Author

Jerry Cornfield

Jerry Cornfield

Jerry Cornfield joined the Washington State Standard after 20 years covering the Olympia statehouse news for The Everett Herald. Earlier in his career, he worked for daily and weekly papers in Santa Barbara, California.

Washington preps to merge carbon market with California amid repeal threat

By: - February 13, 2024

The state Senate has approved Monday to make it easier to merge Washington’s carbon market with ones in California and Quebec despite a looming ballot measure that could moot efforts to link the climate programs. Majority Democrats overrode Republican opposition to pass Senate Bill 6058 on Monday on a party-line 29-20 vote. It now goes […]

Washington lawmakers look to broaden hate crime law to cover vandalizing public property

By: - February 4, 2024

It didn’t make sense to Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig that vandals targeting the LGBTQ+ community in his Spokane hometown couldn’t be charged with a hate crime for some of their acts if caught. While provisions of the state’s hate crime law covered spray painting of epithets on the Odyssey Youth Movement building, pouring paint […]

Young people drinking in a bar.

As death toll rises, Washington lawmakers look to lower legal limit for driving drunk

By: - January 28, 2024

Efforts to lower the legal limit for driving drunk in Washington are revving up as deadly crashes involving alcohol-impaired motorists rose again in the state in 2023. Legislation to reduce the maximum allowable blood alcohol concentration for drivers from 0.08% to 0.05% is under consideration in the House and Senate. If enacted, Washington would join […]

Justice

‘Verge of collapse’: Washington public defenders swamped by cases

By: - January 24, 2024

Larry Jefferson went to justices of the Washington State Supreme Court last fall with an unprecedented request for a public defense system he told them is “on the verge of collapse.” Jefferson, director of the state’s Office of Public Defense, asked them to halt, for 90 days, the assigning of new felony cases to public […]

Former President Donald Trump arrives for an event at the Adler Theatre on March 13, 2023 in Davenport, Iowa.

Judge denies request to remove Trump from WA presidential primary ballot

By: - January 18, 2024

Donald Trump will be on Washington’s March 12 presidential primary ballot after a Thurston County Superior Court judge on Thursday rejected a request from eight voters to kick him off. Judge Mary Sue Wilson dismissed the legal challenge filed by the Kitsap County voters, who argued that the former president should be disqualified because he […]

An LGBTQ flag.

WA Senate wants LGBTQ+ history and perspectives taught in public schools

By: - January 17, 2024

Public schools must integrate instruction about the contributions and perspectives of LGBTQ+ people into their curricula under legislation the Washington state Senate approved on Wednesday. Senate Bill 5462 passed on a mostly party-line vote following a brief floor debate in which Democrats said LGBTQ+ students need to know of trailblazing LGBTQ+ individuals. Republicans countered that the […]

New legislation would pave way to merge Washington carbon market with California’s

By: - January 16, 2024

State lawmakers have started talking about what Washington can do to make it easier to merge its carbon market with ones in California and Quebec but said little about a looming ballot measure that could moot efforts to link the climate programs. For nearly an hour on Friday, the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee […]

Donald Trump

The Washington voters trying to keep Trump off the state’s 2024 ballot

By: - January 12, 2024

Frankey Ithaka will be in a courtroom next week fighting to keep Donald Trump off Washington’s presidential primary and general election ballots. Pointing to Trump’s actions on the day his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, she and seven other Kitsap County voters contend in a legal filing that the former president […]

Cherry harvest in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.

Farmers and growers seek leeway under new agriculture overtime law

By: - December 4, 2023

Agricultural workers in Washington will attain a historic milestone next month when, for the first time in state history, they will earn overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week. The achievement is the result of 2021 legislation negotiated by labor advocates, agricultural producers and lawmakers that erased language in state […]

A new roadmap to speed the spread of electric vehicles in Washington state

By: - October 10, 2023

When it comes to meeting Washington’s ambitious electric vehicle goals, bolder cash incentives and charging outlets in thousands more locations are needed now. Rules pushing drivers to forgo cars and trucks that run on gas for ones powered by batteries are needed soon. And an aggressive outreach and education campaign must be sustained if the […]

The Interstate 5 Bridge between Oregon and Washington.

Oregon, Washington lawmakers upbeat about Interstate 5 bridge replacement

By: and - July 28, 2023

Oregon and Washington lawmakers got a clearer idea Friday of what a new Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River might look like, how much drivers may pay to use it and how residents of both states can stay involved as the project moves toward construction.  The three-hour virtual meeting was the first major update […]

New bridge, higher tolls on the horizon at Hood River

By: - July 6, 2023

Replacing the Hood River Bridge in the next decade will likely mean a near doubling of tolls this fall on the historic span linking Oregon and Washington in the central Columbia River Gorge. A study released last week concluded two toll hike options under consideration could generate the desired share of financing for the $520 […]