Washington State House Democrats


Wednesday, November 29

Travelers wait in a security line at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Nov. 17, 2023.

Editorial: To land a second airport, WA’s case must be ironclad
The arduous effort to find a second international airport in Puget Sound is flying in circles. The Legislature created a new work group to look closely at the expansion of existing airports. The stakes are astonishingly high. Without future expansion, the current capacity will fall short of the 27 million trips — called enplanements — needed each year by 2050, according to a Puget Sound Regional Council 2021 study. The review maintained that, if the region could meet that demand, another $31 billion would be added to Washington’s economy, as well as more than 200,000 jobs. Continue reading at Seattle Times. (Ellen M. Banner)

Pam Felton, left, and Lucy Felton are the mother and sister of Harold Felton (seen in the framed photos), a construction worker who died on the job in a trench collapse in 2016. Six years later, Harold’s boss was sentenced to 45 days in jail on criminal charges relating to the death, the first time an employer was held criminally liable for a worker death. Pam and Lucy have been part of the push to get Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries and King County officials to hold employers accountable for deaths on the job.

A WA worker’s death reveals the limits of safety enforcement
A fatal trench collapse in 2016 set precedent for holding employers criminally liable, but officials still struggle to head off repeat violations. Washington saw 80 trauma-related workplace deaths last year, the highest number since 2010, according to state figures. The state’s Department of Labor & Industries bears responsibility for enforcing safety standards and investigating workplace fatalities. The agency imposed more than $14.7 million in fines last year for employer safety failures, injuries and other violations. Continue reading at Crosscut. (M. Scott Brauer)

Washington state regulators want builders to install electric heat pumps, like the one pictured above, in new homes.

Washington makes another run at heat pump rules
Controversial requirements aimed at getting electric heat pumps installed in newly constructed houses, apartments and commercial buildings cleared a final regulatory hurdle Tuesday. The suite of changes, approved by the Washington State Building Code Council, is part of a broader effort by the state to slash carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency in residential and commercial construction. What the council enacted Tuesday offers builders incentives in the permitting process for choosing electric heat pumps – which provide both heating and cooling in the same unit – instead of natural gas furnaces. The appliances are more energy efficient and result in less pollution than gas furnaces. Continue reading at WA State Standard. (Getty)


Aberdeen Daily World
Narrow Aberdeen mayor’s race triggers recount

Washington’s undocumented immigrant population rebounds

Everett Herald
‘My rights were violated’: Everett officer arrests woman filming him
Lynnwood council, jarred by anti-Semitic rants, approves tax increase
County Council set to approve more than $130M for affordable housing
Marysville schools stare down drastic cuts to sports, libraries, more

The Inlander
Spokane City Council raises police budget and OKs raiding traffic camera fund to pay for cops — with a few caveats

News Tribune
Deputies shoot, kill man in intersection near South Hill Mall following pursuit
Opinion: The loss of responsible local newspapers and reporters is a problem for democracy

Northwest Asian Weekly
Empowering SE Asian voices: State Rep. My-Linh Thai spearheads national caucus for change (Thai)

New Thurston County, Port of Olympia Commissioners sworn in Tuesday
City adopts new boundaries aimed at keeping people from sleeping on sidewalks during the day
Opinion: Washington’s police pursuit rules are putting you in danger. Mayors want them fixed

Puget Sound Business Journal
Small businesses look overseas for workers
Seattle’s Black Boardroom Initiative goes bicoastal
Why distress in the multifamily market could spread in 2024
Amazon launches AI-powered chatbot to compete with Microsoft

Seattle Times
Burien chooses site for homeless shelter as county deadline passes
Workers sue WA mushroom farm, allege wrongful firings, labor violations
Editorial: To land a second airport, WA’s case must be ironclad (Fey)
Opinion: Save our ferry system: A plea for help from an islander

Spokesman Review
Burn ban in effect in Spokane County as heavy use of wood stoves and fireplaces breeds trough of stagnant air
Washington Supreme Court commissioner grants stay in Pac-12 suit, pausing WSU’s and OSU’s grip on conference

Tri-City Herald
WA judicial commission claims Tri-Cities judge broke the law and public’s trust
Leaked ‘secret plan’ reveals Biden admin’s $1B+ proposal preparing for Snake dam breaching

Walla Walla Union Bulletin
Voters reject additional funding for Burbank fire district in final election results

Washington Post
Hospitals and doctors are fed up with Medicare Advantage
New CDC life expectancy data shows painfully slow rebound from covid
China to restrict graphite exports to United States as tech war escalates

WA State Standard
Washington makes another run at heat pump rules
Idaho’s infant, mother death rate is rising, new report finds
Oregon’s legal psilocybin clinics draw hundreds – mostly from out of state
Nine detainees still refusing meals at Tacoma immigration facility as protest hits 18th day

Yakima Herald-Republic
COVID cases and hospitalizations rose through September, Yakima Health District reports
High demand for apartment rentals continues in Yakima, with not enough supply, survey shows
Editorial: Toppenish mini-forest offers welcome healing
Comment: Redistricting was meant to boost Pasco Latino voices. Some wonder why they lost ground


Mother loses 16-year-old to fentanyl overdose, warns parents of how accessible the drug is
State Supreme Court puts ruling that gave Oregon State, Washington State control of Pac-12 on hold

Marysville School District facing ‘extreme’ budget crisis that could close schools, eliminate sports

Campaign renews push to adopt teens from foster care
Washington 1st in US for parental financial support of adult children, study reveals

KUOW Public Radio
Rush-hour traffic in Seattle increases blood pressure, but not for the reason you think

Spokane city budget allocates funding for SPD’s traffic unit

Q13 TV (FOX)
SPD Officer quits job amid allegations he worked as ‘muscle’ for a couple dealing drugs
Local parents struggle to find available pediatric COVID-18 vaccines amid U.S. shortage


A WA worker’s death reveals the limits of safety enforcement 

Derelict boat with troubled past sinks off Orcas Island
Vashon Island struggling economically due to state ferry crisis

West Seattle Blog
PARK PROJECTS MEETING, REPORT #3: The pickleball plan