Washington state

Governor Jay Inslee Extends Bridge Eviction Moratorium

Sep 23, 2021

Governor Jay Inslee announced this Thursday he is extending the bridge eviction moratorium until the end of October.

“We did not think it made sense to end the moratorium while we had millions of dollars sitting in our pockets not distributed to these tenants,” Inslee said.

He said he hopes by the end of October, local governments will have had enough time to process applications for rental assistance. 

Under the bridge moratorium, landlords can’t evict tenants if they have applied for rental assistance and and have responded to a request for mediation.


Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced Monday that Washington State is mandating vaccination for state employees and contractors.

The requirement for state workers to get vaccinations comes as a spike in new COVID-19 infections fueled by the Delta variant hits the state, increasing the burden on hospitals.

Rebecca White/SPR

Governor Jay Inslee announced Thursday that he is extending many eviction protections until September, but tenant and housing advocates are concerned that changes to the moratorium are confusing and could lead to a false sense of security.

Rebecca White/SPR

  Spokane County’s apartment vacancy rate has dropped to a historic low, a symptom of an ongoing housing crisis worsened by the pandemic that is impacting renters in most counties across the state.

According to the University of Washington’s Center for Real Estate Research, Spokane County’s vacancy rate for apartments is .5%.  Several other growing Eastern Washington counties, such as Yakima, Benton and Franklin Counties also had vacancy rates below 1%. King County’s vacancy rate was actually higher than usual, with about 7.1% of apartments being vacant in the spring apartment assessment.

Vaccine shot
Flickr / US Army Corps of Engineers

Washington state officials are warning residents to beware of scammers impersonating lottery workers, saying there have been several scams reported since the state rolled out its COVID-19 vaccine lottery.

“We will never ask you for personal information over the phone, or by email, or by text. We’re not going to ask you for your date of birth, your social security number, your phone number, your address, your banking information, your mother’s maiden name, none of that kind of thing."

Wikimedia Commons

Tenants in Washington State now have new rights and protections related to late fees and other punitive actions if they missed paying rent during the pandemic.

Washington State Governor's Office

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced Monday that Whitman, Cowlitz, and Pierce counties have failed to meet the state’s re-opening metrics and will face more restrictions.

Those counties will go from Phase 3 of the governor’s re-opening plan to Phase 2, which means businesses must operate at reduced capacity and both indoor, and outdoor gatherings must be smaller.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is filing a lawsuit involving multiple states over President Donald Trump's plan to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation.

The attorney general, who earlier this year successfully sued the Trump Administration over a travel ban affecting mostly Muslim nations, said the newest lawsuit cites the Presidents order to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA as “arbitrary and capricious”.

Okanogan Officials Try to Ease Evacuees Concerns

Aug 20, 2015

For many fire evacuees, getting family and important belongings out isn’t enough peace of mind. Residents are also worried about their animals, and in some places, looters.

The Little Engines Could - If They Get the Money

Jul 30, 2015
Railroad, Jay Inslee
Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

Like many of Washington State's roads and bridges, most of the state's short line railroads are in bad shape - plagued with tottering bridges, deteriorating road beds and rails that are too light to support increasingly heavy loads.

The Blue Creek Fire burning about 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, has grown to more than 5,500 acres. Evacuations remain in place as about 600 firefighters try to head off the flames burning in grass, bush and timber.

Farms and fish aren’t the only ones suffering from Northwest drought conditions. So are trees and plants on Washington’s 435-acre Capitol campus.

Four hundred firefighters attacked the Blue Creek wildfire 10 miles east of Walla Walla, Washington, Tuesday. The wind and dry ground let it grow up to 4,200 acres.

Ecology Amends Reclaimed Water and Purple Pipe Rules

Jul 20, 2015

The purple pipe could be a local solution for Washington drought problems. The state Department of Ecology is hoping to offset water shortages by encouraging municipalities to use reclaimed water, often fed through purple pipe.

'No Fishing' Signs Posted in Hot, Dry Summer

Jul 20, 2015

Ordinarily, summertime and fishing in Washington are almost synonymous. Not this year. First, there's not enough water in Washington's rivers and creeks. Second, the water remaining is becoming too hot for fish - especially salmon - to survive.

A remote mountain village on the Northwest end of Lake Chelan in Washington state, was braced for an evacuation order because of wildfire Monday night.

A sixteen-year-old girl from Bellingham, Washington, walked out of the woods Monday afternoon -- two days after surviving a small plane crash in the North Cascades.

Fire crews said Monday afternoon that the Douglas County Complex fire burning near Wenatchee, Washington, is at least 55 percent contained.

Irrigators in Eastern Washington are facing curtailment of water use, months earlier than normal. Because of the early melting mountain snowpack and rapidly declining river and stream levels in the state, the Department of ecology is beginning to notify junior water-rights holders that they may have to curtail water use soon.

Overhaul Of Marijuana Taxation Goes To Washington Governor

Jun 29, 2015

Recreational marijuana buyers would pay a flat 37 percent pot tax, plus sales tax, under a proposal headed to the desk of Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

Women-Only Hiring Upheld for State Prison System

Jun 14, 2015

Washington State's prison system is fully justified in its new policy of hiring women guards to oversee women prisoners, despite strong objections from the union representing male correctional officers.

Jury Award for Pullman Firefighters Overturned

May 29, 2015

A former Pullman fire department captain and several of his supporters have lost a bitterly contested legal fight with the city after a federal judge took the unusual step of overturning a jury verdict for them.

Three Washington State members of Congress are sounding a bi-partisan alarm over a slowly collapsing drainage tunnel at the foot of Mount Saint Helens, built after the catastrophic eruption in 1980.

In Pasco, Washington a group of protesters has regularly closed down main streets and staged “die-ins” since February’s police shooting of farmworker Antonio Zambrano-Montes.

A juvenile court commissioner found probable cause Tuesday to hold the 16-year-old accused of a shooting at North Thurston High School in Lacey, Washington.

An AP government teacher is getting credit for stopping a shooting at North Thurston High School in Lacey, Washington.

When a 16-year-old student fired shots at North Thurston High School Monday morning, Lacey, Washington, Police Commander Jim Mack said an armed officer assigned to the school was nearby and ran toward the noise.

Witnesses on the scene at North Thurston High School in Lacey, Washington said shots were fired on campus Monday morning by a student.

The era of ubiquitous green cross marijuana dispensaries in Washington state is about to come to an end.

Washington Drought
Department of Ecology

Friday, Washington’s governor declared a drought emergency in about 44 percent of the state, and the Department of Ecology has taken the lead on preparedness.