Northwest News Network

Regional Public Journalism from twelve public radio stations throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is reiterating his call for state lawmakers to pass a series of what he calls “common sense” gun control measures. The Democrat made his comments Wednesday in response to the Florida school shooting.

If you've been watching the Winter Olympics, you may have noticed athletes native to one country competing for a different country's team. In fact, there are four Northwest-raised and trained Olympians who are competing under foreign flags.

Washington House Democrats on Tuesday proposed nearly $1 billion in short-term property tax relief, followed by a longer-term tax cut funded by a new state capital gains tax on a minority of wealthier residents.

Hanford workers have called a “stop work” at the Plutonium Finishing Plant demolition site because of worries about radioactive contamination inside government vehicles.

In recent years, Washington state has led the nation in locking up kids for running away, skipping school and other non-criminal behavior. Now state lawmakers are considering whether to ban juvenile detention for "status offenses".

The chief budget writer in the Washington state House of Representatives says it’s up to Democratic leaders whether he keeps his chairmanship following a rollover crash and his arrest for drunk driving last Saturday.

Now that the Winter Olympics have you pumped about snow sports, you might head into the hills for some real, live athletic feats. Conveniently, a ski area in north central Washington state has set up a luge sledding course.

In a vote unprecedented in modern times in the state of Washington, the state Senate voted Wednesday to abolish the death penalty and instead impose life in prison without the possibility of parole for those convicted of aggravated first degree murder.

If you're looking for an adrenaline-packed event to watch on TV during this year’s Winter Games, you’ll almost certainly be drawn to ski jumping. It’s a sport where the competitors speed down a ramp at nearly 60 mph before soaring hundreds of feet through the air.

It looks so extreme, you probably wonder how these athletes get their start.

John Kerry Visits Olympia To Support Inslee's Carbon Tax Proposal

Feb 13, 2018

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has been pushing hard to pass a carbon tax proposal. Though it’s been unpopular with some businesses and Republicans, on Tuesday he brought out an important ally.

East of the Cascades in Washington and Oregon, it’s been about five to 10 degrees warmer than normal for most of the winter. Those unusually warm conditions have buds on fruit trees and grapevines starting to “push,” or emerge early.

And that has farmers worried.

Reaction in the Pacific Northwest was swift to President Trump’s proposed cuts to the cleanup budget at the Hanford Site.

Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, called the proposed $230 million cut “downright dangerous for everyone who lives near the Columbia River.”

It looks like the Confederated Tribes of the Colville will be keeping their name, for now. Tribal members have rejected a referendum that would have kicked off a name-changing process.

The first Olympic medals of the 2018 Winter Games are up for grabs this weekend. Pacific Northwest athletes in action include short track speedskaters Aaron Tran and J.R. Celski of Federal Way, Washington, in the men's 1500m and cross country skier Erik Bjornsen from Washington's Methow Valley in men's skiathlon.

Net Neutrality Protection Passes Washington House

Feb 9, 2018

Washington state lawmakers vowed to protect net neutrality after the Federal Communications Commission rolled back the Obama-era regulations. Now that effort is making progress.

The head of Cooke Aquaculture says he's furious about "scare tactics" that he says are driving a push to end Atlantic salmon farming in Puget Sound. The Washington Senate voted 35-12 Thursday to phase out aquatic leases for net pens holding non-native fish.

The emergency is over for now at Rattlesnake Ridge near Yakima, Washington. The state says a major, sudden landslide is no longer imminent and Yakima County has lifted its evacuation order and told residents they can move back home near the slide area.

But that’s easier said than done.

A fiery partisan battle has erupted in Olympia over a union-backed measure involving homecare workers. Underlying the fight is whether these workers should be able to opt out of their union.

The debate led to tense moments on the floor of the Washington Senate late Wednesday night.

School districts in Washington state have policies in place to prevent harassment and bullying of students. Now, lawmakers are considering a proposal that would require school districts take special consideration of transgender students.

Future teachers in Washington state may have to get more training in the history, culture, and treaty rights of Native American tribes. That’s a requirement of a bill currently before the Washington Legislature.

Efforts to address sexual harassment in the Washington state Capitol have suffered a setback. Legislative leaders had pledged to improve the workplace climate following reports late last year that revealed a history of misconduct at the Capitol. But finding a solution has proven more difficult than expected.

With traffic congestion getting ever worse in the Seattle metro area, two classes of solo drivers are asking for permission to use the carpool lanes.

But it's a hard sell in Olympia.

A bill that’s making its way through the Washington state House of Representatives would make campaign contributions more transparent. It passed the state Senate last month.

Last month, a Washington state resident was fined more than $8,000 for poaching three wolves in 2016. DNA evidence linked him to three separate kills, but other poaching cases remain unsolved. 

This story has been updated.

A batch of late-arriving ballots is going out to nearly 7,000 Washington voters in advance of next Tuesday’s special election. That’s because of an error in the state’s Motor Voter system that allows people to register to vote when they get a drivers license.

The emergency seems to be over for now at the slow-moving landslide at Rattlesnake Ridge near Yakima, Washington. The state has taken down the warning signs and lights on the highway below.

But for some, the drive is still nerve wracking. They’ve coined a phrase for driving quickly past the slide: “Shooting the Gap.”

The Airbus subsidiary behind a self-flying, battery-powered passenger drone says the prototype has made its first flight at Eastern Oregon Regional Airport in Pendleton.

Over the weekend, Washington state tightened the screws—again—on an Atlantic salmon farming operation. The state Department of Natural Resources Saturday terminated the lease for Cooke Aquaculture's Cypress Island fish farm near Anacortes.

Carbon Tax Clears Washington Senate Committee

Feb 2, 2018

A tax on fossil fuel emissions is one step closer to becoming law in Washington state. An amended version of the carbon tax proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee passed the Senate Energy, Environment & Technology Committee Thursday night. 

Washington’s 60-day legislative session is approaching the halfway mark and majority Democrats are flexing their newfound one-party control of Olympia. That’s especially evident in the state Senate where several priority Democratic bills have been put on a fast track.