Local Politics

Brown commutes juvenile sentences of more than 70 offenders

Gov. Kate Brown has commuted the sentences of more than 70 people convicted of felonies while juveniles, but the action doesn't mean they are about to be released. The governor’s commutations grant some adults in custody who committed serious crimes as juveniles the opportunity to appear before a state board to argue for their release after 15 years in prison. The list includes people convicted between 1988 and 2019 for crimes such as murder, assault, rape and manslaughter while juveniles. A 2019 bill made changes to the mandatory minimum sentences for minors sentenced on or after Jan. 1, 2020.

WA house facility access limited to vaccinated through January

Under a rule adopted by a House committee last month, lawmakers and legislative employees at the Washington state House must prove they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access House facilities through early January. The policy took effect Monday, the same day that a statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate deadline passed for many state workers and others to provide proof of vaccination in order to keep their jobs. Legislative staff and lawmakers are not covered by Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccination requirement so policy for the House and Senate facilities are left up to leaders within each chamber. The Senate has not adopted a similar rule, but both chambers are expected to come up with policies in the coming weeks for the upcoming legislative session that begins on Jan. 10.

Survey: 88% of WA health care workers are fully vaccinated

Most of Washington’s health care workers have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, with a week left before the state’s immunization deadline. As of Monday morning, 88% of health care workers had showed proof of vaccination, the Washington State Hospital Association reported. The results include data from 94% of the state’s hospitals, collected after Oct. 4. All health care workers must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 or face “nondisciplinary dismissal” for failure to meet job requirements, Gov. Jay Inslee announced in August.

Oregon recognizes Indigenous Peoples Day; tribes see hope

The second Monday in October, long celebrated as Columbus Day, will officially be recognized as Indigenous Peoples Day in Oregon. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports among tribal leaders in Oregon, the change represents overdue recognition and hope for the future, as well as a feeling that more could be done to recognize and support Indigenous communities. The Legislature this spring overwhelmingly approved a bill declaring Oct. 11 to be Indigenous Peoples Day. The legislation was sponsored by the Legislature’s only Indigenous lawmakers, Rep. Tawna Sanchez and Rep. Teresa Alonso-Leon. Oregon is one of 13 states to recognize the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day,

WA Democrats ask courts to dismiss election lawsuits

Election workers load ballots into a sorting machine on Election Day at the King County Elections office in Renton, Washington on November 3, 2020. – Americans were voting on Tuesday under the shadow of a surging coronavirus pandemic to decide whether to reelect Republican Donald Trump, one of the most polarizing presidents in US history, or send Democrat Joe Biden…

Rep. McMorris Rodgers tests positive for COVID, has mild symptoms

J. Scott ApplewhiteHouse Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., right, the ranking member, as they continue work on the “Build Back Better” package, cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021.SPOKANE, Wash. — Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has tested positive for COVID-19, but says her…

Money from your paycheck: Breaking down the new Washington Cares Fund

Copyright 4 News NowSPOKANE, Wash. — Starting in 2022, Washington will take more money out of your paycheck.  A new law called the “Washington Cares Fund” requires Washington workers to have a plan for long-term care.  Money from your paycheck can either go into the state’s new Washington Cares Fund or you can opt-out and buy private insurance.  But –…

Benton County Commissioners appoint Tom Croskrey as Sheriff

KENNEWICK, Wash. — During a special meeting of the County Commissioners on Tuesday afternoon, the Board formally motioned to appoint Tom Croskrey as the next sheriff of Benton County. According to an alert issued by the Benton County Commissioners' Office,…

Eviction protections in Washington state extended to Oct. 31

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday the state’s eviction protections will remain in place through the end of October because counties aren’t getting federal and state COVID-19 relief funds intended for rental assistance out fast enough ahead of the current moratorium that was set to expire Sept. 30.

Woman breaches security at WA governor’s residence

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a woman was able to enter the secure grounds of the governor’s residence Wednesday morning before being stopped by the Washington State Patrol. The Northwest News Network reports Gov. Jay Inslee and First Lady Trudi Inslee…

AG Ferguson: Biden admin 'cruel' for fighting Hanford worker law

SEATTLE — Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sounded off Tuesday, saying the Biden administration sought to challenge Washington’s law aiding workers compensation access for sick Hanford workers: REPORT: Over 57% of Hanford workers exposed to hazards  “The Trump administration…