With just over two weeks left in the 2018 Washington State legislative session, InvestigateWest is tracking key environmental bills. Which are dead? Which are alive? Exciting questions remain. Will Washington become the first state to ban toxic chemicals in food packaging?
| With Pamplin Media Group
A bill sent to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown attempts to crack down on police racially profiling citizens. It drew controversy late in the legislative process when Democrats amended it to make possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine misdemeanors instead of felonies to encourage drug treatment.
| With Crosscut
An expected expansion of Canada’s Kinder-Morgan pipeline could increase the number of oil-carrying vessels in the Salish Sea seven-fold. In preparation for that, Washington Democrats are trying to pass legislation that would improve oil transportation safety, particularly on the water. But it’s an uphill battle and the clock is ticking.
| With Crosscut
Despite the Flint, Michigan lead-poisoning crisis and the fact that Washington state officials detect 10 lead-poisoned kids a week, bills to reduce children’s lead exposure are struggling in the Washington Legislature.
| With News21
With the presidential election less than three months away, millions of Americans will be navigating new requirements for voting – if they can vote at all – as state leaders implement dozens of new restrictions that could make it more difficult to cast a ballot.
Run-of-the-mill public records requests that get the job done would allow journalists to spot problems–and report on solutions. So why are they so hard to get?
A kerfuffle at an April meeting of the Council of Forest Trust Land Counties has at least one environmental group calling foul, the council’s chairman chastised, and a handful of state forestry leaders ensnared in a legal quagmire that’s hiding behind war-font headlines.
| With FairWarning
Cords that kill — window-blind cords that have strangled hundreds of children — are being discontinued by a few companies that make the blinds. The moves follow years of inaction by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is now starting rulemaking on the matter. Says the CEO of one blind-maker: “I am very sorry we did not do it sooner.”
More transparency in Oregon state government is the goal of two ongoing processes. Are the redundant — or should we think of them like synchronized swimming?
Attorneys occupy the Governor’s office, one in eight legislative seats, appointments on Oregon boards and commissions, and local offices throughout the state.
Having this information stored digitally puts it at requesters’ fingertips fast and free.