Washington

Data Privacy Popular Issue in States | 09-14-2018

At least 33 states have considered legislation this session dealing specifically with the privacy of personal data. Nineteen of those states have enacted data privacy measures. They include California, which enacted AB 375 , modeled after the European...

Some States Resist Expanding Short-Term Health Plans | 08-31-2018

A new regulation from the Department of Health and Human Services will allow insurers, starting on Oct. 1, to offer bare-bones, short-term health insurance plans as a longer-term, low-cost alternative to the coverage prescribed by the Affordable Care...

Slow Progress on Public Pension Reform | 08-17-2018

The economy is on a tear, with the national growth rate high and unemployment low. Eighty percent of U.S. companies have reported earnings that exceed Wall Street forecasts. City and state revenues are surging, as the Great Recession fades in the rear...

Tip Credit Latest Front in Minimum Wage Battle | 08-10-2018

In June, Washington D.C. voters strongly endorsed Initiative 77 , a ballot referendum to require District eateries to pay workers that rely on tips the same minimum wage as other employees. But amidst furious pushback from the restaurant industry, a majority...

Dems Outside DC Join Push for Statehood | 08-10-2018

Some progressive Democrats outside Washington, D.C. are jumping on the bandwagon for making the District the 51st state. Dan Pfeiffer, an aide to former president Barack Obama, has been advocating for statehood on the “Pod Save America” podcast...

Business - August 6 2018 | 08-03-2018

WA Federal Court Blocks a Company from Posting Online Plans A federal court in WASHINGTON blocks a company from posting online plans for 3D-printed gun blueprints that lawmakers around the country feared would lead to a wave of easily produced, untraceable...

All or Parts of 31 States ‘Sanctuaries’ as of Early 2017 | 07-20-2018

As of February of last year, at least five states had laws limiting how much local law enforcement had to cooperate with requests from federal authorities to detain immigrants, according to analysis of data from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center by...

States Seek to Soften Blow of SCOTUS Union Ruling | 07-20-2018

Last month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public workers who opt out of union membership can’t be required to pay fees supporting union collective bargaining efforts even if they benefit from them. The decision is expected...

Cities, Towns Weigh Vacation Home Rentals Against Housing Needs For Locals | 07-13-2018

Andy Morris didn’t set out to upend the hotel industry. Or to get involved in a huge fight with the city of Seattle. He and his wife just happened to have a tenant move out of the one rental property they owned a few years ago, just as companies...

Fair Percentage of Airbnb Rentals Full-Time | 07-13-2018

According to a 2016 analysis of Airbnb booking data by the website fivethirtyeight.com, among the 25 cities with the largest Airbnb markets at that time, Honolulu, Hawaii had the highest percentage of active listings that were rented at least 180 days...

Straws Latest Flashpoint in Battle Over Plastics | 06-29-2018

Today, a visitor to a Bon Appétit cafe will have no problem finding plenty of tasty things to nosh on. But finding a plastic straw for their soda or a plastic stirrer for their coffee will soon be impossible. San Francisco-based Bon Appétit...

Seattle to Repeal Recently Approved ‘Head Tax’ | 06-15-2018

Last month Seattle, Washington’s City Council unanimously approved a tax on the city’s largest employers to help address its homelessness problem. The Seattle area has the third-largest homeless population in the country, and the city spent...

Half of States Have Considered Internet Privacy Bills in 2017-18 | 06-08-2018

At least 27 states have considered but only two, Oregon and Virginia, have passed legislation dealing with internet privacy in the current session, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Politics in Brief - June 11 2018 | 06-08-2018

OK VOTERS TO WEIGH LESS RESTRICTIVE MEDICAL MARIJUANA MEASURE: OKLAHOMA voters will consider a ballot measure on June 26 that would make the state the first to adopt a medical marijuana program that doesn’t specify ailments for which doctors...

Obamacare: Popular but Pressured | 05-18-2018

The Affordable Care Act, long a punching bag for Republicans, has survived body blows from Congress and the Trump administration and could become a political asset for Democrats in an election year in which they hope to gain legislative and congressional...

More States Considering ACA Medicaid Expansion | 05-18-2018

Thirty-two states have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act but letting states decide whether or not to implement the Medicaid expansion provided for by the federal law. A budget proposal...

Governors in Brief - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CUOMO PROPOSES ELIMINATION OF NY COAL PLANTS : NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) ordered the state Department of Environmental Conservation to set new limits on carbon dioxide emissions he said would make Empire State power plants entirely coal-free by...

Budgets in Brief - May 21 2018 | 05-18-2018

CA GOV PROPOSES LAST STATE BUDGET: CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) unveiled the final budget of his tenure, a plan calling for $199.3 billion in total spending and projecting an $8.8 billion surplus, $7.6 billion of which would be deposited into two...

Reinsurance Programs Catching On in States | 05-11-2018

Since 2016 at least 19 states have introduced and 9 have enacted legislation creating a state reinsurance program and/or authorizing the state to apply for a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to obtain federal funding...

State Pot Revenues Surging But Still Relatively Insignificant | 05-11-2018

Between 2014 and 2017, tax revenues from the sale of marijuana shot up about 400 percent in Washington. In Colorado they surged about 900 percent. But the $314 million and $223 million in marijuana tax revenues, respectively, in the two states that were...

Some State Progress in Deadly Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Thirteen states have made progress in battling the deadly opioid epidemic while eight states have notably failed to deal with the crisis, according to a report issued this month by the National Safety Council (NSC). It comes on the heels of a report earlier...

Fakest News of All | 04-20-2018

Fake news on the Internet or social media is one thing, but tacked directly to your door? As the Vancouver Columbian reports , that’s exactly what happened recently in Vancouver, Washington, where some residents woke up to find a letter tacked to...

States Beginning to Focus on AI | 04-13-2018

At least 11 states have introduced or proposed bills or resolutions referring to “artificial intelligence” this year, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system . Five of those measures have been enacted, including...

Politics in Brief - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

SC GOP PROPOSES CLOSING STATE’S PRIMARIES: The Republican Party of SOUTH CAROLINA announced last week that it will conduct an advisory referendum in the state’s June primaries asking voters if they want the option of affiliating with a...

Business - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

TN House Rejects SB 1086 The TENNESSEE House rejects SB 1086 , a Senate-endorsed bill that would strip local municipalities of the ability to ban short term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO. The measure is expected to go to a joint conference committee...

Social Policy - April 9 2018 | 04-05-2018

HI Senate Approves HB 2739 The HAWAII Senate gives final approval to HB 2739 , a bill that would allow Aloha State doctors to help terminally ill patients to end their own lives. It is now with Gov. David Ige (D), who has said he will sign it into...

The Local Front - April 9 2018 | 04-05-2018

WA City Council Votes The SEATTLE City Council votes to expand the areas within the Emerald City where developers can build housing without off-street parking and permit landlords to rent their parking spaces to people who don’t live in the building...

States Looking for Cure to High Drug Prices | 03-30-2018

During his State of the Union speech in February, President Donald Trump declared his intention to address what he called “the injustice of high drug prices.” He repeated the promise last month in New Hampshire during a press conference on...

Many States Considering Bans on Pharmacy ‘Gag Clauses’ | 03-30-2018

As of March 22, at least 27 states had introduced bills this year prohibiting pharmaceutical benefit manager (PBM) or health insurer contracts that prevent pharmacists from informing customers about alternatives to medications they’ve been prescribed...

Governors in Brief - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

INSLEE SIGNS QUARTET OF WA #METOO BILLS : Saying “We must do better to make sure employers understand there is no place for these behaviors in the workplace,” WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed four bills last month that address sexual...

Education - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

WA Governor Signs SB 5064 WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signs SB 5064 , which bars school administrators from censoring the work of student journalists. The measure goes into effect in June (SEATTLE TIMES). IDAHO Gov. Butch Otter (R) signs HB...

The Rewards and Perils of Redistricting | 03-16-2018

In democracies, voters are supposed to choose their legislative representatives. Increasingly, however, U.S. courts have found that representatives choose their voters through partisan gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts. With...

Half of States Use Commissions for Redistricting | 03-16-2018

Commissions, rather than legislatures, have primary responsibility for drawing state legislative and/or congressional districts in 13 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In another 12 states, commissions either assist legislators...

The Local Front - March 19 2018 | 03-16-2018

TX Court of Appeals Rules The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules that most of a TEXAS law barring local municipalities from declaring themselves to be so-called sanctuary cities can stay in place while litigation seeking to overturn the law...

More State Cybersecurity Regulation Ahead for Financial Services Industry? | 03-08-2018

Developments in 2017, including the highly publicized Equifax data breach and adoption of cybersecurity requirements for insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions by New York’s Department of Financial Services, have the financial...

Inslee Signs WA Net Neutrality Bill | 03-08-2018

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed legislation last Monday making the Evergreen State the first to implement a law restoring net-neutrality rules discarded by the Federal Communications Commission. The legislation ( HB 2282 ) forbids Internet providers...

Business - March 12 2018 | 03-08-2018

FL House and Senate SB 7026 The FLORIDA House and Senate approve SB 7026 , which would raise the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, require a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases and ban the sale or possession of “bump stocks...

States Seek To Chart Their Own Course on Net Neutrality | 03-02-2018

Whether you are reading this in Olympia or Atlanta, Boston or Sacramento, the rules for how this story – or the collection of bytes of data that comprise it - travels from the Capitol Journal to your laptop, tablet or phone, are the same. ...

Over Half of States Seeking to Maintain ‘Net Neutrality’ | 03-02-2018

At least 29 states have introduced legislation this year aimed at reinstating the requirement that internet service providers treat all content the same in terms of price and accessibility, which was eliminated last year with the Federal Communications...

Govs Form Multistate Gun Task Force | 03-02-2018

Decrying a lack of federal action, several Northeastern governors have formed a multi-state partnership to address gun violence. The “States for Gun Safety” coalition is the brainchild of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who was joined by...

Helping the Dreamers: The Clock is Ticking | 02-16-2018

States have a vital stake in federal action to rescue the beleaguered program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Instituted by President Barack Obama in 2012 by executive order, DACA has protected from deportation nearly 800,000 young...

Seattle Scrutinizing Facebook’s Defiance of Campaign Disclosure Laws | 02-16-2018

Seattle, Washington may be about to become the first city to enforce campaign disclosure laws on a social media company. In December Facebook and Google refused to turn over information about online ad sales for the city’s 2017 elections to a local...

Business - February 12 2019 | 02-16-2018

WA Senate Approves SB 5407 and House Approves HB 2578 The WASHINGTON Senate approves SB 5407 , which would bar Evergreen State landlords from discriminating against tenants who use government vouchers to pay for all or part of their rent. The House...

Potpourri - February 12 2018 | 02-09-2018

VA Senate Approves SB 168 The VIRGINIA Senate approves SB 168 , legislation that allows Old Dominion prosecutors the option to charge minors who share nude or sexually explicit photos via a cell phone, or “sexting,” as a misdemeanor rather...

Blockchain Bills Under Consideration in 14 states | 02-09-2018

At least 18 bills dealing with blockchain or distributed ledger technology have been introduced in 11 states so far this year, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system. Another five blockchain-related measures that were introduced...

Some States Act on Gun Control | 01-19-2018

Although there appears to be broad public support for some gun control measures , federal action on any of them seems unlikely in the current political climate. “The possibility of evidence-based firearm laws has become so politically toxic...

Environment - January 22 2018 | 01-19-2018

NJ GOvernor Vetoes SB3317 NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) pocket vetoes SB 3317 , which would have compelled the state to join the U.S. CA, WA, and NY Climate Alliance Climate Alliance, a coalition of states led by CALIFORNIA , WASHINGTON...

Immigration - January 22 2018 | 01-19-2018

Immigration in WA The WASHINGTON State Department of Licensing announces it will no longer release personal information to federal immigration authorities without a court order unless required by law. The change is one of several the agency will make...

Govs Cry Foul Over FL Drilling Exemption | 01-12-2018

Coastal states reacted with alarm last week when the Trump administration announced it was expanding oil drilling leases in waters previously protected under the Obama administration. But when U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced that after a...

WA Defies FCC Repeal of Net Neutrality | 12-15-2017

Last week the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to repeal the net neutrality regulations adopted during the Obama administration prohibiting broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast from favoring or blocking content from certain websites...