Azusa Uchikura

Northwest News Network

Courtesy of the Genesis Project

SEATAC, Wash. – Critics of backpage.com have accused the classifieds website of promoting child prostitution. The company has defended its policies but lawmakers in Olympia are considering new requirements for the site.

They are also considering more funding for anti-prostitution programs. And they plan to get the extra money from the Johns and pimps themselves.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A bill to legalize same-sex marriage is in the hands of Governor Chris Gregoire. It passed the Washington House Wedesday with a 55-43 vote. During the three-hour debate, many lawmakers shared their own personal stories.

Democrat Jamie Pedersen, who is openly gay, spoke of how same-sex marriage would affect his own family.

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are moving forward with plans to allow tolls on the proposed Columbia River Crossing between Portland and Vancouver. The project will cost as much as $3.5 billion and drivers will likely bear some of that cost.

KPLU

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are introducing several proposals that echo the demands of the Occupy protesters. In fact, the formal title of one proposal introduced Thursday says it is aimed at “Guaranteeing that the top one percent pay too.”

The chief sponsor, Democratic Representative Marko Liias, says the Occupy movement wasn’t the only thing that prompted this idea.

The Associated Press

"I clearly wanted him dead. But I got smart."

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a plan to save money by abolishing the death penalty in the state. That idea got a hearing in Olympia.

Karil Klingbeil testified in support of the ban. Her sister, Candy Hemmig, was murdered 30 years ago in Olympia. The killer, Mitchell Rupe was dubbed “the man too fat to hang.” He initially got the death penalty, but after 20 years of appeals, received a life sentence instead.

Labor leaders in Washington are urging state lawmakers to pass a $2 billion construction jobs package. The Washington State Labor Council and other labor organizations held a press conference Wednesday in Olympia.

Among them, unemployed worker Ben Mahre . He says he lost his job a year and a half ago, and with it, his retirement fund and medical benefits.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington liquor stores are on their way to privatization. But don’t expect a clearance sale on the booze that’s left over when the stores close in May.

Representatives from the state Liquor Control Board gave an update Tuesday to the state lawmakers in Olympia on the privatization approved by voters.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that target Johns who solicit prostitutes. Proposals to increase state fines for prostitution and human trafficking had a hearing Tuesday in Olympia.

Supporters say some Washington speeding tickets cost more than the current fine for buying sex.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington 16 and 17-year-olds could preregister to vote while getting their first driver’s license under a bill in Olympia. That idea got a hearing Thursday. But those teens still won’t be able to vote until they turn 18.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A proposal to ban plastic bags in Washington stores is dividing the grocery industry. Smaller independent stores and plastic bag makers oppose a statewide ban. But major grocery stores including Fred Meyer support the proposal.