An op-ed by Senate Democratic Leader Ed Murray and Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles today in Crosscut.com makes the case for the Washington Dream Act legislation they sponsored and their efforts to pass it in the Senate.
"The Dream Act has strong support in both chambers of the Legislature. The House passed it with a strong bipartisan majority of 77-20, including votes from 22 Republicans,” Murray and Kohl-Welles write. “The bill has majority support in the Senate as well, where a solid bipartisan majority of senators say they will vote for it. There’s just one catch: Despite its support on both sides of the aisle, the Dream Act has been blocked in the Senate by the Republican majority.”
Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, released this statement today regarding the need for the Legislature to return for a special legislative session:
"While I’m disappointed at the Legislature’s failure to finish its work during the regular legislative session, I can’t say I’m surprised. When the Republicans launched their takeover of the Senate back in January, we warned them that it would create division and install a culture of dysfunction that would make it more difficult to reach consensus.
We've hit the home stretch of the legislative session. Wednesday of last week was the last day the Senate could consider bills that passed the House, and vice versa. This means that the only bills that can be considered during the final days of the session, which must end on April 28 or sooner, are the operating, capital and transportation budgets and fiscal bills necessary to implement them.
A statewide coordinating committee will be created to recommend ways to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children under legislation passed unanimously today by the state Senate.
Senate Bill 5308, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, had already passed the Senate unanimously once, but because it was amended in the House — where it also passed unanimously — the Senate was required to vote on the amended version.
Wineries and microbreweries will be able to offer samples at farmers markets across the state, under legislation passed today by the Senate.
"This provides a wonderful opportunity for our local vintners and brewers to put their products before a wider audience,” said Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, the sponsor of Senate Bill 5674. “This is good for our local farmers markets, good for consumers of wine and microbrews, good for our growing wine and beer industries, and good for our state economy.”
People with severe mental health needs will be able to relocate to support facilities located nearer to family members or close friends who can provide critical emotional support, under legislation passed unanimously today by the state Legislature.
Senate Bill 5153, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, needs only the governor’s signature to become law after unanimously passing the Senate today. The bill had already passed the Senate unanimously earlier in session, but because it was amended in the House — where it also passed unanimously — the Senate was required to approve the amended version before it could be sent to the governor.
Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles appeared on "The Impact” this week on TVW to discuss the Republican majority’s actions to repeatedly block Democrats’ efforts to bring the Washington Dream Act to the Senate floor for a vote.
Two key blows against human trafficking were struck today when Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law two bills sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle.
The first measure, Senate Bill 5488, imposes a $5,000 fine on top of existing penalties for using online ads to facilitate the commercial sexual abuse of a minor. The bill defines an internet advertisement as a statement in electronic media that would be understood by a reasonable person to be an implicit or explicit offer for sexual contact or sexual intercourse in exchange for something of value.
Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, released the following statement today on the vote by the full Republican majority caucus to block the full Senate from being allowed to vote on House Bill 1817, The Washington Dream Act, and HB 1044, the Reproductive Parity Act. A majority of senators, including several in the Republican majority, had publicly or privately claimed to support both bills prior to the vote.