CBH names new intern to cover state legislature

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Epperly

OLYMPIA — Emma Epperly is joining the Columbia Basin Herald as our state capital intern covering this spring’s legislative session.

“I have always liked politics,” Epperly said. “I have always been interested in how policy goes from an idea to a bill to affecting real people. So I thought this was a great opportunity.”

Epperly is a native of Kalispell, Mont., and a recent graduate of Washington State University who majored in journalism. She interned in Washington, D.C., last summer with a small start-up publication owned by Cool Blue Media, a company that specializes in covering virtual reality hardware and software.

“I loved it. I had great housing, a block from the White House, and I loved the environment, and I love meeting people,” Epperly said. “It was really inspirational, the kind of environment I want to work in.”

Epperly said that even though she isn’t in Olympia yet, she’s doing the background research she needs to do in order to hit the ground running at the state capitol.

“I’m not from Washington, and I know the East better than the West Side,” she said. “I’ve set up a couple of meetings this week, and I’m working with the (Washington Newspaper Publishers Association) in getting it all set up.”

The state legislature convenes on Monday, Jan. 14, and Epperly expects that school mental health will be a major legislative issue this spring.

“Mental health in schools is something I’ve heard a lot about,” she said. “It’s a big issue, an intersection between education and health care.”

She also said that Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement in a recent interview with The Atlantic that he is “laying the groundwork” for a presidential run in 2020 means everything the governor does will have national implications.

“Inslee running changes everything,” Epperly said. “It changes how people interact with him, and puts the spotlight on Washington and what he does.”

When she isn’t writing or pursuing politics, Epperly said she “reads a lot” and likes to do yoga.

She also likes to drink coffee.

“I drink way too much coffee, but that’s true of most journalists,” Epperly added.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.

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