Rep. Marcus Riccelli

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

A bill that would adjust the makeup of local health boards in Washington is now headed to the governor.

Spokane Democrat Marcus Riccelli says his legislation brings more health expertise to local public health committees.

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The Washington and Idaho legislatures are moving into the final weeks of their 2021 sessions.

Citizens interested in specific bills can track them online using their assigned bill numbers. Those rarely change. But sometimes in Washington the letters attached to bills do change, and they provide clues as to the bills’ legislative journeys.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Despite delays in census data caused by the pandemic, the effort to redistrict the state, and the Spokane area will soon be underway.

Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton said despite those delays, state law requires redistricting to start this spring. The deadline for most new boundaries is the end of November.

On Friday the U.S. Census Bureau announced that population data it planned to release to states on March 31 will be pushed back to Sept. 30.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

A Spokane state representative’s bill to make changes to local health districts has passed out of committee in the Washington state House.

Rep. Marcus Riccelli’s bill would require counties, including Spokane, to form comprehensive public health districts.

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A Spokane legislator is promoting a bill that proposes changes to Washington’s public health system.

Representative Marcus Riccelli [D-Spokane] says the legislature has allowed funding for public health to erode over the years, which leaves it vulnerable when it’s most needed. His legislation received a hearing Thursday before the House Health Care Committee.

Government 101: What Is A Whip, Anyway?

Nov 18, 2020
Washington House Republican communications

Elected leaders from both major parties are preparing for their next congressional and legislative sessions in January.

One of their annual rituals is to choose leaders who will shepherd their parties’ agendas through the legislative process. Those leaders hold titles such as floor leader and whip.

But what do these people actually do?

Courtesy of Rob Chase

Spokane’s legislative delegation will look much the same in 2021 as it did in 2020.

All of the incumbents won their races. The one exception comes in the Fourth District, where Republican Rob Chase will replace a fellow Republican, Matt Shea. Chase defeated Democrat Lance Gurel by about 22 percentage points.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Thursday’s Washington Supreme Court ruling that struck down the car tabs initiative has brought relief to the people who look for money for transportation projects.

Spokane City Council President Breean Beggs calls the decision “a big win for the city.” He says it can continue to charge vehicle owners a $20-a-year to fund street and pedestrian improvements.

Local legislators say the ruling puts a spotlight on the need to find new ways to fund transportation projects.

Courtesy of Marcus Riccelli

Democratic Rep. Marcus Riccelli is running for another term against Republican Laura Carder in Washington’s Third Legislative District. 

Permanent Offense

Spokane area state legislators have mixed feelings about today’s state Supreme Court ruling that the $30 car tab initiative is unconstitutional.

“This is a really serious thing and I’m disappointed," said Spokane Valley Republican Bob McCaslin, a member of the House Transportation Committee.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

UPDATED 2:55 pm with new comments from Commissioner Al French and the Washington State Association of Counties.

The Washington Supreme Court has upheld a law that mandates Spokane County move from three county commissioners to five. The nine-zero ruling puts in motion a change in representation for county residents by 2022.

Most rural counties in Washington have governments run by three elected commissioners who oversee day-to-day operations. Spokane is the most populous county without its own charter to use that form of government.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Today on Inland Journal and the Inland Journal podcast, the coronavirus hijacked the Washington legislative session during its last couple of weeks. Lawmakers worked to approve a $200 million package aimed at helping people affected by Covid-19.

We’ll talk with two Spokane area legislators about that and other accomplishments from the session. Coronavirus could be a big issue in correctional facilities.

We’ll hear about the closure of Spokane’s non-profit legal clinic, the Center for Justice. Those stories and more on Inland Journal.

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.

Daylight Saving Time Bill Advances in Washington House

Mar 1, 2019
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

A bill that would move Washington to full-time Daylight Saving Time is now headed to the state House floor. The legislation’s prime sponsor is Spokane Democratic Representative Marcus Riccelli.

Riccelli’s bill cleared the money committee in the House, the Appropriations Committee, late Thursday. It would move the state away from the “Spring Forward, Fall Back” regime that will take effect again just a week from now.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Friday on the Inland Journal podcast, Spokane County sues the state to challenge a new law that requires Spokane move from three county commissioners to five. We’ll talk with Commissioner Mary Kuney and Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane). A WSU researcher is using a new computer model of Spokane’s West Central neighborhood to explore ways to reduce neighborhood crime. And we’ll talk about what’s the next step in improving downtown Spokane.

A Civics Lesson About Making Laws in Olympia

Jan 3, 2019
Marcus Riccelli

Washington and Idaho legislators go back to work this month. Idaho’s legislators have already been sworn in. The gavel drops on their 2019 session on Monday. Washington’s lawmakers reconvene in Olympia a week later.

Today, Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane) gives us a civics lesson about the process of making laws in Olympia. Riccelli will begin his fourth term on January 14.

Riccelli Seeks Fourth Term in WA State House

Jul 31, 2018
Marcus Riccelli

Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane) is seeking a fourth term in the state House from the Third District.

His Republican challenger, Tom Taylor, didn’t return our invitation for an interview.