Paul Queary

Paul Queary, a veteran AP reporter and editor, is founder of The Washington Observer, an independent newsletter on politics, government and the influence thereof in Washington State.

Big Carbon Emitters Put Big Money Behind Keeping State’s Cap-and-Trade Law

The campaign against repealing the state’s cap-and-trade system for major emitters of carbon pollution rolled out a splashy new slate of donors, including two of the larger sources of said emissions. 

Money, Money, Money: Candidates for Governor, Congress

The campaign money almost certainly won’t be there for Semi Bird. Major Republican donors are thus far conspicuously absent from the party’s balance sheet this year. In fact, things are looking a bit threadbare over there.

Olympia Report: Strippers, Guns and Protection

Repealing the current laws on nudity theoretically opens the door for anyone with an existing liquor license to feature some hot naked people.

Last-Minute Legislature: PGE Bill, Retirements, Density

With key Democratic leaders retiring, the race is on for a new state Senate majority leader. Meanwhile, at least five new members means a brand-new dynamic in the State Senate.

Olympia Report: Endorsements, Child Care, and Electric Buses

Ambitious and expensive childcare proposals died this year, and bills to encourage density near transit stops got derailed again.

Crunch Time in Olympia: Bills Getting Traction (and Those That Aren’t)

Some bills were stripped of controversial sections, and then the strip-club strippers showed up in Olympia.

This Year’s Graveyard of Olympia Legislature Bills

Ideas never die in Olympia, but since the Legislature works on a biennial cycle, the bills pushing up daisies this week will stay in the grave at least until 2025 unless they get the zombie budget treatment.

Push for Affordable Housing and ADUs Comes to the Legislature

The Senate version currently would impose a 15% limit on rent increases, with an exemption for newly built housing. Local jurisdictions could impose tighter restrictions. If Sen. Cleveland doesn’t sign off on the bill, it would likely die for the year.

Olympia Report: Vouchers for Schools, Housing Bills, AG Race

Even very limited versions of this idea – broadly known as “school choice” – have been DOA in Olympia for decades thanks to the combined influence of the teachers’ unions and local school districts. Conventional wisdom would have predicted the same fate had such an idea come before voters.

A New Era of Conservative Ballot Initiatives?

We could be looking at a new era of ballot initiative politics, in which conservatives routinely force statewide votes to rein in the more progressive inclinations of Democratic lawmakers and governors.