – California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) will weigh in on legislation to raise his state’s legal smoking age from 18 to 21. If he signs it, the Golden State would become only...

Partisan Shifts Possible In Several Statehouses | 04-15-2016

This year’s statehouse elections offer opportunities for both Democrats and Republicans to shift majority control of legislative chambers, according to Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Democrats are eyeing Republican...

Governors In Brief - April 18 2016 | 04-15-2016

Edwards Issues LGBT Order LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) issued Executive Order No. JBE 2016-11 , which protects LGBT state employees and contractors from being fired, discriminated against or harassed based on their gender identity or sexual...

Politics In Brief - April 11 2016 | 04-08-2016

Facebook Facilitates Voter Registration in WA A Facebook post reminding WASHINGTON state residents to register to vote and including a link by way of the U.S. government’s voter registration portal to the state’s online voter registration...

Governors In Brief - April 4 2016 | 04-01-2016

Cuomo Says No-Go to NC NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) issued an executive order last week (EO No. 155) that bars state employees from any state-sponsored non-essential travel to NORTH CAROLINA . The order came after the Tar Heel State adopted legislation...

More States Oppose Obama Immigration Policy Than Support | 03-18-2016

Texas and twenty-five other states have filed suit to block President Obama’s executive actions in November shielding undocumented immigrants from deportation for three years, according to the Pew Research Center. Twelve states have filed an amicus...

Governors In Brief - March 21 2016 | 03-18-2016

FEMA Denies More Flint Relief The Federal Emergency Management Agency rejected MICHIGAN Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) request for more funds to help Flint deal with its contaminated water crisis. FEMA originally denied the request in January. Last week’s...