New administration, no Harry Reid: Time to make progress on nuke waste storage

Our state is justifiably proud of the contributions made to victory in World War II, notably Boeing’s massive airplane production and the important work done at Hanford. Unfortunately, we continue to pay a price for the latter. Great minds labored in secrecy at Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Hanford, driven by the need to develop […]

With free speech eroding, UW stood strong through Yiannopoulos controversy

We’ve seen it on campus after campus across the country, as controversial speakers (and even plenty that aren’t that controversial) are disinvited, shouted down, or threatened to stay away. We’ve seen it in aggressive protestors who see no irony in declaring a speech they disagree with “assault,” then turn around and call it “free speech” […]

Ending unnecessary licensing is about your right to make a living

Ours is a pretty divided nation these days, it’s hard to deny. That makes it all the more heartening to see issues where there is growing consensus in both parties. We’ve seen that in Republicans and Democrats alike rethinking our civil asset forfeiture laws (though the president has expressed some support for them). They’re questioning […]

Seattle’s “democracy voucher” program a confusing waste of money

Seattle is rolling out its new “democracy voucher” program, and apparently it’s leaving residents a little confused. Does it surprise anyone that this bad idea is proving confounding? Seattle voters passed the tax-dollars-for-campaign-donations program by initiative, so they gave it an affirmative yes. That doesn’t mean they have any idea what the vouchers are when […]

Help on the way for rural areas? Fix to water ruling is critical

Last fall, a state Supreme Court ruling in a water case severely curtailed economic development in rural Washington and hurt families who were just following the rules. Known as the Hirst decision, it was a major hit to areas that aren’t a part of the Seattle-area tech boom. The case, which originated in Whatcom County, […]

Dino Rossi returns to Olympia with a really smart idea

Sometimes a proposal in Olympia has such a force of logic behind it, and is so clearly the right thing to do, that you know it’s probably doomed. Sen. Dino Rossi is prime-sponsoring one such brilliant and necessary bill. The Legislature suffered a terrible loss when Sen. Andy Hill died, but Rossi has stepped into […]

It’s time to move on from the death penalty in Washington

Last week, I joined a bipartisan group of legislators and Attorney General Bob Ferguson in Olympia to support a bill that would repeal the death penalty in our state. The repeal would not be retroactive; those who sit on death row today would still be under the sentence they received for the murders they committed. […]

In updating the PRA, public’s access is paramount

There hasn’t been much consensus in Olympia recently on how to update our state’s Public Records Act for the tech age. Because of that, the default has been to do nothing. On balance, that’s just fine. The law is tilted strongly in favor of the public’s right to know what public officials and employees are […]

On his first day, new state Superintendent picks union over taxpayers

During last fall’s election season, I expressed concern that Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) candidate Chris Reykdal was too close to the state teachers union. He didn’t waste much time confirming it. His first act after being inaugurated this week was to remove his office from an intriguing lawsuit begun by his predecessor regarding school […]

McKenna on KIRO: Distracted driving lawsuit against Apple

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a case in Texas in which a young child was killed by a distracted driver using FaceTime. The driver was charged with manslaughter, and the family is going after Apple in a civil suit. Rob McKenna: “The really interesting question is, when are we going to have […]