first_imgWashington made national headlines this week when state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee announced that they would fight President Donald Trump’s executive order calling for a travel ban from seven countries. Ferguson called Trump’s order unconstitutional and said he would seek to invalidate it in a lawsuit. On Friday, a federal judge ruled in Ferguson’s favor and ordered a halt to the ban.Inslee called it a “tremendous victory.”“There is still more to do. The fight isn’t yet won. But we should feel heartened by today’s victory and more resolute than ever that we are fighting on the right side of history,” the governor said.Earlier in the week, Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, assured reporters he could serve as both a lawmaker and a member of President Trump’s transition team. Ericksen is overseeing the communication of Trump’s transition effort at the Environmental Protection Agency and working with Vancouver’s former Sen. Don Benton, now a senior White House adviser.With the 2017 Washington legislative session in full swing, there was also plenty of state news. Ericksen flew back to Olympia from Washington, D.C., in time for Republican senators to pass a sweeping education plan that they say will fix the state’s largest problem: how to adequately fund the state’s public schools. Democrats largely criticized their proposal, but it could help negotiations gain some traction. Legislators also tackled a wide range of other issues from how to charge law-enforcement officials who use deadly force to whether employers should be prohibited from asking about an applicant’s criminal history.Southwest Washington lawmakers continue to meet weekly to discuss local priorities.There are two more weeks until the first bill cutoff, so expect a flurry of activity in Olympia.Here’s a snapshot of some bills discussed this week with Southwest Washington significance:Oil transportation safetyWhen a train carrying crude oil derailed in Mosier, Ore., last summer, the entire region got a glimpse of what a catastrophic spill could look like. Senate Bill 5462 is one of a couple of bills trying to strengthen regulations on trains carrying crude oil. The measure, which received a hearing in the Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee on Thursday, has several provisions, including requiring railroads to complete oil contingency plans.last_img