Articles written by Patric Haerle

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 By Patric Haerle    News    March 18, 2021

State's only Native American legislator cuts a path in Olympia

By Patric Haerle Washington State Journal Debra Lekanoff always makes sure to appreciate her surroundings, whether she's spending time in nature or on the House floor at the Capitol in Olympia, where...

 
 By Patric Haerle    News    March 11, 2021

Senate okays capital gains tax by 1 vote

A tax on capital gains, the sale of assets like stocks and bonds, passed the Senate by a single vote March 6. The bill was first amended to remove the emergency clause, meaning the issue is likely to appear on the ballot later this year. The bill in...

 
 By Patric Haerle    News    March 11, 2021

Frontline workers cleared for vaccine

Essential frontline workers, such as grocery store employees, will begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines later this month, Gov. Jay Inslee announced March 4. Others set to be vaccinated starting March 22 include workers in agriculture, food processing,...

 
 By Patric Haerle    News    March 11, 2021

Inslee signs bills helping students and teachers

By Patric Haerle Washington State Journal The return to in-person education in public schools is underway. Gov. Jay Inslee signed two bills March 2, assuring students affected by the pandemic can graduate on time. The first bill waived graduation req...

 
 By Patric Haerle    News    March 4, 2021

Ban of private prisons has bipartisan support

Washington’s only private detention center is proposed for closure. House Bill 1090 prohibits any person, business or government from operating private, for-profit detention facilities. It recently passed in the House of Representatives with...

 

Democrats push new tax on billionaires

House Democrats are rallying around a proposal to tax Washington State’s billionaires. House Bill 1406 would impose a 1 percent tax on intangible assets, such as money or stocks, on people whose wealth exceeds $1 billion. The Washington State...

 

Subminimum wage for disabled workers called 'unjust

By Patric Haerle, Washington State Journal In what is being labeled a civil rights issue by advocates, lawmakers are considering ending the decades old practice of paying workers with a disability less than the state minimum wage. Under the current...

 
 By Patric Haerle    News    February 4, 2021

State on track to allow schools to waive graduation requirements

Washington high school students wrestling with remote learning programs cobbled together as COVID-19 gripped the state in 2020 and now struggling to meet graduation requirements may well get some help from lawmakers. The state House of...

 
 By Patric Haerle    News    February 4, 2021

Lawmakers push competing covid bills

Relief for renters, schools, public health agencies and small businesses is rushing through the state Legislature, with the hope relief can reach people by the end of February. Two COVID-19 relief plans are competing for approval, one by Republicans...

 
 By Patric Haerle    News    January 21, 2021

Inslee education budget inadequate, critics say

Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed budget for the upcoming biennium calls for $570 million in new education spending, but many parents and educators have expressed frustration that the governor’s budget does not adequately fund additional transportation...

 
 By Patric Haerle    News    January 21, 2021

Capital gains tax gets a harsh reception

A different take on Gov. Jay Inslee’s capital gains tax, less broad and friendlier to small family-owned businesses, will likely be introduced later in this year’s legislative session. “We are considering proposals similar to what the House has...

 
 By Patric Haerle    News    January 14, 2021

Covid relief tops state budget priority list

Desperately needed covid-19 relief is a top priority for this year's Legislature, and Republicans and Democrats generally agree it will be necessary to get that aid out as soon as possible. The parties are split, however, when it comes to increasing...

 

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