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Washington state Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, still remembers the day in 2014 that she toured a police evidence facility and saw stacks of white boxes on the shelves. She asked what they were and the answer shocked her. They were untested rape kits.

Vaccine Exemption Bill Goes To Washington's Governor

Apr 23, 2019

The Washington House is sending a vaccine exemption bill to the governor.

The final version of the legislation was approved Tuesday. It was fueled by the outbreak of measles in southwestern Washington that sickened 72 children. But it ran into strong resistance from those worried about safety.

Health officials in Grant County, Washington are responding to four probable cases of mumps.

One case has been lab confirmed so far, while the others are still being evaluated. Now county health officials are rallying together a vaccine clinic to treat hundreds of exposed people. 

Permanent Daylight Saving Time Goes To WA Governor's Desk

Apr 23, 2019
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

A bill that would move Washington to permanent daylight saving time is now on its way to the governor. The House today [Tuesday] approved a version that had recently passed in the Senate.

The vote in the House was 90-6 and follows a similarly-lopsided vote in the Senate (46-2)

“Finally we can #ditchtheswitch, #bringthelight and #thefutureinwashingtonissobrightwegottawearshades,” said Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane), the lead sponsor of this year’s version of the bill.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The Washington Senate has approved a bill that its supporters call the 100% clean electricity bill.

The 29-to-20 vote on Monday includes changes made to the bill by the House of Representatives.

It would require utilities to eliminate coal from their electrical generating portfolios by 2025. It also sets 2045 as the deadline by which all of their generation must use non-carbon emitting and renewable resources.

Canadian Officials Confirm Climbers' Bodies Recovered

Apr 22, 2019
Parks Canada

Canadian parks officials have confirmed the body of Spokane mountain climber Jess Roskelley and two fellow climbers have been recovered.

During a conference call with reporters Monday, Brian Webster from Parks Canada shared the timeline of the search for the three men: Roskelley, David Lama and Hansjorg Auer.

Washington's Governor Signs Three Dozen New Laws

Apr 19, 2019

It’s bill signing season for Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who signed several pieces of legislation into law on Wednesday. Friday he affixed his signature to another three dozen bills.

One new law requires the state Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt rules that requires hunters to wear either florescent orange or, in what’s new here, florescent pink. The sponsor, Republican Sen. Lynda Wilson, wore a bright pink vest to the signing ceremony.

Mead School District

The Mead school board next week will hold two meetings at which it’s expected to take public comments related to cuts that are proposed to close a $12 million deficit projected for the next academic year.

Already, parents are lining up convince board members to spare programs that benefit their children.

Last September, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake followed by a tsunami devastated a region of Indonesia, killing more than 4,300 people. Two Oregon State and University of Washington professors who surveyed the aftermath say the far-away disaster should elevate attention to quake-induced landslide risks here at home in the Pacific Northwest.

Felony DUI Bill Clears Washington Senate

Apr 18, 2019
Senate Republican Caucus

The Washington Senate has approved a bill that would make it easier for put repeat drunk driving offenders behind bars.

Current state law allows prosecutors to charge someone with a felony if they incur a fourth DUI during a 10-year period. Spokane Valley Senator Mike Padden’s bill would extend that so-called “look back” period to 15 years.