Washington legislature

USA Today

Every piece of legislation considered by a body of elected officials has some kind of back story. Sometimes a bill is sparked by an idea from a constituent. That was the case with one bill (Senate Bill 5472) now waiting for Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s signature. It started with an innocuous question about election drop boxes.


A Washington House committee has approved — barely — a bill that would allow local governments to increase property taxes each year by more than the currently-allowed one percent.


Much of the focus in Olympia is on K-12 education and satisfying a state Supreme Court mandate that Washington spend more money on public schools. That would take some of the burden for funding schools away from local property taxes.

But marijuana has been on the agenda too. The state is still making adjustments to the system for regulating and taxing it.

Pot Bills Get Hearings in Washington Legislature

Jan 22, 2017

A Washington House committee approved two bills this week related to the state’s marijuana industry, which has steadily grown since the state’s voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012.

In the first, the House Commerce and Gaming Committee voted for legislation aimed at getting counties and cities to act one way or another on marijuana retail license applications. Many cities have licensed new marijuana retail shops that are now doing business. Many have banned those shops within their borders. Some municipalities have done neither.  

State Lawmakers Sometimes Aim Small

Dec 21, 2016

The Washington and ldaho legislatures will take up big systemic issues such as public school funding when they convene next month. But you might be surprised to learn that many individual legislators have modest goals when you ask them what they hope to accomplish.

Republican Shawn Keough from Sandpoint, in the northern panhandle of Idaho, is entering her 11th term as a state senator. She’s one of the senior members and as such she’s involved in high level work, such as writing state budgets. But it’s the problem solving that makes the job satisfying for her.