Washington State House Democrats


Friday, June 21

In late 2022, 490 people were stuck in jail for an average of more than three months while waiting for a spot at Western State Hospital so their court case could move forward. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times, 2023)

WA paid $100 million over mental health delays. Here’s where it’s going
Up to $100 million could soon be poured into building housing for patients recently released from Washington’s state psychiatric hospitals, with the hope that increasing housing supply will stop patients from returning to the criminal justice system. The funds will come from a round of fines that a federal judge imposed on the state Department of Social and Health Services in 2023, after the agency failed to comply with a court order to quickly evaluate and treat patients who were waiting for a spot at one of the state’s psychiatric hospitals. Continue reading at The Seattle Times. (Ellen M. Banner)

A customer tries out a semi-automatic pistol at The Gun Store on Nov. 14, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

U.S. Supreme Court upholds law that prevents domestic abusers from owning guns
The U.S. Supreme Court Friday upheld a federal law that bars people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from owning a firearm. In an 8-1 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion that “our Nation’s firearm laws have included provisions preventing individuals who threaten physical harm to others from misusing firearms.” Justice Clarence Thomas, a staunch advocate of the Second Amendment, was the lone dissent. Continue reading at The WA State Standard. (Ethan Miller)

Some Amazon deliveries could be taxed if a proposal is enacted by state lawmakers. (Photo: Steven Senne, The Associated Press)

Could your retail and online deliveries soon be taxed in Washington?
A proposed fee, or tax, may soon be added to retail and online deliveries in Washington. It could generate significant revenue for maintaining city and county roads. State lawmakers are considering this option as they grapple with rising transportation costs and declining gas tax collections, which traditionally fund road maintenance. The proposed “retail delivery fee” would apply to taxable retail items delivered by motor vehicles, including packages from Amazon and goods shipped by companies like UPS. Continue reading at MyNorthwest. (Steven Senne)


Battling AI’s error problem: Experts craft BS detector
SCOTUS upholds limits on domestic abusers’ gun rights

Capital Press
Northwest summer outlook cools off

Forest proposal doesn’t ban logging but still likely to anger industry
Vancouver Schools of Arts and Academics will limit cellphones in classrooms; district could follow suit as it looks at issue this summer

Everett Herald
Sheriff: New police pursuit policy under review amid state rollback
Long after AIDS crisis peak, LGBTQ+ health care still limited in Everett

News Tribune
Rankings out for most LBGTQ-friendly cities. Here’s who Tacoma beat for Top 10 rating

Puget Sound Business Journal
35 Washington ZIP codes rank among the Wealthy 1000
The National Observer: Court ruling on FTC noncompete ban coming soon

Seattle Times
How beavers are helping and harming salmon restoration in WA
Graffiti at Seattle Holocaust center sparks hate crime investigation
Seattle police officer fired after using sexist, racist slurs against neighbor
WA paid $100 million over mental health delays. Here’s where it’s going

Spokesman Review
Spokane mayor picks 4 finalists to be next police chief
After nearly 20 years driving the bus, Spokane Transit Authority CEO Susan Meyer announces retirement

WA State Standard
The number of job openings has declined sharply in every state
Electricians in Puget Sound region approve contract offer, end strike
Opposition heats up over proposed wood pellet mill in western Washington
U.S. Supreme Court upholds law that prevents domestic abusers from owning guns


‘A very big hassle’: Permit backlog stalls Snohomish County food trucks
‘To be targeted was shocking:’ Seattle’s Holocaust Center for Humanity vandalized
All agree that Jesse Sarey’s death was a tragedy. Now a jury will decide if it was a crime
2 members of Seattle police command staff under criminal investigation, still on the job
Environmental, health and labor groups petition FEMA for resources for extreme heat, wildfire smoke
After 4 years of reduced ferry service, Bremerton businesses near the dock are struggling to stay afloat

Marysville School District declared ‘financially insolvent’ by the state
Jury to begin deliberating in murder trial of suburban Seattle officer who killed a man in 2019

KNKX Public Radio
Seattle police officer fired for off-duty racist comments
Trial of Auburn police officer in death of Jesse Sarey sent to jury

KUOW Public Radio
Everett Herald’s new owner appears to censor story about layoffs
Lots of rumbling under Mount St. Helens, but scientists say no cause for alarm

Idaho libraries brace for new law that could lead to lawsuits
‘Restructuring operations’; Major changes made on Spokane radio stations


WA mobile home complaints over rent hikes, policies surged in 2023

Lawmaker: High grocery prices due to ‘Corporate Greed’
Delayed construction leaves Puyallup mobile home park site vacant
Could your retail and online deliveries soon be taxed in Washington? (Liias)
Supreme Court upholds gun control law intended to protect domestic violence victims