Benton County

Jasperdo / Flkr Creative Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union says an eastern Washington county is operating a modern day debtors’ prison in violation of both the United States and Washington State Constitutions.  The ACLU of Washington and the law firm of Terrell Marshall Law Group filed a class-action lawsuit against Benton County, which includes the towns of Richland and Kennewick.

New figures on poverty from the Census Bureau show big differences between counties in Washington state.

Counties in the Puget Sound region had a lower poverty rate than the nation as a whole in 2011. The rate for counties around Seattle didn’t change much compared with 2010.

It’s a different story in other parts of the state. Franklin County in eastern Washington had a 30 percent poverty rate – twice the national rate.