Washington state legislature

News about the Washington legislature and lawmakers.

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.

Courtesy of City of Airway Heights

Nearly four years ago, the city of Airway Heights discovered its water was contaminated by firefighting chemicals used at nearby Fairchild Air Force Base. Now, the city is asking the state of Washington to pitch in for a new source of clean drinking water.

Wikimedia Commons

North Central High School will consider officially changing its mascot after a group of Native American students raised concerns that the symbol is dehumanizing to Indigenous people.

North Central High School has had an Indian as its mascot for almost 100 years, adopting it in 1923. In the 1990s students voted to not use the symbol for athletic events, but it is still visible on school property, and the image is used by the Alumni Association.

WA House Approves Racial Covenants/Housing Bill

Mar 5, 2021
Courtesy of University of Washington

The Washington House approved a bill Thursday aimed at informing homeowners that their property deeds may include racially-discriminatory restrictions.

The 97-to-one vote comes less than two weeks after a related state appeals court ruling in a Spokane case.

Wikimedia Commons

A bill that would restructure how emergency communication is funded in Spokane County has passed the state House.

The bill is the latest entry into a conflict between Spokane County and the City of Spokane over how the region responds to 911 calls. It was sponsored by Spokane Democrat Marcus Riccelli.

Spokane County’s emergency dispatch services are funded through a 2017 sales tax which created a new organization called Spokane Regional Emergency Communications. That group was designed to consolidate 911 call takers under one agency.

Wikimedia Commons

A new bill that would provide one electronic learning device for every K-12 student in the state has passed the House in Olympia.

The bill was prompted by the Covid pandemic and the closure of many, which have relied on remote learning for students isolated at home.

Wikimedia Commons

Washington’s Senate Ways and Means Committee heard testimony Tuesday on a bill that would put in place more rules dealing with landlords and tenants during the Covid-19 emergency.

Last year, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation that put in place an eviction moratorium to help those facing financial difficulties because of the pandemic.

Courtesy of Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

On this Presidents' Day, we turn to teaching civics in schools. This is the first academic year when districts in Washington are required to teach a stand-alone civics education course, not just something embedded in existing social studies classes. It’s the result of a bill approved by legislators three years ago.

Courtesy of Timm Ormsby

Democratic Representative Timm Ormsby is running for re-election against Republican Bob Apple, a former Spokane city councilman, in Washington’s Third Legislative District. Ormsby chairs the House Appropriations Committee, which writes that chamber’s version of a state budget.

Apple did not answer our requests for an interview. Ormsby did.

You can hear our entire interviews with the candidates at our website, but we provide short segments here as part of our SPR Voters’ Guide series.

Courtesy of JJ Wandler

Republican Representative Joel Kretz is running for re-election against independent candidate JJ Wandler in Washington’s Seventh Legislative District. 

Kretz did not answer our requests for an interview. Wandler did.

You can hear our entire interviews with the candidates at our website, but we provide short segments here as part of our SPR Voters’ Guide series.

Maycumber, Davenport Vie For Seventh District House Seat

Oct 21, 2020
Washington House Republican communications

Republican Representative Jacquelin Maycumber is running for re-election against Democrat Georgia Davenport in Washington’s Seventh Legislative District. 

You can hear our entire interviews with the candidates at our website, but we provide short segments here as part of our SPR Voters’ Guide series.

Washington House Republican communications

Republican Rep. Jenny Graham is running for re-election against Democrat Tom McGarry in Washington’s Sixth Legislative District. 

You can hear our entire interviews with the candidates at our website, but we provide short segments here as part of our SPR Voters’ Guide series.

Washington House Republican communications

Republican Representative Mike Volz is running for a third term against Democrat Zack Zappone in Washington’s Sixth Legislative District. 

You can hear our entire interviews with the candidates at our website, but we provide short  segments here as part of our SPR Voters’ Guide series.

Courtesy of Marcus Riccelli

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

Courtesy of Rob Chase

Voters in Washington’s Fourth Legislative District are choosing between two candidates to fill an open seat in the state House of Representatives.

The candidates are Democrat Lance Gurel, who ran unsuccessfully last year for a seat on the Spokane Valley City Council, and Republican Rob Chase. He’s a former two-term Spokane County treasurer who started this election cycle challenging Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers before switching to run for the state House. He was encouraged to run by the departing representative, Matt Shea.

Washington Senate Republicans

Spokane Valley state Senator Mike Padden is running for another term in Washington’s Fourth Legislative District. The Republican is a former District Court. He’s challenged by Democrat John Roskelley, a former Spokane County Commissioner and world-famous mountaineer.

You can hear our entire interviews with Mike Padden and John Roskelley at our website, but we provide shorter bites here as part of our SPR Voters’ Guide series.

Doing Your Voting Homework? Check Out These Debates

Oct 14, 2020
TVW screenshot

Candidate debates are a traditional way for voters to get to know candidates. Some are formal, others less so.

Here are debates featuring candidates for public office in Washington and Idaho, with links you can click to watch.

Washington Senate Democrats

Andy Billig is running for a third term as a state senator in Washington’s Third Legislative District. The Democrat from Spokane serves as Senate Majority Leader. He’s challenged by Republican Dave Lucas, who ran two years ago for the state House in the Third District.

Washington House Republican communications


Rep. Bob McCaslin [R-Spokane Valley]  is running for re-election to the state House seat in the Fourth Legislative District that he has held for three terms. His opponent is Democrat Lori Feagan.

Doug Nadvornick asks his views on a variety of issues, including the state’s response to the coronavirus, funding for public health and wildfire prevention and suppression, and police reform.

Courtesy of Lori Feagan

Lori Feagan is a Spokane Valley nurse practitioner who is running for a state House in Washington's Fourth Legislative District. Her opponent is Rep. Bob McCaslin [R-Spokane Valley].

Doug Nadvornick asks her views on a variety of issues, including the state’s response to the coronavirus, funding for public health and wildfire prevention and suppression, and police reform.

Courtesy of JJ Wandler


JJ Wandler is a Spokane businessowner (and Seattle restaurant owner) who is running as an independent candidate for a state House seat in Washington’s Seventh Legislative District. His opponent is Rep. Joel Kretz (R-Wauconda), who hasn’t answered our requests for an interview.

Doug Nadvornick asks Wandler’s positions on a variety of issues, including the state’s response to the coronavirus, funding for public health and wildfire prevention and suppression, and police reform.

Courtesy of Timm Ormsby

Rep. Timm Ormsby [D-Spokane] is running for re-election to the Washington state House in the Third Legislative District. His opponent is Republican Bob Apple, who hasn’t answered our requests for an interviews.

Doug Nadvornick asks Ormsby’s positions on a variety of issues, including the state’s response to the coronavirus, funding for public health and wildfire prevention and suppression, and police reform.

Courtesy of Georgia Davenport

Democrat Georgia Davenport is challenging Republican Representative Jacquelin Maycumber for a seat in the state House in Washington’s Seventh Legislative District.

Doug Nadvornick asks her positions on a variety of issues, including the state’s response to the coronavirus, funding for public health and wildfire prevention and suppression, and police reform.

Washington House Republican communications

Republican Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber [R-Republic] is running for a third term in the state House in Washington’s Seventh Legislative District. She’s challenged by Democrat Georgia Davenport.  

Doug Nadvornick asks her positions on a variety of issues, including the state’s response to the coronavirus, funding for public health and wildfire prevention and suppression, and police reform.

Republican Laura Carder is challenging Marcus Riccelli for a state House seat in Washington’s Third Legislative District.

Doug Nadvornick asks her positions on a variety of issues, including the state’s response to the coronavirus, funding for public health and wildfire prevention and suppression, and police reform.

Courtesy of Marcus Riccelli

Marcus Riccelli is a Democratic state representative in Washington’s Third District. He’s challenged by Republican Laura Carder

Doug Nadvornick asks his positions on a variety of issues, including the state’s response to the coronavirus, funding for public health and wildfire prevention and suppression, and police reform.

Courtesy of Tom McGarry

Tom McGarry is a Spokane attorney and commissioner for Spokane Valley Fire District 9. He’s a Democrat. He’s challenging Rep. Jenny Graham [R-Spokane] for the state House seat she holds in Washington’s Sixth Legislative District.  

Doug Nadvornick asks his positions on a variety of issues, including the state’s response to the coronavirus, funding for public health and wildfire prevention and suppression, and police reform.

Washington House Republican communications

Rep. Jenny Graham [R-Spokane] is running for a second term in the state House in Washington’s Sixth Legislative District. She’s challenged by Democrat Tom McGarry.  

Doug Nadvornick asks her positions on a variety of issues, including the state’s response to the coronavirus, funding for public health and wildfire prevention and suppression, and police reform.

Courtesy of Zach Zappone

Democrat Zach Zappone is challenging Rep. Mike Volz (R-Spokane) for a seat in the Washington state House in the Sixth Legislative District.

Doug Nadvornick asks his positions on a variety of issues, including the state’s response to the coronavirus, funding for public health and wildfire prevention and suppression, and police reform.

Courtesy of Rob Chase

Republican Rob Chase is challenging Democrat Lance Gurel for a state House seat in Washington’s Fourth Legislative District. Chase is a former two-term Spokane County treasurer.

Doug Nadvornick asks his positions on a variety of issues, including the state’s response to the coronavirus, funding for public health and wildfire prevention and suppression, and police reform.

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