Top 10

Top 10 Stories: Public Records Veto, Sound Transit's CEO, Carbon Tax

A recap of last week's top political stories.

By Araz Hachadourian March 5, 2018

120206 jay inslee lg h7ocrc


1. Governor Jay Inslee vetoed the legislature's public records bill after a wave of uproar from the public. The bill would have exempted any legislator or staffer from the Public Records Act. Lawmakers passed the bill with an overwhelming majority opting to skip a public comment period and prompting 19,000 calls and emails to the governor’s office.

2. The CEO of Sound Transit, Peter Rogoff, faces allegations of inappropriate behavior. The agency released a memo, as well as public records obtained by Crosscut, that described the accusations that included looking women "up and down," berating employees, and racial bias.

3. Washington passed a bill to uphold net neutrality. The bipartisan bill comes after last year's decision by the Federal Communications Commission to repeal net neutrality and allow internet service providers to charge websites more for faster delivery speeds. Several other states have similar bills in progress.

4. The main piece of Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed carbon tax died in the Senate on Thursday. The bill’s sponsor, senator Reuven Carlyle, said there wasn't enough support for the 8 cent-per-gallon state gas tax increase included in the bill. The legislation also included a $12-per-ton carbon emissions tax.

5. After banning bump stocks last week, state legislators also introduced a bill that would raise the age to buy an assault rile from 18 to 21. The new legislation would also require background checks for buyers and create paths for students to report suspicious behavior to schools.

6. A special task force recommended Seattle City Council pass a $75 million head tax to direct toward homelessness. The city council voted against the tax in its 2018 budget in November, when most council members said they opposed the bill or its process but would consider an employee hours tax in the future. The new recommendation offers three potential structures and would bring in $50 million more than the previous proposal.

7. King County announced it would dismiss 1,500 misdemeanor cases due to staffing shortages. The Seattle Times reported 20 attorneys are responsible for processing the counties 20,000 misdemeanor. The news of the dismissals—which includes crimes like shoplifting and bus fare evasion—became public when a police officer complained on Reddit.

8. A bill to ban censorship in school newspapers might soon pass in Olympia. The Seattle Times reported the “New Voices Act” has been introduced four times in Olympia over the last decade. This is the farthest the bill has gone and is currently awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives.  

9. Seven white protestors blocked an intersection in downtown Seattle Friday morning to protest the construction of a new juvenile detention center. The Stranger reported the protestors—activists affiliated with Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites (CARW) and European Dissent—are demanding King County Executive Dow Constantine immediately cancel the project. Their blockade spurred a march, joined by high school activists organizing against gun violence.

10. Five Democrats running for the 8th Congressional District race faced off in a debate Wednesday. The Seattle Times reported that while the candidates held similar stances on most issues; the question, really, is who has the best chance against Republican Dino Rossi in a seat that could help Democrats take control of the House come November.

Show Comments