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Happening in Olympia
Washington is the latest state to sue distributors of opioids, saying the companies ignored signs of a growing addiction crisis. “For years these companies illegally shipped suspicious orders into our state,” said Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “Their conduct, put quite simply, fueled the state’s opioid epidemic.” Washington is the 10th state to sue opioid distributors. (The News Tribune)
Senator Sam Hunt (D-Olympia) responded to criticisms of his bill to move Washington’s presidential primary to early March. Addressing concerns that the bill would allow government agencies and political parties to keep records that link voters’ names to their declared political party. Hunt said that was not the intent but was simply part of participating in Democracy. Writing, “Yes, it is a struggle for some people, but if the state is to participate, we have to follow the rules. That is what the Presidential primary bill does.” (Washington State Wire)
Seattle’s plans for a new safe injection site comes with a hefty bill for taxpayers, with an estimated additional $2.5 million annually. “We will continue to work on securing funding and will work with the Mayor, the County, and advocates, but we should move forward with a scalable effort to save lives today,” said Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda. The city has already sunk $1.4 million to cover set up costs for the site. (MyNorthwest)
The safe injection site does appear to be in a holding position, not because of ballooning costs (that’s never stopped Seattle before) but because of a lawsuit taking place in Philadelphia. In a memo, Jason Johnson, Seattle’s Department of Human Services interim director wrote that the department is “concerned about threats” of potential lawsuits and/or prosecution by the federal government. The memo goes on to say: “The City of Seattle closely watching the progress of this lawsuit, and working with our City Attorney’s Office to consider all of our legal options, including potentially filing an amicus brief in the Philadelphia case or other litigation strategies.” The Philadelphia lawsuit claims safe injection sites violate The Controlled Substance Act. (KING 5)
Walla Walla County commissioners will review a proposal to draw new boundaries for seven voting precincts. The boundaries are intended to bring them into Walla Wall’s recently adopted ward system for City Council seats. State law requires every voting precinct to be entirely within a legislative district, which means the boundaries of the voting precincts and the city’s ward boundaries need to match. (Union-Bulletin)
In a scene out of The Godfather Eastern Washington, the mayor of Wapato found a decapitated goat left out front of her home. “I have kept silent too long,” Alvarez-Roa said in the video. “I am going to start telling everything. This has escalated very greatly from tires screeching to beheading the goat,” she said in a video posted to Facebook. Mayor Alvarez-Roa said that she filed police reports for each bullying and intimidation incident. (Yakima Herald)
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