InvestigateWest advises the Washington State Sunshine Committee, which advises the Washington Legislature, to proceed cautiously when considering whether to further restrict citizens’ access to information about juveniles through the Washington State Public Records Act.
Big Oil is fighting proposed higher taxes meant to speed cleanups of toxic waste sites in Seattle’s Duwamish River and Gas Works Park, Bellingham Bay, Tacoma, Grays Harbor and landfills around Washington. Will Washington legislators pass SB 5993 anyway?
A bill in the Washington Legislature (HB1579) would give state Fish and Wildlife agents far more power to fight armoring of Puget Sound seashore by seawalls and other environmental insults along the shoreline.
Environmentalists and industry representatives are battling in Olympia over whether to ban chemicals used widely in fast-food wrappers and found in some communities’ drinking water that may cause various health complications. If the bills are passed, Washington will be the first state to regulate “perfluorinated chemicals”.
Short-haul truck drivers who pick up and deliver containers at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are organizing a walkout Tuesday to protest a proposed April 1 deadline restricting port access to allow only newer, cleaner-burning diesel trucks. Independent drivers who own their trucks and contract for work one load at a time say the cost of upgrading to cleaner vehicles will put many of them out of business. The drivers are mostly immigrants from East Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, according to the Northwest Seaport Alliance, an agency formed in 2015 to merge the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. A flyer distributed late last week calls on independent drivers to attend a meeting of commissioners from both ports Tuesday. At the meeting, Seaport Alliance commissioners are set to decide whether to adopt the new April 1 deadline for their self-imposed, decade-old commitment to cleaner-burning trucks.
OLYMPIA – Could 2017 be the year Washington emerges as the first state to tax emissions of a greenhouse gas? Barring some unusual turn of events as legislators finalize the state budget here, don’t count on it. But that assessment comes with an asterisk. There are signs that business opposition to the idea is softening. Meanwhile, environmentalists and their allies have made it clear that if the Legislature doesn’t act this spring, they’ll bring to issue to voters next year.
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.
An abruptly canceled meeting, a moonlighting state senator and the nascent Trump administration all had something to do with many environmental and clean-energy priorities becoming casualties before the Washington Legislature could even reach the halfway mark in its 2017 session. Other priorities soldier on, but the road ahead is uphill.
Will abused and neglected children in Washington’s foster-care system be rescued by a $10 million reorganization of the state’s state’s system to care for foster children? Even if the Washington Legislature comes up with the $10 million, what will really change?
An October Washington Supreme Court decision found that many counties had over-allocated their available water. Now thousands of rural homeowners are stuck in limbo as counties grapple with implementing the decision and turn to the Legislature for help.