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Washington State Legislature

Sometimes people with severe brain injuries develop behavioral issues that are hard to manage. This can make it difficult to find them a place to live.

 


Central Washington University on Tuesday fired Republican state Rep. Matt Manweller from his position as a tenured professor of political science following a months-long investigation into his conduct toward students. 

With less than a week until the primary election in his district, Republican state Rep. Matt Manweller has released a video accusing his employer—Central Washington University (CWU)—of pursuing a partisan-driven investigation into his workplace conduct.

In response to the #MeToo movement, the Washington state Senate will create a new human resources officer position to investigate complaints of harassment and other workplace misconduct, replacing a previous system of “facilitators” who served as a go-to resource for victims.

A text message from state Rep. David Sawyer to a legislative lobbyist.
via (Tacoma) News Tribune

In the aftermath of a recent workplace conduct investigation at the state Capitol, the Democratic lawmaker at the heart of the inquiry and one of his accusers say the process has revealed flaws in how the Legislature handles complaints made against elected officials.

Washington House leaders are recommending that state Rep. David Sawyer, D-Tacoma, lose his chairmanship, but are not demanding he resign from the Legislature, following the findings of an external investigation into his conduct that could also result in an ethics probe.

In the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and staff dead, the state of Washington established a “work group” on mass shootings. It will hold its third meeting on Tuesday.

Democratic state Rep. Timm Ormsby of Spokane, the chief budget writer in the Washington House of Representatives, has pleaded guilty to reckless driving. Ormsby was facing a possible drunk driving conviction after he rolled his jeep in February.

Washington drivers who are thinking about buying an electric car would be wise to get down to a dealership in the next two weeks. That's because a valuable tax break disappears at month's end.

Two embattled Washington state representatives have filed to run for re-election—despite ongoing investigations into their conduct.

Democrat David Sawyer of Tacoma and Republican Matt Manweller of Ellensburg both registered their candidacies with the Secretary of State’s office on Monday, the first day of filing week.

Ronda Broatch

News stories can be disturbing sometimes, but KUOW has a way to help process these stories.

We call it #NewsPoet — and it involves a Pacific Northwest poet writing an original piece inspired by one of our stories.

Today we revisit the story about the last man to be put to death by Washington state.


For the last several years, Washington state lawmakers have been working on a response to a state Supreme Court order to fully fund schools. Now they’re signaling a shift to the next big challenge: mental health.

At a news conference Friday at Western State Hospital, Republican state Sen. Steve O’Ban framed Washington’s mental health crisis this way:

“I kind of think of this as, this is a bad analogy perhaps, but McCleary Two,” he said.

Washington House Democrats voted Wednesday to suspend state Rep. David Sawyer as chair of the Commerce and Gaming Committee, pending the outcome of an investigation into workplace conduct. House leaders said the rare disciplinary vote was prompted by preliminary results of that investigation into Sawyer’s behavior toward women that “confirmed evidence that supported some allegations” against the three-term Democrat.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is breaking with tradition and will endorse a ballot measure dealing with guns. 

State lawmakers worked with police and community groups during the last legislative session to change the rules for prosecuting police who use deadly force. But it will be voters who decide whether those changes become law. On Friday, a Superior Court judge in Thurston County said lawmakers violated the state constitution, and put Initiative 940 on the November ballot. KUOW's Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins explains the situation with Ross Reynolds.

A turreted brick home known as The Castle. A tan bungalow. An 111-year-old corner house with a covered porch.

Just south of the state Capitol building you’ll find a neighborhood dotted with quaint, historic houses. But you won’t find families with children in many of them.

Frustrated And Broke, Washington Counties Consider Suing State

Apr 5, 2018

After years of pleading with the state Legislature for more state funding, Washington's 39 counties could decide this year whether to file a lawsuit against the state over unfunded mandates.

Gabino Abarca was able to attend the University of Washington thanks to state lottery funds.
KUOW Photos/Megan Farmer

Retired school teacher Michael Hobson is displeased by how much his property tax is increasing, even though lawmakers did it to fully fund public schools.

Ricky Garcia and Lauren Davis are fighting to pass Ricky's Law in the Washington State Legislature that would allow involuntary committment for addicts.
Courtesy of Lauren Davis

If someone you love wants to hurt themselves, what can you do? If the underlying cause is mental illness, one option is to have them involuntarily committed for psychiatric treatment. But if the underlying cause is addiction, that was not an option until the passage of Ricky's Law in 2016.

Ricky Garcia and Lauren Davis worked with state lawmakers to pass a bill that would let someone in Washington state involuntarily commit an addict who is found to be a danger to him or herself.  Bill Radke brings Davis back into the studio for an update on the implementation of the law, which took effect Monday. 

The Washington legislature passed a measure banning conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth in the 2018 legislative session.
Flickr photo/sea turtle (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The entire U.S. West Coast now prohibits counselors from using conversion therapy on minors.

On Wednesday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law that prohibits licensed therapists from using conversation therapy with youth under age 18. Inslee, a Democrat, was surrounded by kids and LGBTQ rights advocates when he signed the bill.


FILE: Schools lunches at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.
Flickr Photo/USDA (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ayDFwg

Last fall Giovanni Inton's second-grade son came home from school and told his dad he was hungry.

So Inton asked what all parents ask: “What did you guys have for lunch?”

A piece of bread and a carton of milk, his son answered. “They took my lunch away. I guess you guys didn’t pay.”

FILE: King County Elections employee Josephine Ruff unloads a  full ballot drop box outside of the Seattle Public Library in Ballard in November of 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

State lawmakers passed the Washington Voting Rights Act this week, meant to give underrepresented minority groups a larger voice in elections. And that could mean more district-based voting in the future.

Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dHYmYx

Kim Malcolm talks with Seattle Times reporter Neal Morton about why some wealthier school districts are getting a bigger boost in funding than poorer districts under the state's education budget.

In this Dec. 9, 2015, photo, a sales associate walks past semiautomatic rifles at Bullseye Sport gun shop in Riverside, Calif.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Kim Malcolm talks with state Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island) about why he's co-sponsoring a bill that would raise the age requirements to purchase military-style weapons from 18 to 21. Malcolm also talks with state Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch) about why he's opposed to the bill.

Olympia Washington State Legislature
Flickr Photo/Harvey Barrison (CC BY-NC-ND)

How much right does the public have to pull back the curtain and see the communications of their state lawmakers?

Washington state has had a Public Records Act since 1972. News organizations love it. It’s how we find out the stuff that sometimes people would rather we didn't see. 


Students walk in front of Gerberding Hall on Thursday, November 16, 2017, on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Kim Malcolm talks with University of Washington associate professor Jennifer Stuber about suicide prevention on college campuses. Last week, the Washington state Senate passed a bill that would fund suicide prevention programs at colleges across the state.

Stuber is faculty director for Forefront Suicide Prevention at the UW.

Patricia Murphy / KUOW

Is Washington state going to put an end to capital punishment?

The death penalty has been on hold since 2014 when Governor Inslee declared a moratorium on executions.

Hear an update on what lawmakers are up to from Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins. 

First, KUOW's Patricia Murphy was a media witness at the execution of the last person to put to death by the state.

Flickr Photo/Tony Swartz (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Kim Malcolm talks with Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins about the outcome of public records lawsuit against the Washington Legislature.

Washington lawmakers are taking steps to address sexual harassment at the state Capitol. The House passed a resolution Thursday to establish a task force on sexual harassment. Members will include lawmakers, lobbyists and staff.

Going to college can be hard, but it’s especially difficult for students experiencing homelessness. Washington lawmakers are exploring ways state colleges could help these students.

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