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Articles written by Renee Diaz

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  • Bill mandates recess for K-5 students

    Renee Diaz, Washington State Journal|Updated Mar 2, 2023

    OLYMPIA — Public school elementary school students would be guaranteed 30 minutes of recess daily under a bill moving through the Legislature. Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5257, sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles, D-Fircrest, requires 30 minutes of recess and prevents school employees from denying recess as a disciplinary measure. The bill passed the Senate, 28-21. “Play is critical to positive youth development,” Nobles said. “What we know about recess is it can lower cortisol levels. It can increase problem-s...

  • Bill would exempt inmate search list from public records law

    Renee Diaz, Washington State Journal|Updated Feb 21, 2023

    OLYMPIA — Victims and witnesses who track perpetrators in prison to know when they are released will be able to keep their identities private, if a bill that passed the Senate with 49 votes becomes law. “This bill creates a safer environment for the victims and survivors, and they are not placed again in harm’s way because of a public records request,” T’wina Nobles, D-Fircrest,, said. The state Department of Corrections provides a tracking program for victims and witnesses so they can know when the person who victimize...

  • Bills attempt to improve road safety

    Renee Diaz, Washington State Journal|Updated Feb 21, 2023

    OLYMPIA - Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and Gov. Jay Inslee say they are backing a package of new laws aimed at protecting workers, pedestrians and commuters. New bills include reducing the blood-alcohol concentration limit for operating a vehicle when driving, imposing more restrictions on high-risk drivers and requiring a skills course for young and older drivers. Amber Weilert, a mother from Parkland, described how a drunken driver took the life of her son. "I am...

  • Students push for dam breaching

    Renee Diaz, State Journal|Updated Jan 26, 2023

    OLYMPIA - A handful of Western Washington activists called for removing Snake River dams in an effort to "save our salmon." Washington Youth Ocean and River Conservation Alliance and other activists advocated for protection of salmon and the orca pods that depend on them during a rally in Olympia on Jan. 13. "We need (Gov. Jay) Inslee and the political leaders of the Pacific Northwest - specifically in the state Legislature - to understand the urgency of this issue,"...