Mon, Feb 27, 2024

Deputy House Majority Leader My-Linh Thai is a thinker, and what she thinks most deeply about are people. Their lives, their problems, what they want, what they need. That's a good trait for a leader. In today's Capitol Ideas we'll hear what's on her mind, and it's a lot.

My-Linh Thai contains multitudes. She's a state representative. An education leader. A pharmacist. Deputy Majority Leader of the Washington State House of Representatives. A parent. A refugee, the first ever elected to the state House. Most of all, she's someone who cares about others, and that becomes clear when you look at the the legislation she's authored during her six years in Olympia, and when you hear her speak. You'll get the chance to do both in today's Capitol Ideas.

Sat, Feb 24, 2024

Rep. Dan Bronoske had been in the Legislature barely one term when his colleagues chose him to serve as deputy speaker pro tem of the state House of Representatives. A few minutes into today's Capitol Ideas it should be obvious why. Hit the play button and settle in to meet the firefighter, EMT, veteran, and dog lover who works for the people of the 28th legislative district, and everyone else in the Evergreen State.

Today we'll spend a half hour with Lakewood state Rep. Dan Bronoske. If you tune in to TVW when the House is in session, there's a good chance you'll see him handling the gavel and presiding over the debate as deputy speaker pro tem. When he's not on the dais, he's working on bills to make life better for workers, people in crisis, students, retirees, veterans, families . . . in other words, all of us. You don't want to miss today's conversation.

Tue, Feb 20, 2024

Today we'll talk with Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self in a podcast recorded as the 2024 session of the Washington State Legislature headed into its final, hectic few weeks. Rep. Ortiz-Self chairs the largest House Democratic Caucus in recent memory, and doubles as chair of the Washington State Latino Democratic Caucus. Clearly, it's an interesting conversation, so stay tuned.

It's a tough job, and she loves it. Mukilteo state Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self chairs the House Democratic Caucus in Olympia, represents 160,000 of her friends and neighbors in the 21st legislative district, and has spent most of her professional career trying to make life better for children and their families. She also sponsors a whole lot of very good bills, and we'll talk about most all these roles in today's Capitol Ideas.

Thu, Feb 15, 2024

This is a good one. Today's ideator on Capitol Ideas is Rep. Tana Senn from the 41st legislative district, which stretches from Mercer Island east to Samammish and from Newcastle up to Bellevue. She chairs the House Committee on Human Services, Youth and Early Learning, and it's a role she was born for.

It's Day 39 of the 60-day 2024 legislative session in Olympia, and schedules are tight. We were lucky to grab 20 minutes with Rep. Tana Senn, and the luck is yours, as well. Her bills on emission-free school buses, adult family homes, firearm safety, and getting special-needs kids off on the right foot are moving toward the governor's desk, and we'll talk about all these and more in today's Capitol Ideas.

Sun, Jan 28, 2024

Every couple of years, Rep. Melanie Morgan stops by for a visit with Capitol Ideas. Today's conversation is a good one, and an important one. Equity, Black History Month, housing and homelessness, renewable energy, art, the dearth of Black farmers in Washington . . . you'll hear about all these and more in today's Capitol Ideas.

Rep. Melanie Morgan champions equity in most everything she does, and she does a lot. Join us today for a conversation with Rep. Morgan, who in six short years in the Legislature has become a force to be reckoned with. Today's Capitol Ideas covers everything from agriculture to Black History Month -- and Black history -- to renewable energy and Washington's growing housing shortage.

Tue, Feb 05, 2024

Rep. Bill Ramos (D-5th, Issaquah) stopped by the Capitol Ideas headquarters this week for a while, and we're glad he did. What resulted is a conversation that ranges from illegal dumping on private land and illegible license plates to amending the state consitution and discussing who really pays gas taxes in Washington. Give us a half hour and we'll give you a fine conversation in return.

Now in the midst of his sixth year in the House, Rep. Bill Ramos makes a return visit to Capitol Ideas today. Bill chairs the House Committee on State Government and Tribal Relations, and has seats on the Transportation Committee and the Community Safety, Justice, and Reentry panel as well. That makes for a busy session, but today he stopped moving long enough to bring us up to speed on his priorities for the session and how his key bills are faring in this short, jam-packed legislative session.

Tue, Jan 23, 2024

It's is a pretty special episode of Capitol Ideas today. Really. Our conversation is with Rep. Frank Chopp, the Seattle Democrat formerly known as Speaker of the House Frank Chopp. He's never been one to hog the spotlight, and this might be one of the most revealing conversations he's had in his legislative career, which began in January 1995 and is still going strong. Give it a listen and see if you don't agree.

Speaker emeritus Frank Chopp, who voluntarily switched his role to Rep. Frank Chopp at the end of the 2019 session, is the special guest on this episode of Capitol Ideas. The good things he's done for the Evergreen State are too numerous to list here, but if you listen to today's conversation, you'll notice a promise to include some items in the show notes. Here, in no particular order, are some of the things that he played a pivotal role in: the state Housing Trust fund; the best minimum wage in the U.S.; paid family and medical leave; free college and university tuition for those who need it most; the Marriage Equality Act; the Dream Act; the Voting Rights Act; the Longterm Care Trust Act; the Education Legacy Fund; The College Bound Scholarship program; Apple Health for All Kids; Apple Health and Homes; and 20 years of state budgets that put people first.

Fri, Jan 19, 2024

Today we have a return visit from Speaker Pro Tem Tina Orwall. Rep. Orwall leads us through a day on the podium, and talks about her role as a champion of persons whose voices need to be heard on the floor of the House.

Rep. Tina Orwall is one of the busiest people in Olympia. If she doesn't hold the record for the legislator with the greatest number of bills that became laws, she's in the running. And as the longtime Speaker Pro Tem of the state House of Representatives, she wields a firm gavel to run most House floor sessions. She's back today for another new episode of Capitol Ideas.

Fri, Jan 12, 2024

23rd-district Rep. Greg Nance is our guest on Capitol Ideas today. Greg is the newest member of the Washington State House of Representatives, having been appointed in September to fill a vacant seat in the 23rd legislative district. He's a unique individual with a story to tell, and you'll hear it right here.

Meet Rep. Greg Nance. He's a native Kitsapian, if that's a word, lives on Bainbridge Island, is a non-profit leader with deep experience in youth-mentoring, education, and mental health care. He's a conservationist, an athlete, and now . . . a state lawmaker.

Tue, Jan 09, 2024

House Floor Leader Monica Stonier is the guest on today's Capitol Ideas, the first episode of Season 16 of the official podcast of the Washington State House Democratic Caucus. Don't miss it.

Ah, Sweet 16. If Capitol Ideas were a person and not a podcast, it would be ready for a driver's license. This experiment kicked off in 2009 and it's been here ever since. Today's conversation features House Majority Floor Leader Monica Stonier, who's been a guest more than once over the years. Today she'll talk about her leadership position, working across the party aisle, and sponsoring groundbreaking legislation to make Washington a better place to live, work, and raise a family..

Mon, May 08, 2023

Today’s Capitol Ideas features an exclusive conversation with Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins. The Speaker gives an overview of the just-concluded 2023 regular session of the Legislature, talks about her approach to the position she’s now held for four years, discusses the vital issue that will require the Legislature to meet during the upcoming special session, and gives us a preview of an adventure that awaits her during the interim.

Rep. Laurie Jinkins was chair of the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee when her colleagues changed her title to Speaker of the House of Representatives at the beginning of the 2020 legislative session. Since then she’s led the House through a pair of unprecedented remote sessions necessitated by the pandemic, overseen the creation of an impressive number of landmark laws, sat at the head of the most diverse Democratic caucus in the history of the state, and backpacked all but 40 miles of the Washington section of the fabled Pacific Crest Trail. She’ll talk about all this and more in today’s special edition of Capitol Ideas.

Thu, Apr 27, 2023

The Capitol Ideas spotlight today is on Rep. Steve Bergquist, the Renton Democrat who serves as one of the vice-chairs of the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee. We recorded this a few days before the final operating budget was approved, so rather than talk about the destination, today we'll outline the journey. It's a budget travelogue.

If the Washington state operating budget were part of the Marvel universe, today’s episode of Capitol Ideas might be the origin story. We’re about to hear from Representative Steve Bergquist, vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee, in a conversation recorded just a few days before the House and Senate both voted to approve that nearly-seventy-billion dollar two-year spending plan.

Sun, Apr 23, 2023

Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, today's guest on Capitol Ideas, chairs the House Education Committee. She's done that for a long time. Her Democratic colleagues keep putting her in that seat session after session, because she's very good at her job. Give today's episode a listen and you'll understand why.

What's the state of public education in Washington three years after we first encountered the word coronavirus? We'll hear about that and more from Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, veteran chair of the House Education Committee on today's Capitol Ideas.

Fri, Apr 07, 2023

Rep. April Berg of Mill Creek, in her third session as a state representative, chairs the House Finance Committee. She makes an in-person appearance on Capitol Ideas today, two years after debuting on Zoom during the pandemic summer of 2021.

Rep. April Berg has done a lot. In today's Capitol Ideas we'll get to know the lawmaker who chairs one of the Legislature's key standing committees, and we'll find out what she's learned during her three years in the House.

Mon, Apr 03, 2023

Rep. Emily Alvarado is in the Capitol Ideas studio today. She's a first-year lawmaker from the 34th district, a long-time housing activist and the new vice chair of the House Housing Committee, and she knows her stuff. Enjoy this one.

Today's Capitol Ideas touches on Washington's housing crisis, abortion rights in a post-Dobbs world, equity for foster youth, and plenty more. The guest is Rep. Emily Alvarado, and that means this is a high-energy, solidly informative, and very entertaining conversation.

Thu, Mar 30, 2023

Rep. Mari Leavitt stops by Capitol Ideas in today’s episode. If you’re here for variety, this is your day; we’ll talk about making the state more military-friendly, mitigating the effects of climate change, pushing back against the scourge of fentanyl in street drugs, and more.

Rep. Mari Leavitt’s 28th legislative district might have the heaviest concentration of military families in Washington, and as the daughter of a Vietnam vet, she’s got a special place in her heart for those constituents. In today’s Capitol Ideas you’ll hear about her bill to help newly arrived military spouses resume their careers in the Evergreen State. She’ll talk about her plan to save lives during increasing extreme weather events. And we’ll discuss her goal of making life more difficult for the backroom pill factories poisoning Washington’s kids.

Mon, Mar 27, 2023

We’ll hear from Rep. Vandana Slatter in today’s Capitol Ideas, and it’s a good one. Vandana happens to be sponsoring some of this session’s most significant pieces of legislation, bills that will, if they ultimately become law, have a lot to do with the future of Washington state.

Today’s Capitol Ideas is a wide-ranging conversation with 48th-district Democratic Rep. Vandana Slatter, chair of the House Committee on Postsecondary Education and Workforce. Two of her key bills, the creation of the Washington Climate Corps and the My Health, My Data Act, account for most of the episode, and this is one you won’t want to miss.

Mon, Mar 20, 2023

Today’s Capitol Ideas features a conversation with Rep. Davina Duerr of Bothell. Davina chairs the House Local Government Committee in Olympia, and that’s a key position in the state’s attempts to ease Washington’s housing crisis. We’ll talk about that and lots more, so stick around.

Washington needs between 150,000 and 250,000 additional housing units of all kinds to fully solve its housing crisis over the next several years. That’s a tall order, and a number of bills aimed at the issue will go through the House Local Government Committee. The new chair of that committee is Rep. Davina Duerr of Bothell, in Washington’s 1st legislative district. Davina is an architect, and a former member of the Bothell City Council. She’s got ideas, and we’ll hear what some of them are today.

Fri, Mar 03, 2023

Today Capitol Ideas features a special interview with Reps. Tana Senn and Liz Berry, founders of the Moms Caucus in the House Democratic Caucus. We'll talk about why they did that, what they've accomplished, and how their priorities are faring in the 2023 session.

The current group of majority House Democrats in Washington state features more of just about everything. More women. More people of color. More WOMEN of color. And more mothers of young children. That last "more" is what we'll talk about today. Our guests are Reps. Tana Senn and Liz Berry, who got together in 2021 and organized the Moms Caucus. The Moms have had a strong influence on legislation, and they've had some fun. We'll talk about all that and more on today's Capitol Ideas. For a look at the Moms Caucus priority bills, copy this into your browser: tinyurl.com/f5uhy5pa

Wed, Mar 01, 2023

Today's guest is 29th-district state Rep. Sharlett Mena. It's her first session as a lawmaker, but she's paid her dues in both Washingtons already and knows her way around. Don't miss it.

Capitol Ideas is pleased to introduce Rep. Sharlett Mena. She's done policy and communications work in the Washington state Senate, Gov. Inslee's administration, and the U.S. Congress. We've got her now, as a brand-new state representative and member of the House Democratic Caucus. Today she talks about her life, her values, her legislative priorities, and more.

Sun, Feb 26, 2023

Today's Capitol Ideas is something different. It's not a lawmaker being interviewed; it's Rep. Marcus Riccelli interviewing a legislative page, Claire Poulsen, about her week at the Capitol. This one's fun. Check it out.

Teens who take part in Washington's legislative page program have a unique experience. They come to Olympia from all over the state, sponsored by a lawmaker, and spend a week learning about state government while helping out with everything from delivering important papers to carrying the flags in opening ceremonies in the House and Senate. In today's special Capitol Ideas, Spokane Rep. Marcus Riccelli interviews high-school freshman Claire Poulsen about her week as a page. For more information and a link to the application to be a page, visit https://leg.wa.gov/House/Pages/HousePageProgram.aspx. And for a short video on the page experience, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjNt5JuL0aY

Thu, Feb 23, 2023

Meet Rep. Julio Cortes. Even before joining the Legislature six weeks ago, Julio established a long resume of public service. He has an interesting story, and you'll hear it in this installment of Capitol Ideas.

A few days ago Capitol Ideas introduced Rep. Mary Fosse, and today we'll follow up with her seatmate from the 38th district, Rep. Julio Cortes. Julio brings a unique life story to the Legislature -- immigrant, public servant, athlete, social worker -- and we'll talk about all that and more in today's Capitol Ideas.

Mon, Feb 20, 2023

The ideas in Capitol Ideas today come from Rep. Mary Fosse (D-38th, Everett). She’s hit the ground running in her first session, working for her district and the whole state. You can meet her today.

Today we’ll spend some time on Capitol Ideas with Rep. Mary Fosse of the 38th legislative district up in Snohomish County. This is Mary’s first session in the House but as a longtime community activist, a member of the Everett City Council, and a former legislative staffer, she knows how the place works. We’ll talk about that, and more, in today’s episode.

Sat, Feb 18, 2023

House Majority Leader Joe Fitzgibbon drops by Capitol Ideas today for a conversation about several of the things he cares about: affordable housing, climate change, workforce development, the homelessness crisis in Washington, the value of listening, and smart, efficient use of the state's operating budget. Stay tuned.

Week five of Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon's first session as Majority Leader of the Washington state House of Representatives coincided with policy cut-off, arguably the busiest week of the year. He still agreed to spend some time with Capitol Ideas, and now is your chance to get to know a remarkable leader.

Sun, Feb 12, 2023

Police vehicular chases, sentencing reform, impaired driving, bipartisanship . . . all these and more are high on Rep. Roger Goodman’s 2023 legislative agenda. Get the details in today’s Capitol Ideas.

Rep. Roger Goodman returns to Capitol Ideas today, seven years after his last appearance. As chair of the newly renamed House Community Safety, Justice, and Re-entry Committee, he’s busier than ever. Find out what he and his committee are working on in the 2023 legislative session in today’s conversation.

Thu, Feb 9, 2023

Rep. Darya Farivar comes to the Legislature with a background as an advocate and activist. Barely into her first session as a lawmaker, it took her no time at all to assume those roles in Olympia. You'll meet her today.

The Nothing About Us Without Us Act is Rep. Darya Farivar's highest-profile bill in her first year as a lawmaker, but it's not her only one. Get to know the 46th district's new representative, the first Iranian-American woman ever elected to the Legislature and a fighter for the underrepresented, in this Thursday edition of Capitol Ideas.

Mon, Feb 6, 2023

Rep. Shelley Kloba, sponsor of the People's Privacy Act, drops by Capitol Ideas to talk about online privacy, data mining, home-grown marijuana, affordable housing, and more.

You might not know who she is, but Rep. Shelley Kloba probably cares more about your online privacy than you do . . . because she knows how little you've got. One of her big bills this session is the People's Privacy Act, and you'll learn why it's important in this episode of Capitol Ideas.

Fri, Feb 3, 2023

Today we'll meet up with Rep. Marcus Riccelli of Spokane. He's the new chair of the House Healthcare Committee, former Majority Whip, the driving force behind the creation of the Elson Floyd Medical School at WSU, and prime sponsor of some of the 2023 Legislature's key bills.

Rep. Marcus Riccelli dropped by the Capitol Ideas studio to talk about free school meals, protecting reproductive freedom, chipping away at the healthcare workforce shortage, and more.

Sun, Jan 29, 2023

The housing crisis in Washington state might be the most pressing issue facing the 2023 Legislature in Olympia, and Rep. Strom Peterson chairs the House Housing Committee. He discusses housing and more in today's Capitol Ideas.

Rep. Strom Peterson (D-21st, Edmonds) visits Capitol Ideas to talk about public safety, octopus farming, and his bipartisan approach to easing the housing crisis. This is one you don't want to miss.

Fri, Jan 27, 2023

Rep. Clyde Shavers is in his first year as a state lawmaker. In fact, he's in his first month. We'll meet him in this episode of Capitol Ideas and find out who he is, what his legislative priorities are, and what it's like to start his legislative career by being named vice chair of a key House committee.

Today we're talking with 10th-district Rep. Clyde Shavers: Annapolis grad, former naval officer, and brand-new state representative.

Wed, Jan 18, 2023

Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self chairs the House Democratic Caucus, which in November was handed its largest majority in years. We'll find out how she balances her leadership duties with her job of representing the people of Washington's 21st legislative district in today's Capitol Ideas.

Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self is a school counselor, a mental-health counselor, a state representative, and chair of the House Democratic Caucus in Olympia. Not surprisingly, she's passionate about education and young people. Give Capitol Ideas 15 minutes today and you'll hear all about it. And more.

Fri, Jan 13, 2023

41st-district Rep. My-Linh Thai has a new title: She was recently chosen by her colleagues in the House Democratic Caucus to serve as Deputy Majority Leader. Along with that spot in the senior leadership of her caucus comes the responsibility to head up the Democratic majority's commitment to make equity a key consideration in every piece of legislation that reaches the House floor. She'll talk about that, and how she plans to approach her new job, in today's Capitol Ideas.

Rep. My-Linh Thai came to America from her native Vietnam at 15. Years later she became the first refugee elected to serve in the state House of Representatives, and she began the 2023 session with a new title: Deputy Majority Leader. You'll meet her today, and you'll be glad you did.

Fri, Apr 1, 2022

Democratic State Rep. Timm Ormsby of Spokane chairs the House Appropriations Committee in Olympia. Legislative Assistant Shannon Waechter has kept Timm's office running smoothly for 15 years. Today, they visit Capitol Ideas to talk about their respective jobs, one another, and the challenges and rewards of public service.

Back in 2009, Washington State Rep. Timm Ormsby and Legislative Assistant Shannon Waechter were featured on the third-ever episode of a brand-new podcast called Capitol Ideas, talking about the teamwork necessary in a legislative office. We circle back today to find out what's changed, and what hasn't, now that 13 years have passed and, as chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Timm is the chamber's head budget writer.

Mon, Mar 28, 2022

Rep. Jesse Johnson is vice chair of the House Public Safety Committee and has been a central figure in several major legislative initiatives during the current biennium. The Federal Way Democrat's recent announcement that he'd be leaving the House at the end of the year took most everyone by surprise, and we'll talk about that decision, and his legacy, in today's Capitol Ideas.

Despite a tenure of just three years in the House, Rep. Jesse Johnson has been one of the Legislature's busiest and most respected members almost from the day he was first sworn in to fill a vacancy in the 30th district in January 2020. He's leaving the House at the end of his current term to play a bigger role in the life of his newborn son. In this special Capitol Ideas, Jesse reflects on his brief time as a lawmaker, the accomplishments he's most proud of, and work yet to be done.

Wed, Mar 23, 2022

Today we're spending some time with Rep. Lisa Callan. She's from Issaquah, in the 5th district, and is a fighter for children, youth, and families, among many other things. We'll focus on those three very important priorities in today's Capitol Ideas.

Rep. Lisa Callan co-chairs the Legislature's Children and Youth Behavioral Health Work Group. She sits on the House Children, Youth, and Families Committee. Are you seeing a pattern here? If you're a child, a youth, or a member of a family, chances are excellent Lisa has sponsored successful legislation during her time in the House that makes your life better. Stick around for a half hour and get acquainted with someone who plays an important role in your life, whether you know it or not.

Mon, Mar 21, 2022

We're joined today by Speaker Pro Tem Tina Orwall. In that role, Tina presides over most floor sessions of the Washington Stte House of Representatives. As Rep. Tina Orwall, she sponsors some of the most impactful bills of any of the 147 members of the Legislature.

Rep. Tina Orwall, today's guest, is a powerhouse of a legislator. She has a tendency to sponsor successful bills, and a look at those bills reveals where her priorities lie: justice for those who have suffered sexual assault or trafficking, veterans' issues, suicide prevention, jobs and economic development, safety for persons experiencing behavioral health crises, foster youth, and adoptee rights, to name just a few. Tina is also Speaker Pro Tem of the Washington State House, handling the gavel and guiding debate during most floor sessions. She makes a return visit to Capitol Ideas today.

Thu, Mar 17, 2022

Rep. Mike Chapman hails from up in Port Angeles at the top of the Olympia Peninsula. He chairs the House Rural Development, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Committee. He's a busy guy, but we snagged him for today's episode of Capitol Ideas. Stay tuned; you'll be glad you did.

For this week's Capitol Ideas we're heading up to the Olympic Peninsula to hear from Rep. Mike Chapman, the six-year veteran of the House who chairs the House Rural Development, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Committee. Mike is a former law-enforcement professional, served four terms as a Clallam County commissioner, and lives in Port Angeles when he's not in Olympia. Today's topics range from the college-loan crisis to the origins of Washington's short legislative sessions to getting things by forging bipartisan alliances.

Thu, Mar 3, 2022

Today's special episode of Capitol Ideas features a behind-the-scenes conversation with Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins. You don't want to miss this one.

What's it like to occupy the highest office in the Washington state House of Representatives? Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins knows. What's that job entail? And how is she committed to making Washington a better, healthier, safer, and more equitable home for everyone in the state? You'll find out in today's special Capitol Ideas.

Mon, Feb 28, 2022

Today's show is the first of a pair of podcasts featuring top Democrats in the state House, starting with a conversation with House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan. He's leading the effort to make college more affordable by establishing a one-percent college-loan program run by the state. Tune in to hear more.

It's always a good day when House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan drops by the Capitol Ideas HQ. Now in his 12th year as Majority Leader, Rep. Sullivan is busy with budget negotiations and countless other duties, but high on his priority list is getting his one-percent college-loan program approved in the Senate and signed by Gov. Inslee. It's been a multi-year effort and this looks like the year.

Fri, Feb 18, 2022

Today we'll meet Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley and hear about her sponsorship of the Doulas for All Act, House Bill 1881.

If you know what doulas are and the valuable services they provide, you'll enjoy this conversation with Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley. If doula is a new word for you, you just might get even more out of today's episode. Rep. Harris-Talley (D-Seattle) is sponsor of the Doulas for All Act, legislation that could transform the birthing process for countless families. To keep up with progress on the bill, visit https://bit.ly/3H1AMdb.

Fri, Feb 11, 2022

We're joined today on Capitol Ideas by brand-new state Rep. Brandy Donaghy (D-Everett), appointed just before the 2022 legislative session began.

This is your chance to get to know Rep. Brandy Donaghy. Brandy, who lives in Everett and represents Washington's 44th legislative district, is a Navy vet, community educator, and emergency-preparedness expert who was appointed in December to the House seat vacated when Rep. John Lovick accepted an appointment to the state Senate.

Sat, Feb 5, 2022

Today's Capitol Ideas takes a special look at easing the affordable-housing crisis in Washington by filling in the "missing middle." Featured guests are Rep. Jessica Bateman and Sen. Mona Das.

Current estimates put Washington's housing shortage at about 250,000 units, and today's guests, Rep. Jessica Bateman and Sen. Mona Das, are sponsoring legislation that would open the door for construction of tens of thousands of affordable homes -- duplexes, triplexes, quads and sixplexes -- in neighborhoods currently zoned for single-family homes only. Bateman and Das explain how HB 1782 and SB 5670 could begin to reverse decades of sprawl, housing inequity, and greenhouse gas pollution, and the homelessness crisis that has mushroomed in recent years. To keep up with progress on the bills, visit https://bit.ly/3B0VXKY or https://bit.ly/3GwU8GC, respectively.

Fri, Jan 21, 2022

Youth advocate, veteran state legislator, and chair of the House Children, Youth, and Families Committee Tana Senn helps kick off a new year of Capitol Ideas.

The first Capitol Ideas guest of 2022 is Rep. Tana Senn. Tana is from Bellevue, is a Democrat, of course, and is one of the state's leading advocates for kids, young adults, and families. She's sponsoring an important bill about preventing youth homelessness this session, and we'll talk about it today. If you want to see the bill and track its progress, visit https://bit.ly/32pDTNQ.

Thu, Sep 2, 2021

Rep. Jessica Bateman is one of a record-sized group of Democratic women serving in the state House in 2021-22, and at the halfway point in her first two-year term she's exhibiting the kind of leadership and legislative savvy her 22nd-district constituents expected when they tapped her to be their voice in the Capitol. You'll meet her today, and you'll be glad you did.

Long before joining the House Democratic Caucus in 2021, Jessica Bateman, both as a private citizen and as a member of the Olympia city council, was a fighter -- for climate action, affordable housing, and affordable and accessible health care, for social justice, equity, and kids at risk. Now that she's representing the 22nd legislative district as a state representative, Jess fights for those same issues, but in a larger arena. We'll talk about all this and more in today's special edition of Capitol Ideas.

Sat, Aug 7, 2021

Today on Capitol Ideas we’ll spend some time with Rep. Emily Wicks of Everett, who’s midway through her first term working for the residents of Washington’s 38th legislative district. If you looked up the word irrepressible in your Funk and Wagnall’s, there might be a picture of Emily in the margin. That’s a good thing, and today you’ll find out why on Capitol Ideas.

Growing up in Marysville, Rep. Emily Wicks knew that somehow, someday, she wanted to work for her friends and neighbors. Since her appointment to fill a vacant seat in the state House in 2020, and her subsequent election victory, she’s been doing just that as a state representative. In this edition of Capitol Ideas we’ll hear about those premonitions, what she’s been doing since they came true, and what her plans are for 2022 and beyond.

Mon, Aug 2, 2021

Rep. April Berg just wrapped up her first session as a legislator, going five for five in getting her bills to the governor's desk to become law. That's like hitting for the cycle in a baseball game, then coming out in the ninth and adding a grand slam. You'll meet her in this edition of Capitol Ideas.

Meet Rep. April Berg of Mill Creek, in the heart of Washington's 44th legislative district. She hasn't learned her way around the Capitol, because her first session was conducted remotely. But she's learned how to succeed as a legislator, and how to be an effective voice for her constituents. Give her 18 minutes today, and she'll give you a fresh look at the future of your Legislature.

Wed, June 9, 2021

This week Rep. My-Linh Thai makes a return visit to Capitol Ideas. We'll hear about compassionate legislating, her unique approach to lawmaking that has its roots in her practice of Zen Buddhism.

Rep. My-Linh Thai is many things: a pharmacist, a mother, a PTA leader, a former school board director, a state representative, and an American citizen who came to the U.S. as a refugee from her native Vietnam at age 15. We'll talk about how all those experiences helped shape her philosophy of compassionate legislating, and how that approach to lawmaking makes her an effective member of the Legislature.

Thu, May 20, 2021

The 2021 legislative session might be adjourned for the year, but Capitol Ideas will still be here to bring you interesting, informative, and sometimes provocative conversations with the diverse cast of majority Democrats who get things done in Olympia. Our leadoff guest for the interim season is 29th-district Rep. Melanie Morgan.

Rep. Melanie Morgan makes an encore appearance in today's Capitol Ideas, and we'll talk about racial equity, the new Juneteenth state holiday, why passing bills is sometimes overrated, and reaching across the Cascades to make Washington's supposed east-west divide irrelevant.

Tue, Apr 20, 2021

Rep. Tarra Simmons is a survivor, and in this episode of Capitol Ideas you'll meet up with her on Day 99 of her legislative career. She's already well-established as an effective civil-rights champion, and today you'll find out why.

Brand-new state Rep. Tarra Simmons is an attorney, a former nurse, and a familiar face at the Capitol from her years of advocacy for laws designed to extend the American dream to communities that haven’t always been at the front of the line, including but not limited to persons formerly or currently incarcerated. There's a reason for that, but if you want to learn more you'll just have to listen.

Fri, Mar 19, 2021

In just his second session, Rep. Jesse Johnson has shouldered the legislative load of reforming policing in Washington. He's taken giant strides this year, and we talk about them in this edition of Capitol Ideas.

In a tragic and tumultuous year, relations between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to serve have frayed beyond the breaking point. Police killings, brutally excessive uses of force, and militarization to the point where police officers resemble occupying forces...they've taken a toll. Rep. Johnson brought together citizens affected by police violence, law enforcement groups, lawmakers, and other interested parties to forge a solution. We'll talk about the results of his efforts today.

Mon, Mar 1, 2021

Rep. Shelley Kloba is back, and she's still working to protect your digital privacy. We'll talk today about the long and winding road she's traveling to try to make the people's personal data privacy bill of rights a reality.

It's been a little over a year since Rep. Shelley Kloba sat down for a conversation on Capitol Ideas. A lot has changed in that time, including the pandemic that forced us to record today's episode remotely. Something that hasn't changed is her commitment to the idea that you own your personal data, and it should be up to you how it's used and who uses it. We'll talk about that today.

Thu, Feb 11, 2021

Rep. Melanie Morgan is sponsoring HB 1395, the Equity in Farming Act, to widen opportunities in agriculture for Black African Americans, Indigenous People, and other potential farmers of color.

Of the thousands of farms in Washington, an agriculture-intensive state, fewer than 100 are owned by Black farmers. Rep. Melanie Morgan points to generations of systemic racism as a key reason for this underrepresentation, and is sponsoring legislation this year to enlist the state Department of Agriculture, schools, and other allies to help facilitate an increase in Black-owned family farms.

Mon, Feb 8, 2021

Healthy homes and clean buildings. Who could argue with that? Not Rep. Alex Ramel, who's sponsoring the Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings Act this session. Find out what it's all about in today's Capitol Ideas.

Rep. Alex Ramel introduced the Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings Act this session to put Washington on track to meet its carbon goals by mid-century. It's a key piece in a package of legislation designed to turn the tide on climate change and reduce the staggering quantities of carbon belched out into Washington skies by countless thousands of buildings using natural gas, mostly for heating that could be done almost carbon-free by electricity. We're kicking off the 2021 season of Capitol Ideas by letting Ramel, a Democratic lawmaker from the 40th legislative district, tell us how the HHCB Act works, and why it needs to.

Thu, Mar 12, 2020

Meet Davina Duerr: architect, Bothell city councilmember, and a first-year state representative from Washington's 1st legislative district.

Rep. Davina Duerr was appointed last summer to the state House seat in the 1st district that came open when its previous occupant moved to the Senate to replace a departing member. This was her first session, but she's a quick study and, as you'll hear, she didn't sit in the back row and wait to be called on.

Tue, Mar 10, 2020

Last week the Legislature approved Senate Bill 5395, which makes sexual-health education part of the public-school curriculum in Washington. Today's special "Capitol Ideas" features Rep. Monica Stonier in a candid conversation about the campaign to defeat the bill, a campaign that was fueled by misinformation, disinformation, and personal insults that may have marked a new low in the Legislature.

Democratic lawmakers have received thousands of emails, letters, phone calls, personal visits and, sadly, threats, in recent days from people hoping to derail Senate Bill 5395 (https://tinyurl.com/qqbg7dr). The House version of that bill, which requires age-appropriate, comprehensive sexual-health education to be part of the curriculum in public schools, was sponsored by State Rep. Monica Stonier of Vancouver. She visits "Capitol Ideas" today to talk about the actual content of the bill, the disinformation campaign that was mounted against it, and the "debate" that featured Republican lawmakers using language on the House floor that caused TVW, the state's public affairs television service, to post onscreen parental warnings.

Thu, Mar 5, 2020

Today’s Capitol Idea is election security, and Democratic state Rep. Gael Tarleton of Seattle is the Legislature's recognized authority on the issue. Today's conversation is longer than usual, but the topic is that important. Stick around.

Given what’s gone on and is still going on in the world, ensuring the security and integrity of elections is about as important an idea as it’s possible to talk about in a representative democracy like ours. Rep. Gael Tarleton agrees, and she's been talking about it, and thinking about it, and doing something about it, for years. We've got her today, and what she has to say is worth listening to.

Tue, Mar 3, 2020

Democratic Rep. Mia Gregerson of SeaTac dropped by the "Capitol Ideas" studio this week to talk about her bill creating the Washington State Office of Equity. In 12 minutes, you'll know more than you do now!

There's equality . . . and then there's equity. State Rep. Mia Gregerson is one of many lawmakers with equity on their minds, and it's an important issue in the Washington Legislature this year. Today she talks to "Capitol Ideas" about her hopes for an Office of Equity, and why it would matter.

Thu, Feb 27, 2020

Well before Amy Walen (D-48th, Kirkland) took the oath of office to become a state representative in January 2019, she was a key player in Washington's efforts to reduce homelessness and increase supplies of affordable housing throughout the state. We'll talk about some successes, and some challenges she's faced, in today's "Capitol Ideas."

Before she became Rep. Amy Walen, today's guest on "Capitol Ideas" was Mayor Amy Walen of Kirkland. She has deep ties to her district on the east side of Lake Washington, and she brought her commitment to create affordable housing to Olympia. Reducing homelessness and boosting the state's inventory of affordable housing are key issues in the 2020 legislation, and Amy has several irons in that fire. We'll explore those efforts in today's conversation.

Tue, Feb 25, 2020

Spokane Rep. Timm Ormsby chairs the House Appropriations Committee and is head budget writer for the chamber. Today we talk with Timm not about the specifics of the newly released supplemental operating budget, but about the task, or privilege, of sitting in his seat and making decisions every day that could affect millions of Washingtonians.

Today's "Capitol Ideas" is a sort of civics lesson, but more interesting than the ones you took -- or didn't take -- in high school. Chief House budget writer Rep. Timm Ormsby reflects on how a multi-billion-dollar state operating budget takes shape: the long days and even longer nights, the tough decisions, the unheralded bipartisanship and, again, more tough decisions. This is background you probably haven't heard before, and it's definitely worth 16 minutes of your time.

Tue, Feb 18, 2020

We're back and today's "Capitol Ideas" features a visit from Rep. Lisa Callan. Lisa is a Democrat, of course, from Washington's 5th legislative district. Whether they know it or not, at-risk kids in the Evergreen state have a champion in Lisa, and we'll talk about why in the next 15 minutes.

Rep. Lisa Callan was an engineer helping to build the best airplanes in the world. She was a school board director. She was a lot of other things to admire, but now we've got her and she's a state representative from Issaquah, in Washington's 5th legislative district. Legislatively, 2020 has been the year of the child for Lisa. Listen in while we talk about that in this edition of "Capitol Ideas."

Thu, Feb 13, 2020

Today's guest is House Majority Floor Leader Monica Stonier. That's a position we've all heard of, but who knows what it entails? You will after listening to this episode of "Capitol Ideas."

Rep. Monica Stonier joins us on “Capitol Ideas” today. The Vancouver Democrat serves as Majority Floor Leader for the Democrats in the Washington state House, and balances that leadership position with her duties as a representative of the people of Vancouver's 49th legislative district.

Tue, Feb 11, 2020

Rep. Dave Paul circles back to “Capitol Ideas” today, a year after his first visit. He talks about his freshman year in the House, and highlights some of the issues he’s taken on during that time.

We sit down today with Rep. Dave Paul, midway through his second session as the representative from Washington’s 10th legislative district. Dave is vice president of Skagit Valley College, so a lot of his work involves education, but he’s also active in veterans’ issues, transportation, the environment . . . and lots more. Give him 12 minutes of your time today, and you’ll meet a pretty interesting public servant.

Thu, Feb 6, 2020

Meet Rep. Jesse Johnson. He's the Legislature's newest member, and probably its youngest, but he comes to Olympia from Federal Way with an impressive public-service resume and an ambitious agenda.

Democratic state Rep. Jesse Johnson was sworn into office barely a month ago, but he's already as busy as a seasoned lawmaker. We'll hear about his background today, and his service on the Federal Way city council, and his plans to make Washington a better, more equitable, and more inclusive place to live, work, and raise a family.

Tue, Feb 4, 2020

Rep. Shelley Kloba visits "Capitol Ideas" today for an interesting and eye-opening conversation about data privacy, something that barely exists now but which she's determined to make a reality.

Democratic state Rep. Shelley Kloba is so concerned about our ability to keep prying technological eyes off of our private lives that she hosted a series of coffee-shop meetings with her constituents in the 1st legislative district to listen to their own concerns, and their ideas. The result is an omnibus data-privacy bill now moving through the Legislature. We'll talk about that today in "Capitol Ideas."

Thu, Jan 30, 2020

Rep. Tina Orwall joins "Capitol Ideas" today to talk about the dangers of ultrafine particles, microscopic pollutants that float down from jet airplanes as a byproduct of burning Jet A fuel, and efforts to site a new or expanded airport in Washington state to take some of the pressure of of SeaTac International Airport, which sits in the middle of her legislative district.

Democratic state Rep. Tina Orwall has learned a lot about ultrafine particles, tiny pollutants (800 times smaller than the thickness of an average strand of human hair). She spearheaded a recent study to find out how prevalent they are in her district, which includes one of the nation's busiest and fastest-growing airports. The results? They're very, very prevalent. She also talks about ongoing efforts to site a new or expanded regional airport to take some of the pressure off of SeaTac International, which is bursting at the seams.

Thu, Jan 16, 2020

Happy New Year from the Washington state House Democrats. A new year means a new legislative session, and a new season of "Capitol Ideas." This year's season premiere features Rep. Melanie Morgan, a first-term lawmaker from Parkland in Washington's 29th district.

Democratic state Rep. Melanie Morgan visits "Capitol Ideas" in this first episode of 2020 and the first of the current legislative session. Morgan, who was recently elected by her fellow Democrats to serve as deputy majority floor leader in the House, talks about rental reforms, school nutrition, the push to establish a new Office of Equity in Washington, and her efforts to designate an official state dinosaur.

Thu, Dec 19, 2019

"Capitol Ideas" returns today with a short sit-down with Rep. Beth Doglio, Democrat from Olympia. Beth has been a climate warrior since before that term was coined, and that mostly what we discuss in this episode.

Democratic state Rep. Beth Doglio visits "Capitol Ideas" in this episode to talk about climate action, housing, transportation, and other priorities as we approach the January 13 opening of the 2020 legislative session.

Tue, Oct 22, 2019

In this installment of "Capitol Ideas," Washington state Representative Mari Leavitt, a Democrat representing Pierce County's 28th legislative district, looks back at her first year in the Legislature and offers a preview of the upcoming 2020 session.

Democratic state Rep. Mari Leavitt was a military kid who grew up to be a small-business owner, the deputy director of Pierce County Human Services, a PTSA leader and, with a doctorate in community college leadership, a college administrator for more than two decades. Today we talk about that journey and how she's putting her experience to good use representing her constituents in Washington's 28th legislative district in Pierce County.

Fri, Apr 5, 2019

First-year state Rep. Lisa Callan came to Olympia with a computer engineering background, a burning desire to help Washington kids thrive and learn, and a commitment to erase state route 18's well-deserved reputation as a traffic nightmare. You'll meet her today.

As a Boeing engineer, Lisa Callan helped create the best airplanes in the world. Now that she's a member of the majority Democratic Caucus in the Washington state House of Representatives, she's putting her creative skills to use to help build a better Washington. In this edition of Capitol Ideas, she talks about being a brand-new lawmaker, fixing a nototious traffic chokepoint in her district, giving Washington kids the best schools around, and more. Give her 16 minutes; you'll be glad you did.

Thu, Mar 21, 2019

Opioids: The life and death of a young man, and a plan to fix Ricky's Law in the Legislature.

This special edition of Capitol Ideas focuses on the opioid epidemic and features two interviews: One with Debra Maher, whose son, Sean, died of a heroin overdose last year despite his eligibility to be involuntary committed to treatment under the terms of Ricky's Law, and the second with Rep. Lauren Davis, who helped create Ricky's Law before her election to the Legislature in 2018, and who is now sponsoring legislation to address the situation that allowed Sean to fall through the cracks, despite the fact that his was precisely the kind of case that Ricky's Law was designed to deal with.

Mon, Feb 25, 2019

Freshman lawmaker Amy Walen comes to House of Representatives in Olympia fresh off a stint as mayor of Kirkland, and she brought with her the can-do, let's-fix-that attitude that characterizes good local government. Today on Capitol Ideas she'll talk about what she plans to do and how she plans to fix what needs fixing.

Rep. Amy Walen is the 48th-district's newest legislator, but she knows her way around government. She's a former Kirkland city councilmember, and before her swearing in as a Democratic state representative she was mayor of that thriving King County city on the eastern shore of Lake Washington. She's CEO of a car dealership, practiced law in Australia, cares about housing and transportation and the environment and firearm violence, and if you give us 13 minutes today, you'll be glad you got to know her.

Wed, Feb 20, 2019

Deputy House Majority Leader Larry Springer is a business owner himself, and a few years ago created the House Democratic Caucus Business Roundtable. It's become an important part of how lawmakers vet prospective new laws, and we'll talk about it today.

Rep. Larry Springer works for the people of the 45th legislative district, a King County district that comprises Duvall and Woodinville, and parts of Kirkland, Redmond, and Sammamish. He’s deputy majority leader of the House of Representatives, has been a member of that body since 2005, and for more than 30 years he’s owned and operated a retail wine store in Kirkland. That last fact is key to today's conversation. Give it a listen.

Mon, Feb 4, 2019

House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan has a solution to the student loan crisis that is dooming today's college students to a lifetime of debt.

House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan (D-Covington) was instrumental in solving the state's shortfall in basic-education funding, and now he's turned his attention to higher ed. In the 2019 session he's the force behind the Washington Student Loan Program, a low-cost, state-funded, self-sustaining program that could save generations of students from being indentured to high-interest creditors for much of their adult lives.

Tue, Jan 29, 2019

Rep. Dave Paul is a college vice president, a husband, a dad, an environmentalist, and an idealist: All good things for a newly minted representative from one of Washington's most beautiful districts, the 10th. You can get to know him better right here.

10th-district state Rep. Dave Paul showed up in Olympia with a long list of goals, and it's likely he'll accomplish a lot of them. In this brief conversation he touches on higher education, naturally, but also veterans' issues, tourism, the economy, the environment, electric cars and ferries, and more.

Mon, Jan 28, 2019

When My-Linh Thai took the oath of office in Olympia a couple of weeks ago, she became Rep. My-Linh Thai -- the first refugee to serve in the Washington state Legislature. It that piques your interest, give a listen.

Rep. My-Linh Thai is a lot of things: a pharmacist, a successful businesswoman, a former member of the Bellevue school board . . . and, incidentally, a refugee who fled Vietnam with her family at age 15 and found a home in the U.S. She's the first refugee to be elected to the Washington state Legislature since statehood -- in other words, ever -- and she's got a story to tell.

Thu, Jan 24, 2019

Before Lauren Davis became the new state representative from the 32nd district in King/Snohomish counties, she was almost single-handledly responsible for the passage of Ricky's Law, a life-saving change in the way Washington deals with victims of substance-abuse disorder, alcoholism, and behavioral illness. Listen to her story.

In this installment of "Capitol Ideas" we meet Rep. Lauren Davis, midway through her second week as a state representative. With a resume that begins with Head Start teacher and goes on to include international development work in West Africa, advanced studies in Ghana as a Fulbright fellow, several non-profit startups and a stint with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it's hard to accept that she is one of the youngest members of the Washington state Legislature. For all that, her most personal and crucial work has involved helping people recover from alcoholism and drug addiction, and that's mostly what we talk about today. This is one you don't want to miss.

Wed, Jan 16, 2019

Rep. Debra Lekanoff is the first Native American woman elected to serve in the Washington state House of Representatives since the state's establishment 130 years ago. Today we'll find out who she is, and why we're lucky to have her.

Today's "Capitol Ideas" is a relatively brief but powerful introduction to Rep. Debra Lekanoff, who became the Washington's first Native American state representative after 40th-district constituents tapped her for the job last fall. The new lawmaker from Bow, a tiny community in Skagit County, is part of the most diverse Democratic majority in state history, and her story is a good one.

Wed, Jan 9, 2019

Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self is a school and mental health counselor, and she learns things about the lives of children every day that even their friends and family might not know. Today's "Capitol Ideas" is an eye-opener.

As a school and mental health counselor, Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self knows more about the dark side of childhood than most of us, but on that job and as a state lawmaker, she's in a unique position to understand problems, and to solve them. That's what today's "Capitol Ideas" is all about.

Tue, Jan 8, 2019

Rep. Tana Senn has just been elected by her fellow legislators to chair the House Human Services and Early Learning Committee, and as you'll hear, it might just be a job she was destined for.

Few lawmakers can match Representative Tana Senn's passion and effectiveness as a voice for children and families in the Legislature. Today we're talking about how and why she came by that distinction, and we'll get a glimpse of her goals for the 2019 session as the new chair of the House Human Services and Early Learning Committee.

Mon, Jan 7, 2019

Rep. Mike Chapman dropped by today to talk about leading Washington's bipartisan, bicameral quest to make rural economic development a legislative success story.

Rep. Mike Chapman represents one of Washington's most rural districts, and he's leading an effort to create good jobs and increase access to higher education in his and other districts from Seattle, Tacoma, and the other cities along the I-5 corridor who have prospered as the state recovers from the Great Recession. He talks about that effort today on "Capitol Ideas."

Mon, Jan 7, 2019

Rep. Shelley Kloba makes a return visit to "Capitol Ideas" to talk about special education, cannabis, transportation, and more.

This is Rep. Shelley Kloba's second visit to "Capitol Ideas." She's that good. Today she'll talk about easing Washington's transportation crisis, improving special education in our K-12 schools, fine-tuning the rules surrounding recreational cannabis, and perhaps most interesting of all, how and why she got into public service.

Mon, Jan 7, 2019

Rep. Nicole Macri has devoted her life to, in her words, "ensuring that people have the opportunity to live in safe, healthy homes that they can afford." That's what we'll talk about in today's "Capitol Ideas."

Outside the Legislature, Rep. Nicole Macri has devoted her career to, in her words, "ensuring that people have the opportunity to live in safe, healthy homes that they can afford." It's not surprising that she brought that focus to Olympia when she was elected in 2016. Nicole is back for a new session, and today she talks about how she'll be approaching the issue, and others, in 2019.

Fri, Jan 4, 2019

State Rep. Gerry Pollet isn't shy about the need to upgrade special education in Washington's K-12 schools. In this fast-paced conversation he outlines the key problems and offers a set of legislative solutions.

State Rep. Gerry Pollet isn't shy about the need to upgrade special education in Washington's K-12 schools. In this fast-paced conversation he outlines the key problems and offers a set of legislative solutions.

Fri, May 4, 2018

Speaker Pro Tem John Lovick drops by to talk about education, school safety, transportation, jobs . . . and working in the public sphere for nearly five decades, including two separate stints in the state House.

We got to visit today with Rep. John Lovick, the 44th-district Democrat who serves as Speaker Pro Tem in the state House of Representatives. He was a state patrol office for more than 30 years, a state representative for nine, a county sheriff, a county executive, and then a state representative again. We talk about that and more in today's Capitol Ideas.

Wed, Oct 11, 2017

Rep. Tina Orwall talks about how technology and science can help put rapists behind bars . . . if only we'll make use of them.

DNA evidence gathered from victims of sexual assault can be law enforcement's most effective tool in identifying rapists, solving cold cases, and preventing future attacks. But when Washington state rep. Tina Orwall toured a police evidence locker several years ago, she saw untested kits gathering dust and stacked high on shelves. Her subsequent research led to a disturbing discovery: Washington alone had more than 6000 untested kits, and nationwide nearly half a million kits had never been tested. In today's Capitol Ideas podcast, she'll talk about her successful efforts to have those kits tested and the results used to ID rapists, and to prevent the situation from repeating itself.

Wed, Jun 14, 2017

Rep. Monica Stonier works for the good people of Washington's 49th legislative district. A few years ago she was sent to Olympia by the 17th district, then took a two-year break. Today we talk about her experience as a two-time freshman.

The last time she was featured on Capitol Ideas, today's lawmaker was Representative Monica Stonier of the 17th legislative district. That was almost three years ago. Since then Monica lost her reelection bid, moved into the 49th, and resumed her public-education career as a middle-school instructional coach. Two years go by. A seat unexpectedly opens up for a 49th-district rep, Monica goes for it . . . and here we are, about to review her second time around as a freshman lawmaker.

Tue, Jun 6, 2017

Rep. Sharon Wylie talks about the efforts to replace the aging bridge on I-5 connecting Washington with Oregon.

This story started a long time ago, and it's looking like the end might possibly be coming into sight. The I-5 bridge spanning the Columbia River between Vancouver and Portland turned 100 years old this past Valentine's Day. Efforts to agree on and pay for a replacement have been going on for years, but as Washington state Representative Sharon Wylie explains, it's complicated. In this edition of "Capitol Ideas," she traces the past and points toward a promising future.

Wed, Mar 22, 2017

Rep. Noel Frame: Making college a little more humane, a little less expensive

Today we look at a pair of bills sponsored by Rep. Noel Frame (D-Seattle). One would shortcut the currently cumbersome route college students with disabilities have to take when transferring between schools. The other looks at a high-tech alternative to college textbooks that can cost hundreds of dollars for a single course. Rep. Frame is joined by Washington Student Association members Anna Nepomuceno (UW-Tacoma) and Maresa Miranda (WSU-Vancouver).

Sat, Mar 18, 2017

Curbing carbon emissions, with Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon

Washington state pumps about 95 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. That's more than twice the targeted volume for the year 2050, and we're behind schedule to meet that goal. Burien Democrat Joe Fitzgibbon chairs the House Environment Committee in Olympia, and he's introduced a bill to speed up the process by taxing carbon polluters at a rate of $15 a ton. We'll talk about his bill, and why it matters, in this edition of "Capitol Ideas."

Tue, Mar 14, 2017

The Return of Saying No to Hate, with Rep. Derek Stanford and Aneelah Afzali

Violence against Muslims, Jews and people of color continues to increase, and one conversation about it doesn't seem to be enough. This week Rep. Derek Stanford and Aneelah Afzali, director of the American Muslim Empowerment Network, pick up where the last "Capitol Ideas" left off.

Tue, Mar 7, 2017

Saying no to hate, with Rep. Tana Senn and Rabbi Daniel Weiner

Overt acts of anti-Semitism are increasingly common around the U.S. and here in Washington state. Mosques are burned and vandalized. People who look vaguely Middle Eastern are targeted by violent xenophobes, and racist bullies do what racist bullies do. Is hate the new black? We hear today from a lawmaker and a rabbi to get their take on increasing threats to America's sustaining values, and what they're doing about it.

Fri, Jun 10, 2016

House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan takes a quick look at Washington's public schools.

House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan (D-Covington) might be the most dedicated advocate for public schools in Olympia, and he's a leader on the state’s education-funding task force. But like every lawmaker, he’s also answerable to the constituents in his home district. In this case, that’s the 47th, and in today’s brief conversation he touches on both of these roles.

Wed, May 25, 2016

Rep. Roger Goodman: Working across the aisle.

Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland).

Tue, Jan 26, 2016

Rep. Laurie Jinkins talks about transgender rights.

Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma).

Mon, Dec 14, 2015

Rep. Tana Senn on paycheck equity

Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island).

Tue, Oct 6, 2015

Rep. Marcus Riccelli: From staff member to lawmaker

Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane).

Sun, Jun 29, 2014

Learning the Ropes: Rep. Monica Stonier returns to Capitol Ideas to talk about moving from the classroom to the Capitol.

Rep. Monica Stonier (D-Vancouver) talked with Capitol Ideas a few days before being sworn in as a brand-new state lawmaker, after more than a decade as a classroom teacher and teaching coach. What was that transition like, and what did she learn in her first two years? Listen in and find out.

Fri, Feb 7, 2014

House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan assesses 2014 Legislature as it nears the session's midpoint.

House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan (D-Covington) talks about House Democratic priorities, what's passed, and what hasn't, as the clock ticks down on the first half of the 2014 session.

Tue, Jan 21, 2014

Rep. Laurie Jinkins on the Washington State Reproductive Parity Act

Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) talks about the fight to ensure that reproductive parity continues to be a Washington tradition.

Thu, Mar 28, 2013

Being vice chair: Rep. Timm Ormsby

By most any measure, the House Appropriations Committee is one of the plum assignments, and one of the key decision-making groups, in the Washington State Legislature. Rep. Timm Ormsby is vice chair of the committee, and today he reflects on just what that means.

Sat, Feb 11, 2012

Rep. Tina Orwall: From New Kid to Seasoned Lawmaker

Our guest today is state Representative Tina Orwall. Tina represents Washington’s 33rd legislative district, a South King County district that includes Sea-Tac, Des Moines, Normandy Park and large parts of both Burien and Kent. Before running for office in 2008, Tina focused her energy on strategic planning in health care and workforce development, affordable-housing efforts, advocacy for military veterans, developing public-private partnerships. In Olympia, she serves as assistant speaker pro tem of the House of Representatives, presiding over much of the floor action in that chamber. As a member of House leadership she’s got a seat on the Rules Committee, which decides which bills will make it to the House floor, and her policy committees include Early Learning and Human Services, Education Appropriations and Oversight, and Judiciary. And to make sure she doesn’t find herself with any spare time, she co-chairs the Joint Committee on Veterans’ and Military Affairs. If you’ve listened to Capitol Ideas for a while, you may remember Tina’s first visit in the summer of 2010.

Fri, Jul 15, 2011

Rep. Laurie Jinkins: A Busy First Year

Our guest today is state Representative Laurie Jinkins. Laurie represents Washington’s 27th legislative district, a vaguely mushroom-shaped piece of northern Pierce County that includes most of Tacoma and all of Ruston, and stretches from Fife in the east to Highway 16 in the west. Representative Jinkins is midway through her first two-year term in the House. Before running for office in 2010, Laurie was – and still is -- deputy director of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, managing its daily operations. She’s served as Washington state’s assistant secretary of health, and as a young law-school graduate she worked as assistant state attorney general in Tacoma. She’s also a board member, director or member of far too many civic organizations to mention. In Olympia, Laurie is vice chair of the House Healthcare and Wellness Committee, and sits on the transportation, capital budget and environment committees as well.

Tue, Jan 18, 2011

Rep. Cindy Ryu: A Freshman's Take

Welcome to the first Capitol Ideas podcast of 2011. It’s a new year, a new session, and we’re speaking today with a new member of the Legislature, Washington state Representative Cindy Ryu. Cindy was elected in November to represent the state’s 32nd legislative district, a north King and south Snohomish county district that stretches from Edmonds in the northwest all the way down to Kirkland in the southeast. In between, the district includes Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, and Shoreline, Cindy’s home. Representative Ryu is new to the statehouse, but this isn’t her first taste of public service. She’s a former president of the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce, and served on that city’s city council for two years before her election as mayor in 2008. Two months ago she became the first Korean-American woman elected to serve in the state House of Representatives.

Mon, Jun 21, 2010

A Conversation with Rep. Mike Sells

We’re speaking today with state Representative Mike Sells. Mike represents Washington’s 38th legislative district, a fast-growing Snohomish County district that includes Everett, Marysville and Tulalip. Mike is vice chair of the House Higher Education, and he’s also a member of the Transportation and General Government Appropriations committees. We spoke recently in his Everett office.

Thu, Jun 17, 2010

A Conversation with Rep. Tina Orwall

State Rep. Tina Orwall represents Washington's 33rd Legislative District, including the communities of Des Moines, SeaTac, and Normandy Park, as well as parts of Burien and the west half of the city of Kent. The Democratic freshman serves as vice chair of the House Human Services Committee and is a member of the chamber’s education and capital-budget panels as well.

Wed, Oct 14, 2009

Building a Bridge: Rep. Larry Springer

One of the most pressing, most expensive, and most controversial projects in Washington state today is the proposed replacement of the State Route 520 floating bridge that spans Lake Washington. It’s a bridge that’s used by more than 150,000 people every day, connecting the city of Seattle with Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond and other cities on the east side of the lake. Replacing the bridge will be a massive project, and as a lawmaker whose district includes the eastern terminus of the bridge, Rep. Larry Springer is a key member of the Legislature’s 520 Work Group. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Thu, Jan 29, 2009

Rep. Timm Ormsby and Legislative Assistant Shannon Waechter: Working Together

Rep. Timm Ormsby (D-Spokane) and Legislative Assistant Shannon Waechter give a behind-the-scenes look at how a legislative office works.