Senate Republican Leader Optimistic About 2019 Legislative Session

Olympia, WA – The gavel dropped on the full 2019 legislative session at the state capitol in Olympia. The leader of Republicans in the Senate, Ritzville’s Mark Schoesler, says he’s trying to remain optimistic despite Democrats having a larger majority this year. “And I remain optimistic as always that we…


12th District Senator Brad Hawkins Previews the 2019 Legislative Session

With the start of the 2019 Washington State Legislative Session on Monday, January 14th, 12th District Senator Brad Hawkins says there will be a lot of changes coming to Olympia. “Democratic majorities have expanded significantly with the recent election this past November. We have 49 members of the state Senate…


Mental Health a Major Issue for Washington State Legislature in 2019

One of the most serious issues facing lawmakers during the scheduled 105-day session is the issue of mental health. Among the problems: A lack of beds, mental health patients housed in jails, decertification of Western State Hospital, and a series of assaults and safety issues. Representative Joe Schmick of Colfax…


State Senator Asks to Stop Legislator Payraise

Olympia, WA – While the Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials solicits public feedback on its proposal to increase state legislator pay, Sen. John Braun sent the panel a letter on Monday urging reconsideration of a nearly 18 percent raise before a final vote. The commission is tasked…


State Legislature Passes Supplemental Operating Budget

The state legislature wrapped up their short session last night and passed a supplementary operating budget along a party-line vote. Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler expressed disappointment after the vote. “I think it’s unfortunate that for the first time since 2010 this was a party-line vote. I think the public’s…


State House Passes Supplemental Operating Budget

The Washington State House passed their budget yesterday along party lines. Democrats praised the bill saying it puts families first, reduces property taxes and fully funds education. Republicans like Vicki Kraft of Vancouver questioned instituting a capital gains tax among other things. “Seven percent capital gains tax on Washingtonians. Why…


Improved Revenue Forecast for Washington

Numbers released by the Office of Financial Management Thursday at a meeting of the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council showed that overall state revenues increased by nearly $628 million for the current two-year budget that ends mid-2019 and approximately $1.3 billion by 2021. 12th District Representative Mike Steele says that’s…


Gig Economy Concerning to Some State Lawmakers

Being a part of the Gig Economy can sound sort of exciting. Lots of variety, none of that nine-to-five grind . . . but the decidedly unromantic downside for many of these workers is no insurance, no benefits, and no economic security. Lawmakers are concerned about what seems to be…


Washington State Legislature Looking to Help with Long-Term Care

Washington’s Legislature is looking at a long-term care funding plan.  Bipartisan legislation would create one year of long-term care insurance for Washington residents through a payroll deduction.  Sarita Gupta, the co-director of Caring Across Generations, says this would help some 830-thousand family caregivers who are now caring for Baby Boomer…


Gender Pay Equity Bill Introduced

At its current rate, the pay gap for women in Washington state compared to men won’t close until 2070. As the new legislative session begins, hopes are high that 2018 is the year lawmakers update the state’s equal-pay laws and close that gap much sooner. On Wednesday, the Senate Committee…