Washington Ledge

Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature.Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

 

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

One night about a year ago, the lights in Brian's Tacoma apartment suddenly went out. He was in his bedroom. When he walked out to see what had happened, he said he found his adult daughter who lived with him had stuck a bread knife into an electrical outlet.

Washington Legislature

Former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley Tuesday lost a motion to have his conviction for possession of stolen funds tossed out. But a federal judge in Tacoma did grant two of Kelley’s other motions.

Washington Legislature

Two embattled Washington state representatives have filed to run for re-election—despite ongoing investigations into their conduct.

Democrat David Sawyer of Tacoma and Republican Matt Manweller of Ellensburg both registered their candidacies with the Secretary of State’s office on Monday, the first day of filing week.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

For the last several years, Washington state lawmakers have been working on a response to a state Supreme Court order to fully fund schools. Now they’re signaling a shift to the next big challenge: mental health.

At a news conference Friday at Western State Hospital, Republican state Sen. Steve O’Ban framed Washington’s mental health crisis this way:

“I kind of think of this as, this is a bad analogy perhaps, but McCleary Two,” he said.

TVW

Two of Washington state’s top elected prosecutors say the state is failing to adequately address an epidemic of drug addiction. They say it’s a major contributor to crime, but also to homelessness.

Washington Legislature

Washington House Democrats voted Wednesday to suspend state Rep. David Sawyer as chair of the Commerce and Gaming Committee, pending the outcome of an investigation into workplace conduct. House leaders said the rare disciplinary vote was prompted by preliminary results of that investigation into Sawyer’s behavior toward women that “confirmed evidence that supported some allegations” against the three-term Democrat.

Washington State Trooper Alleges Misconduct In Unit That Flies Governor

May 3, 2018
Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

A Washington state trooper has accused a leader in the State Patrol’s aviation unit of ordering staff to illegally delete public records and lying to the Governor’s Office about the availability of planes.

@JayInslee - tinyurl.com/yd6eshe7

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is stepping up his role as chair of the Democratic Governors Association. Inslee was in Las Vegas Thursday as part of his first major campaign swing.

Washington Department of Corrections

Earlier this month, nearly half the inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla staged a hunger strike. It ended after five days. The inmates were protesting the quality of prison food.

It’s an issue that has been simmering in Washington prisons for years.

Welcome To 'Lobbyhood' Where Lobbyists Make Up One-Third Of This Cute Olympia Neighborhood

Apr 15, 2018
Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times

A turreted brick home known as The Castle. A tan bungalow. An 111-year-old corner house with a covered porch.

Just south of the state Capitol building you’ll find a neighborhood dotted with quaint, historic houses. But you won’t find families with children in many of them.

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