Local Politics

Oregon makes drug possession a misdemeanor

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - A bill signed by Oregon's governor has reclassified personal-use possession of cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs as a misdemeanor from a felony.Among its supporters are the police and sheriffs' associations, which said felony convictions include unintended consequences, including barriers to housing and employment.

National Hot Dog Day

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has designated July as National Hot Dog Month and for today, Wednesday, July 19th as National Hot Dog Day.

Washington becomes 5th state to guarantee paid family leave

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a measure that makes Washington the fifth state to guarantee paid family leave.The measure signed Wednesday offers eligible workers 12 weeks paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child or for the serious medical condition of the worker or the worker's family member beginning in 2020 - or 16 weeks for a combination of both. An additional two weeks may be used if there is a serious health condition with a pregnancy.

Washington seeks to overturn tribe's fuel tax exemption

YAKIMA, Wash. - Washington state is asking the nation's highest court to overturn a state Supreme Court decision that exempted the Yakama Nation from paying state taxes on out-of-state fuel delivered to the reservation.

Disputes continue over mission expansion in Downtown Pasco

The Union Gospel Mission is expanding in Downtown Pasco with the building of a men's facility in a 6.5 acre lot just off Columbia Street. The mission received a building permit in 2011 and expects the facility to be completed next summer. Though mission administration says the expansion will help counter the growing homeless population in the city, some business owners in the downtown area believe the new property will negatively impact their businesses.

Legislature passes bill targeting prohibited gun buyers

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Legislature has approved a measure to crack down on prohibited gun buyers in Washington state.Under the measure, gun dealers would be required to alert the Washington State Patrol when someone doesn't pass a background check when trying to buy or transfer a gun.The House voted 83-13 on Friday to concur with suggested changes from the Senate, which unanimously passed the bill Thursday.