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Articles written by Alexandria Osborne

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  • Police pursuit law rules modified

    Alexandria Osborne, Washington State Journal|Apr 19, 2023

    Police may pursue suspects that pose long-term serious risk to others under revisions of a more restrictive 2022 vehicle chase law that has now passed both houses of this year’s Legislature. Engrossed Senate Bill 5352 was introduced by Sen. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek. “I’m a Black man from birth, my skin tone is brown, but I wore the blue uniform proudly for 31 years as a state trooper,” he said. “I know there are fears out there, but I think legislation like this can bring our community together and help our law enforcement professio...

  • Proposal aims at keeping people alive during extreme heat

    Alexandria Osborne, Washington State Journal|Mar 8, 2023

    Legislation prohibiting involuntary termination of electric or water services during extreme hot weather was approved by the state House of Representatives 64-31. Current law prohibits utilities from terminating heat utility services between Nov. 15 and March 15 if a resident follows certain steps, including agreement to a payment plan. House Bill 1329, by Rep. Sharlett Mena, D-Tacoma, would prohibit involuntary termination of electric or water utility services due to lack of payment in certain high-heat events. “It’s snowing and freezing acr...

  • Proposal would expand Running Start to sophomores

    Alexandria Osborne, Washington State Journal|Feb 15, 2023

    The Running Start program, which allows high school juniors and seniors to earn college level credits, will expand to include sophomores if a proposal in the state Legislature is approved. “It’s a heavy lift when you’re a junior and senior to try to accomplish your two-year degree in those two years,” said Sen. Brad Hawkins, R-Wenatchee. “A little running start to Running Start might be good to actually accomplish some of the two-year attainment that we’re seeking in the state.” Running Start allows high school students to earn credits at co...

  • Adding days to school year proposed to reduce learning loss

    Alexandria Osborne|Feb 8, 2023

    Students should spend more time in school and less time on break so they retain the learning they acquire during the school year. That’s the opinion of Sen. Brad Hawkins, R-East Wenatchee, who has introduced a bill in the state Legislature that adds five days to the school calendar. “SB 5505 takes swift and decisive action to support learning recovery with a simple solution — providing our students with additional access to their teachers, their peers, and to dedicated support staff,” Hawkins said. Under current law, schools are require...

  • Homeless programs need more money, Inslee says

    Alexandria Osborne, Washington State Journal|Jan 25, 2023

    Homelessness is still a big issue throughout Washington, and while the state has spent millions, the governor wants to invest more. In a press conference Jan. 19, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee said while certain encampments have been cleared as a result of past funding efforts, there are still not enough places to house the homeless. “Many of these people have chemical addiction problems that have to be treated if they’re going to succeed. Many of these people have mental health problems that have to be treated,” Inslee said. “Wher...

  • Bill proposes relaxing restrictions on low-dose cannabis drinks

    Alexandria Osborne|Jan 25, 2023

    Consumers will be able to purchase more low-THC liquid-infused products in a single purchase if a bill in the Legislature wins approval. “HB 1249 is necessary to ensure that the evolution of consumer preference, and access to an increasing variety of these products, reflects those preferences and is aligned with the law,” said Douglas Henderson, Painted Rooster Cannabis Company CEO. Rep. Chris Corry, R-Yakima, introduced the bill. He said he recently became aware of new products in the market, including a low-THC infused beverage made and sol...

  • Dogs bring comfort to victims, witnesses

    Alexandria Osborne, WNPA Olympia Bureau|Jan 18, 2023

    Four dogs sat in a House hearing room and two more watched the room over Zoom as a legislative committee discussed rules dog handlers must follow in courthouses for dogs to assist people who are providing testimony, including youth with disabilities. "I can't say how amazing these dogs are when something bad has happened to your kids, my kids. Really, they're our kids. All these kids belong to us," said Ellen O'Neill-Stephens, founder of the Courthouse Dogs Foundation. "To be able to provide...

  • Legislature back to in-person sessions

    Renee Diaz and Alexandria Osborne|Jan 11, 2023

    After two years of an online and hybrid Legislature that severely restricted legislators' direct contact during the pandemic, the House and Senate chambers were full of people reuniting and greeting each other. at the opening of the state Legislature Jan. 9. A main issue at the start of the session was moving past the COVID-19 pandemic and adopting new rules and procedures that allows for in-person and remote participation. President of the Senate Denny Heck, the lieutenant governor, said...