Bill Lucia

Bill Lucia

Bill Lucia is the Standard’s editor-in-chief. He’s covered state and local policy and politics for a decade, nationwide for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and in Seattle for Crosscut.

Former state Sen. John McCoy dies at 79

By: - June 7, 2023

Former Washington state Sen. John McCoy, remembered as an advocate for tribal issues, the underprivileged, and the environment, and for leaving an imprint on his local community and policy statewide, died of natural causes on Tuesday. He was 79. McCoy, a Tulalip tribal member, spent 17 years as a member of the Legislature, where he […]

Judge declines to block enforcement of Washington’s semiautomatic gun ban

By: - June 6, 2023

Washington’s new prohibitions on the sale, distribution and importation of semiautomatic firearms can stay in effect while a challenge against them plays out in federal court, a judge in the case ruled Tuesday. Judge Robert J. Bryan issued a 14-page order denying a request from gun rights advocates for a preliminary injunction to temporarily block […]

Feds release plans for $2.6B in climate and fisheries spending

By: - June 6, 2023

Washington state and Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest are positioned to score some of $2.6 billion for climate and fisheries programs the Biden administration unveiled on Tuesday. But how much of the money could eventually end up in this corner of the country isn’t yet clear. Part of the package is $390 million […]

Lead state Senate budget writer will leave Legislature for local government

By: - June 5, 2023

The top lawmaker on the state Senate’s main budget-writing committee will be leaving behind the Legislature for a local political post on the Kitsap Peninsula. Sen. Christine Rolfes, a Democrat, on Monday won an appointment to a seat on the three-member Kitsap County Board of Commissioners, after the other board members voted to select her. […]

Mullet looks to seize middle lane in 2024 governor’s race

By: - June 1, 2023

In jumping into the 2024 Washington governor’s race, state Sen. Mark Mullet appears ready to test voters’ appetite for a more moderate brand of Democratic politics, one centered on a progressive social agenda but also skepticism toward higher taxes. “I just don’t think the solution to every problem facing our state can be creating a […]

AG sues makers of PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ that have seeped into drinking water

By: - May 30, 2023

Companies involved in making and selling firefighting foam used for decades in Washington hid potential health risks from chemicals in the product, contributing to drinking water pollution around the state, according to allegations in a lawsuit Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed on Tuesday. The case centers on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, often referred […]

At the state Capitol, a longstanding tribute to lives lost in WWI

By: - May 29, 2023

Eighty-five years ago, on Memorial Day in 1938, a crowd gathered on the state Capitol grounds in Olympia to dedicate a war memorial that had been nearly two decades in the making. The idea for a statue honoring those from Washington state who died in the war was first put forward by Gov. Ernest Lister […]

‘Not tools of self-defense’: Ferguson makes case for Washington’s new semiautomatic rifle ban

By: - May 23, 2023

Courthouse sparring is ramping up in a case that could eventually decide whether Washington’s newly adopted ban on the sale of semiautomatic rifles is constitutional. Gun rights advocates filed the lawsuit in federal district court in Tacoma on April 25, the same day Gov. Jay Inslee signed the legislation. On Monday, Attorney General Bob Ferguson […]

Fish and Wildlife to deploy drones in battle against invasive plants

By: - May 21, 2023

To eradicate invasive plants growing in the Skagit River delta, the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to dispatch an herbicide-spraying aerial drone. The project is expected to begin next week and run into June and, according to an official involved, is possibly the first time the department has applied herbicide this way. “To […]

Inslee signs drug policy overhaul into law

By: , and - May 16, 2023

State legislators on Tuesday approved an overhaul of state law guiding penalties and treatment options for people caught possessing illegal drugs or using them in public. The measure passed during a one-day special session focused specifically on the issue, clearing the Senate on a 43-6 vote and the House by an 83-13 margin. Gov. Jay […]

A small arch bridge on U.S. Highway 101 crosses the glimmering river on a blue-sky day on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. Trees line the banks of the river and dead tree trunks can be seen in the water.

On the Olympic Peninsula, reworking a highway to restore a river

By: - May 9, 2023

BRINNON, Wash. – On a sunny day in late April, the Duckabush River glistened as it neared the end of its journey from its Olympic Mountain headwaters to the breezy tide flats on the edge of Hood Canal, the jagged fjord that extends from the western flank of Puget Sound. Flowing clear overtop of the […]


Introducing the Washington State Standard

By: - May 9, 2023

Welcome to the Washington State Standard, a news publication dedicated to covering how state policy and politics affect the lives of people here in Washington. Since we’re part of a national, nonprofit organization focused on reviving statehouse news coverage around the country, you’ll be able to read our work for free, without running into ads […]