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Articles written by Cameron Sheppard

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  • State scrambles to boost supply of life-saving protective items for health care workers

    Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service|Apr 1, 2020

    Millions of N-95 masks and other types of personal protective equipment are being delivered to Washington State as public health and emergency response officials scramble to obtain the equipment needed to respond to the growing COVID-19 outbreak. Jerrod Davis, assistant secretary for disease control and health statistics at the Department of Health, said there is significant global demand for these kinds of items and right now the state does not have enough to satisfy the needs of its communities. Davis explained that the state’s joint operatio...

  • Deaths rise in state coronavirus outbreak

    Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service|Mar 4, 2020

    The coronavirus death count in Washington reached nine on Tuesday, Feb. 3, including two people whose test results were released posthumously.On Monday, when six deaths had been reported, health officials asked state lawmakers for $100 million to attack the outbreak As of Tuesday, 27 people tested positive for the virus in Snohomish and King counties, up from 18 the day before. The three newly confirmed deaths were all residents of Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, which has been the nexus for multiple infected patients, some of whom...

  • Parents, teachers concerned over mandatory sex education

    Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service|Feb 26, 2020

    Parents, students and educational professionals voiced their concerns in a public hearing in the state Senate about a bill that would mandate comprehensive sexual education in public schools beginning as soon as kindergarten. Grand Coulee Dam School District Superintendent Paul Turner told the school board here on Monday the bill appears poised to pass, so they’ll likely need to figure out how to implement it. Lorraine Jenne, chair for the Wahluke School Board in Grant County, testified to the House Education Committee on Thursday in opposition...

  • Governor signs into law tax bill to help fund higher education

    Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service|Feb 12, 2020

    Fewer businesses will be asked to foot the bill for higher education programs after Gov. Jay Inslee signed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6492 on Monday. The bill will restructure the business and occupation tax and surcharges put in place by legislation passed last year to fund investments in public colleges as well as to provide grants that increase access for low and medium-income students. "We are going to make massive investments in public higher ed," said Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle....

  • Armed 2nd Amendment supporters rally at Capitol

    Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service|Feb 5, 2020

    Roughly 100 gun-rights activists marched on the State Capitol on Friday and rallied in opposition to recently proposed gun regulation bills. Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percent gun rights advocacy group, spoke to an excited crowd after announcing earlier this month he would run for the seat of House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, after criticizing Wilcox's leadership regarding issues surrounding Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane. Shea was expelled from the House Republican Caucus...

  • State Senate passes bill to require comprehensive sex-ed in public schools

    Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service|Jan 29, 2020

    A proposed law to require school districts to implement a comprehensive sexual education curriculum emphasizing healthy relationships and consent was passed after a 28-21 vote by the state Senate last week. If signed into law, Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5395 would require every public school to offer evidence-informed, medically accurate, and age-appropriate sex education as an integral part of the curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade by Sept 1, 2021. The bill was first introduced in 2019 and drew vocal opposition from parents...

  • Republicans aim to guarantee $30 car tabs amid court hang-up

    Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service|Jan 22, 2020

    As Initiative 976, the car tabs measure approved by voters in November, is held up in the State Supreme Court, Republicans proposed laws that would guarantee the $30 car tabs Washington voters approved. “It is just a clean $30 car tab,” said Sen Phil Fortunado, R-Auburn. “That’s what people voted for, that’s what we’re doing.” Unlike I-976, which is facing a court fight over its constitutionality, Fortunado said his sponsored bill, Senate Bill 6350, is simple in nature and will likely not be challenged in court. “It removes any ambiguity about...

  • GOP Senators propose free use of state parks

    Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service|Jan 15, 2020

    OLYMPIA — Residents and visitors will get a break if lawmakers approve a proposal to do away with Discover Pass fees for using state parks. Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville and Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, have co-sponsored SB 6174, which would no longer require park visitors to pay $10 for a one-time parking permit, or buy the $30 annual parking Discover Pass. Sen. Schoesler is critical of the tax proposals voted in last year’s legislative session. He said the results of the tax advisory votes on last November’s ballo...

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