Latest Washington state government News

2021 a record-breaking drought year in parts of Washington

Sep. 20, 2021 11:58 AM EDT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — This has been a record-breaking year of drought in much of Eastern Washington, state officials say. In April, a huge volume of snow in the Cascade Range measured in at 132 percent of normal statewide, raising hopes of an abundant water year, the...

Biden slammed for challenging nuclear workplace health law

Sep. 16, 2021 18:11 PM EDT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Officials in Washington state are upset the Biden administration is challenging a law making it easier for workers who become ill at a former nuclear weapons production site to be compensated. The Supreme Court will likely decide in the next few...

Staffing shortages cause canceled ferry sailings

Sep. 16, 2021 12:55 PM EDT

ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) — Staffing shortages at Washington State Ferries resulted in 51 canceled sailings on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route between Sept. 9 and Sept. 13. A lack of Coast Guard-documented crew meant several ferries had to be taken out of service...

Clark County to pay $1.4M to settle termination lawsuit

Sep. 16, 2021 08:12 AM EDT

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County Council has agreed to pay Don Benton and two other former county employees $1.4 million less than four months after a jury awarded the trio $693,998 in a wrongful termination lawsuit. The county announced Wednesday that the...

As COVID-19 vaccine mandates rise, religious exemptions grow

Sep. 15, 2021 22:46 PM EDT

An estimated 2,600 Los Angeles Police Department employees are citing religious objections to try to get out of the required COVID-19 vaccination. In Washington state, thousands of state workers are seeking similar exemptions. And in Arkansas, a hospital has been swamped...

Woman breaches security at WA governor's residence

Sep. 15, 2021 16:10 PM EDT

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a woman was able to enter the secure grounds of the governor’s residence Wednesday morning before being stopped by the Washington State Patrol. The Northwest News Network reports Gov. Jay Inslee and First Lady Trudi Inslee were...

DNR lands east of Cascades to reopen Thursday

Sep. 15, 2021 15:42 PM EDT

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington Department of Natural Resources lands east of the Cascades will reopen to public access on Thursday. The department closed those lands on July 23 because of extreme heat, drought and wildfire danger and large fires burning across the West that...

Washington state records over 7,000 deaths from COVID-19

Sep. 14, 2021 20:30 PM EDT

SEATTLE (AP) — More than 7,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Washington state, according to data from the state Department of Health. The state reported the milestone on Tuesday, The Seattle Times reported. Washington eclipsed 6,000 deaths on...

State workers seek exemptions to Washington vaccine mandate

Sep. 14, 2021 20:14 PM EDT

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Nearly 4,800 state workers are seeking an exemption to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, about 8% of the approximately 60,000 employees subject to the requirement. The Seattle Times reported Tuesday that the requests for a...

Invasive Japanese beetles threaten Yakima Valley growers

Sep. 14, 2021 08:23 AM EDT

GRANDVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Thousands of invasive Japanese beetles have been caught in the Lower Yakima Valley this summer and pose a threat to the agricultural industry. Last year, traps across the state caught three beetles. This year, more than 23,500 have been captured...