Washington State House Democrats


Thursday, May 25

olunteer Damon Daniel works at the Auburn Food Bank Daniel says he spreads the word to people about the food bank, including individuals who are homeless. “I like to help out,” he says

WA food bank lines grow as COVID-era benefits end, grocery prices rise
Food banks throughout the greater Seattle area and across the country have seen swelling demand, as people, including working families and those on fixed incomes, seek help to stock their fridges and pantries. About 522,200 households in Washington state — or about 921,000 people — rely on SNAP benefits, referred to as Basic Food in the state and colloquially known as food stamps. Normally, food assistance amounts are based on annual income and household size. But during the pandemic, all households received the maximum amount they were eligible for based on size alone, meaning an extra $95 or more per month. With the end of emergency allotments, households saw, on average, a reduction of about $105 per person in March, according to the state Department of Social and Health Services. Continue reading at Seattle Times. (Erika Schultz)

Beginning July 1, employers in Washington state will begin deducting premiums from paychecks for the WA Cares Fund.

WA Cares paycheck deductions begin July 1
Beginning July 1, employers in Washington state will start deducting premiums from paychecks for the WA Cares Fund, the state’s new long-term care insurance program. Workers will pay 0.58% of every $100 earned to fund the program. Some workers are eligible to receive an exemption from the paycheck deductions, like workers who are unlikely to be able to use the benefits. The WA Cares Fund will eventually be used to help Washingtonians access a $36,500 benefit – adjusted annually for inflation – for long-term care insurance. Benefits will become available for qualified individuals in July 2026. Continue reading at KING5. (KING5 Staff)

Vehicles drive down West Nob Hill Boulevard through wildfire smoke Monday, Sept. 7, 2020 in Yakima, Wash.

State taking input on new rules for working outdoors in wildfire smoke
The state is taking comments on new permanent rules for working outdoors in wildfire smoke. The issue has become more important in recent years as large wildfires affect air quality in Central Washington for days or weeks at a time. The Washington Department of Labor and Industries implemented emergency rules in 2021 and 2022, and now wants to make them permanent. The new rules could require employers to create wildfire smoke plans, monitor air conditions and implement safety protocols based on the level of air pollution. Advocates for agricultural employers and employees noted the importance of the rules for maintaining health and safety but are preparing to share feedback and concerns at a series of public hearings L&I is hosting in July, one of which will be in Yakima on July 27. Continue reading at Yakima Herald. (Evan Abell)


It’s time to prep for summer weather extremes, Seattle

Bellingham Herald
Whatcom County reverses decision, agrees to provide federal funds to Lighthouse Mission

Capital Press
Washington counties get second chance at farm preservation

Team hikes to retrieve supplies from Mount St. Helens observatory closed by landslide
Editorial: In Our View: Social media worries click with government (Liias)

Everett Herald
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded
Comment: Spike in childhood mortality needs nation’s attention

The Inlander
Pride flags in Spokane’s Garland District divide businesses and property owners

News Tribune
Supporters pack council meeting. Now Pride flag will fly over this Pierce County city       
At 16, she took a bullet to the head. Now Tacoma teen wants to help young people heal       
Comment: An incarcerated writer slammed conditions at the Pierce County Jail. We should listen       

New York Times
Supreme Court Limits E.P.A.’s Power to Address Water Pollution
Microsoft Calls for A.I. Rules to Minimize the Technology’s Risks
Biden Unveils a National Plan to Fight an Ancient Hatred

Governor’s Office fires equity office director over leadership, management       
Look for improvement projects at Tenino City Park, athletic fields, thanks to state money       

Peninsula Daily News
Grant would fund childcare facility

Port Townsend Leader
Jefferson County Public Utility District receives $6 million state broadband grant

Puget Sound Business Journal
Council member: Lagging Seattle cop hiring effort ‘really distressing’

Seattle Medium
Seatac Airport A Better Neighbor Now In Spite Of Embattled Past, Former Adversaries Say
Workers Urged To Apply For Exemption From WA Cares Fund To Avoid Paycheck Deductions

Seattle Times
WA food bank lines grow as COVID-era benefits end, grocery prices rise
Amazon investors reject proposals on worker safety, climate impact
Seattle’s first carbon-positive hotel coming to Pioneer Square in 2024
Opinion: Students make the case: Local news critical for democracy

Spokesman Review
VA secretary says Spokane VA’s budget won’t suffer as result of flawed records system

Tri-City Herald
E. Washington astronomers chalk up new black hole discovery that sent ripples through time

Washington Post
Supreme Court weakens EPA power to enforce Clean Water Act
6 key takeaways from the Post-KFF survey of transgender Americans

WA State Standard
Washington’s heat pump push hits a snag
‘There is NO lahar’: Volcano warning was false alarm
State looks to dump leased real estate as remote work leaves offices empty

Wenatchee World
Wenatchee Pride Festival banner torn outside Memorial Park
Wenatchee School Board hears opposition to book bans

Yakima Herald-Republic
State taking input on new rules for working outdoors in wildfire smoke


WA Cares paycheck deductions begin July 1
Bellevue says it’s been a challenge to find a Safe Parking Program operator
Fircrest welcomes all: City council votes to raise pride flag in June
A piece of wildfire safety gear that works every time, isn’t mandatory in Washington state

Rep. Newhouse launches Central Washington Fentanyl Task Force

Spokane Arts Executive Director leaving role this summer
Family saved from fire thanks first responders who rescued them

NW Public Radio
Dead salmon prompt Army Corps of Engineers to repair Skagit River jetty

Q13 TV (FOX)
Washington’s nonstop battle to keep parks, forests green begins with insect traps

The Impact: Framework & Implementation of 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (Orwall)


Cascadia Daily News
Cleanup process underway at two Blaine sites

A new WA law may not cure hospital staff shortages, nurses say (Robinson)
Housing restrictions are leaving more PNW sex offenders homeless