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Category: Public Safety


Thurston judge OK’s ballot wording for I-594’s gun background checks

Backers of an initiative to close loopholes on background checks for gun buyers have won ballot title language more to their liking. Judge Christopher Wickham approved final language for Initiative 594’s title late Friday in Thurston County Superior Court, including references to criminal background checks and public safety.

The petitions are now on the street, according to Christian Sinderman, a political consultant for the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s campaign.

As Brian M. Rosenthal of the Times reported earlier todaythe initiative to the 2014 Legislature  is expected to land on the November 2014 ballot along with I-591, which

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Heck favors federal law changes to let I-502 work, including help to allow banker lending to marijuana enterprises

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck says he ended up voting for Washington’s marijuana legalization initiative last fall and thinks the federal government now needs to take steps to let the state put Initiative 502 into effect. Among the changes: Shed the federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s Schedule 1 listing marijuana of marijuana as a “most dangerous” drug with no accepted medical use, which he called “the height of silliness.”

“My position is that the federal government’s regulations ought to enable states to implement voter approved laws or legislatively approved laws in this regard. I actually think that having

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Update – U.S. Reps. Heck, Kilmer respond to news of airport tower closures pending in Tumwater and Tacoma

This has been updated to include Rep. Kilmer’s statement and other changes.

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck pledged again Friday to look for ways to avoid the sequestration budget cuts. The freshman Democrat from Olympia put out a statement following news reports Friday that 149 airport traffic control towers across the country would lose staffing as a result of the across-the-board cuts.

Two towers are either in or near his 10th Congressional District – including at Olympia Regional Airport and at Tacoma Narrows Airport.

Heck’s statement:

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Aviation Administration informed my office this afternoon that the

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UPDATE – Democratic lawmakers defend failure to pass gun control bill during 22nd LD town hall

A legislative town hall meeting at the Capitol on Saturday morning sent clear messages to 22nd Legislative District lawmakers about things they already knew: They should keep working to pass a background-checks law for all gun buyers, raise revenues by closing tax exemptions or passing an income tax, and protect the elderly and infirm from further budget cuts.

The trio of Democratic lawmakers in the liberal district – Sen. Karen Fraser of Thurston County, Rep. Sam Hunt of Olympia and Rep. Chris Reykdal of Tumwater – defended their failure to produce results on a universal background checks bill that locked

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Universal background checks bill is dead; gun bill talks had bogged down the House for most of day

House Democrats’ search for 50 votes to pass a bill requiring universal background checks for gun buyers has died. That’s according to a Twitter post a few minutes ago from Democratic Rep. Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma.

Efforts to get a deal  on House Bill 1588 tied up the House for at least eight hours Tuesday, bringing the Democrat-controlled chamber to a halt one day before bill cutoff. Democratic Rep. Jamie Pedersen of Seattle led efforts to get more than the 47 votes he’d reported having on Monday, and one approach would have sent  the question to voters in November.

Pedersen later confirmed

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House approves bill granting payments to those wrongfully convicted, incarcerated

The state House approved a bill tonight that lets wrongfully convicted people seek financial redress of $50,000 for each year spent behind bars. The vote for House Bill 1341, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Tina Orwall, was a resounding 95-to-2.

Here is Rachel LaCorte‘s story for The Associated Press:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The state House on Friday approved a measure that allows people who were wrongfully convicted to seek compensation from the state for the years they lost behind bars.

The measure passed on a 95-2 vote Friday night and now heads to the Senate for consideration. If passed, Washington would

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Senate approves harsher punishments for pimps who prostitute minors online

A proposal to more harshly punish pimps who advertise underage girls on the Internet cleared the state Senate Monday.

Senate Bill 5488 would impose a mandatory $5,000 fine on anyone convicted of commercial sexual abuse of a minor or promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor. The fine would be in addition to prison time and other standard penalties already associated with those felonies.

“What we need to do, ladies and gentlemen, is to do everything possible to send a message to traffickers, to pimps, that our children are not for sale,” said Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, the bill’s prime

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Sen. Chase wants schools to adopt NRA gun safety program

A liberal state senator from Shoreline is pushing schools and preschools to teach kids about gun safety using a curriculum developed by the National Rifle Association.

Sen. Maralyn Chase, a Democrat, said she is very fond of the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, which she said has used to teach her own grandson about gun safety. The program includes the mantra, “Stop. Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.”

“If a child finds a gun, they think, oh, it’s a toy, and they can pick it up,” Chase said Thursday. “We need to include gun safety in all the

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