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Northwest News

Republican state Rep. Karey Hanks addresses the House State Affairs Committee, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in the Statehouse in Boise, Idaho. The committee introduced legislation to prohibit mask mandates in Idaho.

Idaho Lawmakers Introduce Bill Seeking To Ban City-County Mask Mandates

An Idaho House panel took up legislation Tuesday to prohibit mask mandates by government entities that have been put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The House State Affairs Committee cleared the way for a potential hearing on the bill put forward by a dozen conservative Republican lawmakers. Continue Reading Idaho Lawmakers Introduce Bill Seeking To Ban City-County Mask Mandates

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Tim Killian, a spokesman for Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash., prepares to give a daily briefing to reporters on Wednesday. CREDIT: Ted S. Warren/AP

Washington On The Cusp Of Marking 5,000 COVID-19 Deaths 1 Year After 1st Known U.S. Death

Washington state is expected this week to surpass 5,000 deaths from the coronavirus this week, almost exactly a year after the first known virus death was recorded in the U.S. The state reported 475 new confirmed cases and 13 more deaths Monday, which brought Washington’s totals to 339,773 total known infections and 4,969 deaths from the virus. Continue Reading Washington On The Cusp Of Marking 5,000 COVID-19 Deaths 1 Year After 1st Known U.S. Death

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An image of Manuel "Manny" Ellis is taped to a utility pole on Thursday, June 4, 2020, near the intersection of Ainsworth Avenue South and 96th Street South in Tacoma. Ellis was killed by police on March 3rd, 2020

Washington House Passes Ban On Police Chokeholds, Backs Off Complete Ban On Tear Gas

The police tactics measure, House Bill 1054, is a major plank in a sweeping police accountability agenda brought forth this year by majority Democrats. The focus on police reform follows last year’s protests nationally over the killings of Black people by police, includng George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville. Continue Reading Washington House Passes Ban On Police Chokeholds, Backs Off Complete Ban On Tear Gas

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The Idaho Senate meets in the Statehouse on Feb. 18, 2021, in Boise. The Senate voted 35-0 to make permanent changes in Idaho's absentee ballot counting intended to speed up the process. CREDIT: Keith Ridler/AP

Idaho Legislature Inches Closer To Stripping Governor Of Authority Over Special Sessions

An Idaho Senate panel of lawmakers on Monday approved a new version of a constitutional amendment allowing the part-time Idaho Legislature to call itself into s3ession. But several Republicans in the super-majority joined Democrats in opposing the measure amid concerns the Legislature could become a fulltime operation. Continue Reading Idaho Legislature Inches Closer To Stripping Governor Of Authority Over Special Sessions

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People wait in line for the COVID-19 vaccine in Paterson, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Some hospitals around the U.S. are facing complaints about favoritism and line-jumping after their board members and donors received COVID-19 vaccinations or offers for inoculations. CREDIT: Seth Wenig/AP

How Inequity Gets Built Into America’s Vaccination System

It’s a fact that simply being eligible for a vaccine in America doesn’t mean that you can instantly get one. Yet the ability to get to the front of the line isn’t the same for everyone. ProPublica has found that, whether intentionally or not, some vaccine programs have been designed with inherent barriers that disadvantage many people who are most at risk of dying from the disease, exacerbating inequities in access to health care. Continue Reading How Inequity Gets Built Into America’s Vaccination System

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The Washington Senate chamber sits empty before the start of the legislative session on January 11, 2021. CREDIT: Austin Jenkins/N3

Washington State Dems Push For Capital Gains In A Year When ‘Tax’ Doesn’t Seem Like A Bad Word

Even as the state of Washington’s revenue picture improves, majority Democrats in the Legislature appear committed to a course that will, one way or another, involve raising taxes this year. Not necessarily to balance a recession-era budget, but instead to reform a tax code they view as regressive and to address gaps and inequities exposed by the global pandemic. Continue Reading Washington State Dems Push For Capital Gains In A Year When ‘Tax’ Doesn’t Seem Like A Bad Word

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Electrical grid transmission towers in Pasadena, Calif. Major power outages from extreme weather have risen dramatically in the past two decades. CREDIT: John Antczak/AP

It’s Not Just Texas. The Energy Grid Needs An Upgrade – Including In The Northwest

The Texas blackout is another reminder that more frequent, climate-driven extreme weather puts stress on the country’s electricity grid. It came just months after outages in California aimed at preventing wildfires. Compounding this, electricity likely will be even more important in coming years amid a push to electrify cars and homes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That has many grid experts saying it’s time to upgrade the country’s electricity infrastructure. Continue Reading It’s Not Just Texas. The Energy Grid Needs An Upgrade – Including In The Northwest

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Idaho’s four college and university presidents — Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee, University of Idaho President C. Scott Green, Boise State University President Marlene Tromp and Lewis-Clark State College President Cynthia Pemberton — had discussed a possible tuition freeze since spring. Sami Edge/Idaho Education News.

The Showdown Over Higher Education Funding In Idaho Begins At The Statehouse This Week

The big battle will center on the four-year schools: Boise State University, the University of Idaho, Idaho State University and Lewis-Clark State College. After JFAC agrees on a number, the higher ed budget will have to get through the House — where hardline conservatives are poised to continue a fight that began last legislative session. It took three tries to get a higher ed budget through the House in 2020, and that’ll work if you’re looking for an over-under for the 2021 legislative endgame. Continue Reading The Showdown Over Higher Education Funding In Idaho Begins At The Statehouse This Week

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pedestrians walk pas an outdoor dining outside patio

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Dropped Dramatically Since January, But Can We Keep Them Down?

With coronavirus infections on a steady, six weeks long descent in the U.S., it’s clear the worst days of the brutal winter surge have waned. Yet researchers are still not sure how sustainable the decline is. And a small but concerning uptick in cases in the last three days has health officials on edge. Continue Reading U.S. Coronavirus Cases Dropped Dramatically Since January, But Can We Keep Them Down?

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Protesters object to the sentencing of Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond during a rally in Burns, Oregon, on June 2, 2016. CREDIT: AMELIA TEMPLETON

Interior Department Rescinds Grazing Rights For Hammond Family, Reversing Trump Admin’s Decision

It reverses the decision by former President Donald Trump’s Interior secretary, David Bernhardt. He had granted the permit to Dwight and Steven Hammond on Trump’s final day in office. The permit gave the Hammonds the right to graze livestock on public land for 10 years. Continue Reading Interior Department Rescinds Grazing Rights For Hammond Family, Reversing Trump Admin’s Decision

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