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Articles written by Alexandria Osborne

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  • Legislature adjourns sine die

    Alexandria Osborne, Washington State Journal|Updated May 19, 2023

    OLYMPIA – The Legislature adjourned April 23 after failing to approve a controversial bill setting drug possession penalties, raising the possibility of a special session in the coming weeks to resolve the issue. Drug possession became a misdemeanor two years ago when the state Supreme Court invalidated the law that made drug possession a felony. Hurried legislation made the crime a misdemeanor, but many thought that charge was too light. The Legislature debated Senate Bill 5536, which would have stiffened current p...

  • Bill would ban so-called 'assault' weapons

    Alexandria Osborne, Washington State Journal|Updated Mar 16, 2023

    OLYMPIA - A popular .22 caliber rifle in Eastern Washington would be classified as an "assault" weapon under a proposed law making its way through the Legislature. The manufacture, distribution and sale of any so-called "assault weapon" would become illegal if a bill passed by the state House of Representatives clears the Senate and is signed into law. Substitute House Bill 1240 defines "assault weapons" by brands and models, and generally as semiautomatic weapons with...

  • Senator: Add more school days

    Alexandria Osborne, Washington State Journal|Updated Feb 21, 2023

    OLYMPIA — An East Wenatchee senator wants students to have a longer school year. Sen. Brad Hawkins, R-East Wenatchee, has introduced Senate Bill 5505 to add five days to the school calendar. “S.B. 5505 takes swift and decisive action to support learning recovery with a simple solution — providing our students with additional access to their teachers, their peers and to dedicated support staff,” Hawkins said. State law currently requires schools to offer a minimum of 180 classroom days for public school students. Hawkins...

  • Bill allows underage workers to handle alcohol

    Alexandria Osborne, Washington State Journal|Updated Feb 21, 2023

    OLYMPIA — Interns and employees between the ages of 18- 23 in the alcoholic beverage industry will be able engage in handling liquor under House Bill 1299. The measure introduced by Rep. Kelly Chambers, R-Puyallup, would allow interns and employees between 18 and 21 to transport, handle or possess liquor. The bill would also permit a bar or restaurant to allow underage employees to stock and handle liquor if a person over the age of 21 is present and supervising. The bill would also allow wineries to have interns or employees...

  • Bill proposes relaxing rules on low-dose cannabis drinks

    Alexandria Osborne, Washington State Journal|Updated Jan 26, 2023

    OLYMPIA — Consumers will be able to purchase more low-THC liquid-infused products in a single purchase if a bill in the Legislature wins approval. “HB 1249 is necessary to ensure that the evolution of consumer preference, and access to an increasing variety of these products, reflects those preferences and is aligned with the law,” said Douglas Henderson, Painted Rooster Cannabis Company CEO. Rep. Chris Corry, R-Yakima, introduced the bill. He said he recently became aware of new products in the market, including a low-T...

  • Murray: Funds to improve childcare

    Alexandria Osborne, Washington State Journal|Updated Jan 26, 2023

    OLYMPIA - Low-income families struggling to afford childcare will get some help thanks to a big bump in federal spending. U.S. Senator Patty Murray, D-Washington, was in Olympia Jan. 18 to promote passage of a $1.85 billion increase in federal funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant which will help improve childcare programs across the nation. "It will help our struggling providers to keep the lights on and it will make a world of difference," Murray said. "But...