Grace Deng

Grace Deng

Grace Deng joined the Washington State Standard shortly after graduating from Northwestern University in June 2023. Grace, who currently lives in Tacoma, is a local Washingtonian who was born and raised in Snohomish County. She has previous experience covering statehouse politics and policy for the Minnesota Reformer and the USA TODAY Ohio Network, which includes the Columbus Dispatch, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Akron-Beacon Journal.

Library lined with books.

WA Senate passes legislation pushing back on book bans

By: - February 22, 2024

Washington Senate Democrats on Thursday passed a bill meant to slow efforts to ban books in school classrooms and libraries. The legislation won approval on a party-line vote, 29-20. Under it, school districts, charter schools and certain tribal schools cannot ban instructional materials solely because they focus on protected classes, such as people of color […]

Increasing special education funding in Washington hinges on legislative budget negotiations.

How WA lawmakers are looking to improve K-12 special education

By: - February 21, 2024

Washington House lawmakers this week advanced three proposals meant to increase special education funding and make it easier for parents of children with disabilities to hold schools accountable for failing to provide adequate services. The bills come as lawmakers again look to increase the percentage of a district’s population that can receive extra dollars for […]

Holly Daydreamzz, 30, from Seattle, holds up a “Strippers are Workers” sign at a rally at the Washington state Capitol on Feb. 19, 2024.

‘We strip our clothes, not our pay:’ Strippers rally outside the state Capitol

By: - February 19, 2024

Strippers and queer community members rallied on Monday at the Washington state Capitol, calling on House lawmakers to pass a bill that would clear a pathway to liquor sales and improve workplace standards in strip clubs. “We are the experts on this topic,” said Peach, who identified herself only by her dancer name. “There is […]

Brandin Thomas (right), now 38, was sentenced to 35 years in prison at age 20 for a 2004 murder he was charged with at 18. His sentence factored in juvenile points.

WA adults serving extra prison time for juvenile offenses may see sentences reduced

By: - February 16, 2024

Bryin Thomas doesn’t have any memories of his father outside of prison. “My earliest memory is [when I was] 3 years old and he was at the county jail,” Thomas said. “I just remember him putting his hand on the glass and me putting my hand on the glass.” Thomas is 22 now. His father, […]

Fentanyl seizure by Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

WA’s opioid epidemic and the state’s effort to fight it, by the numbers

By: - January 25, 2024

Gov. Jay Inslee this weekend asked state health and social services officials to update him on the opioid and overdose epidemic in Washington. Here are four takeaways from Inslee’s public performance review. There were 2,001 opioid overdose deaths in 2022 and 1,803 of those were fentanyl, according to Washington Department of Health data. Fentanyl deaths […]

Rep. Tarra Simmons, D-Kitsap, is the first formerly incarcerated legislator in Washington state.

Prisoners would get to vote under bill backed by formerly incarcerated WA lawmaker

By: - January 19, 2024

An estimated 4.6 million people in the United States cannot vote due to a felony conviction. Washington has already taken steps to change that, having restored voting rights to incarcerated people convicted of felonies immediately upon release in 2022. But Rep. Tarra Simmons, D-Kitsap, said that’s not enough. The next step, she believes, should be […]

Boston Harbor Elementary Schoo is one of the schools that Olympia School District officials in Washington have identified for possible closure.

As enrollment drops, school closures loom for more Washington communities

By: - January 15, 2024

After 8-year-old Rowan had his third surgery last year, half of his class at Olympia’s Boston Harbor Elementary School came by to drop off cards and offer support. His parents say the school’s tight-knit community has been a “warm hug” to Rowan as he deals with fibular hemimelia, a congenital condition affecting his mobility. So […]

Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction.

Why a leading option for treating opioid addiction is not widely available in Washington prisons

By: - January 5, 2024

If you’re incarcerated in a Washington state prison with an opioid-use disorder, a very specific set of circumstances must occur if you want access to addiction treatment medication. You might be eligible if your release date is in 90 days or less, if you’re in prison because you violated parole, or if you have a […]

Washington pays $100M fine for neglecting mental health services months earlier than expected

By: - December 5, 2023

Washington late last month paid a $100 million court-ordered fine for failing to provide mental health services to people in jail, even though the state wasn’t required to hand over the money until next year. The fine stems from what’s known as the Trueblood case, a years-long legal dispute in which a federal court found […]

A ‘no trespassing’ sign on a fence outside the Northwest Detention Center.

Nine detainees still refusing meals at Tacoma immigration facility as protest hits 18th day

By: - November 29, 2023

The seventh recorded hunger strike this year at a federal immigration detention center in Tacoma has gone from 105 detainees to nine, La Resistencia, a group that advocates for the facility’s closure said on Tuesday. The hunger strike started at the Northwest Detention Center 18 days ago, with detainees protesting conditions there and demanding that […]

opioid pills have been overprescribed in the past

After early opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, competitors ramped up marketing

By: - October 19, 2023

For some pharmaceutical companies, a 2007 Kentucky lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for its role in the opioid crisis appeared to be less of a warning than a business opportunity. That’s according to a recently published University of Washington study that found prescription opioid companies competing with Purdue, the maker of OxyContin, increased marketing efforts after […]

Teachers at Evergreen Public Schools clap in support of their bargaining team. Evergreen High School, Sept. 11, 2023.

Teachers end strike at Vancouver’s Evergreen Public Schools

By: - September 12, 2023

Around 23,000 public school students in the Vancouver area have headed back to classrooms after their teachers voted to ratify a new labor contract. Teachers at Evergreen Public Schools went on strike Aug. 30, the first day of scheduled classes for the school year, and were on strike for seven school days. Classes Monday were […]