Howard board, superintendent in legal battle as they run county school system

Jay Inslee

Drivers could face new distracted driving penalties in Wash.

Holding a phone while driving in Washington state becomes illegal in 2019 once Gov. Jay Inslee signs a distracted driving measure passed by the Legislature.

"I am just thrilled that we have been able to forge a step forward on distracted driving," Inslee said Thursday. "Pain and suffering and tragedy caused by this inattentiveness is very hard to bear."

A date has not yet been set for the bill to be signed, though it will happen within the next few weeks.

Current law only prohibits texting or holding a phone to the ear while driving, but under the measure passed by both chambers Wednesday, drivers would be prohibited from holding an electronic...