In the News

State of Reform: Q&A: Manka Dhingra makes the case for three behavioral health bills headed to executive session

State of Reform: Q&A: Manka Dhingra makes the case for three behavioral health bills headed to executive session

Senator Manka Dhingra is the Chair of the Senate Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long Term Care. Today, the Committee held public hearings for three bills: (Concerning involuntary commitment), SB 5071 (Creating transition teams to assist specified persons under civil commitment), and SB 5074 (Establishing safe station pilot programs). All three bills were scheduled for executive session on January 22nd. Ahead of the public hearings, I ...

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The Daily Chronicle: State Senate Passes Resolution Extending COVID Emergency Orders, in First Debate of Many on Virus Restrictions

The Daily Chronicle: State Senate Passes Resolution Extending COVID Emergency Orders, in First Debate of Many on Virus Restrictions

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Senate voted Wednesday to extend Gov. Jay Inslee's emergency orders until the COVID-19 state of emergency is over, despite stiff Republican opposition. In the Legislature's first virtual floor debate, Republicans introduced two amendments to the emergency order resolution: one that would extend the proclamations until Jan. 27 and another that would require the entire state to ...

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Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber: Orwall sponsors state bill for 988 lifeline to help prevent suicides

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber: Orwall sponsors state bill for 988 lifeline to help prevent suicides

New national suicide hotline number to start in 2022 A measure introduced by state Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, will help ensure suicide prevention and behavioral health crisis services are accessible to everyone statewide. The bipartisan National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, designated 988 as the new national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline number, paving the way for states to develop ...

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The Northern Light: Lawmakers to fund vaccinations, reduce evictions, boost small businesses

The Northern Light: Lawmakers to fund vaccinations, reduce evictions, boost small businesses

Covid-19 relief is a top priority for this year’s legislature, and Republicans and Democrats generally agree it will be necessary to get aid out as soon as possible.

The parties are split, however, when it comes to increasing some taxes to erase a pandemic-caused revenue shortfall.

House speaker Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) listed on January 7 some of the early ...

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The Seattle Medium: Black Lives Matter Advances Police Accountability Action To Olympia

The Seattle Medium: Black Lives Matter Advances Police Accountability Action To Olympia

Black Lives Matter Seattle King County (BLMSKC) continues to push the issue of equality under the law. But instead of the streets where protests are normally held, they are bringing their fight for equity under law and police accountability directly to the front door of state lawmakers. During a virtual townhall meeting, members of the organization expressed their desire to begin ...

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Democratic leaders discuss legislative goals for 2021 session

Democratic leaders discuss legislative goals for 2021 session

Leaders from the House and Senate Democratic Caucuses — Speaker Laurie Jinkins, Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, House Majority Floor Leader Monica Stonier, and Senate Deputy Majority Leader Manka Dhingra — gathered Wednesday for a virtual press conference to discuss the 2021 legislative session. The leaders addressed a variety of topics, including what bills will take precedence this session, when significant ...

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Bainbridge Island Review: Security, budget COVID-19 key issues as state legislators start session

Bainbridge Island Review: Security, budget COVID-19 key issues as state legislators start session

Increased security is expected around the Capitol building in Olympia Jan. 11 for the start of the 2021 Legislative session. The decision to add security follows the storming of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C, and incursions onto the property of the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia Wednesday, where protestors forced open a gate and advanced to the mansion porch. Gov. Jay Inslee ...

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KXLY: WA Legislature to start 2021 session with heightened security

KXLY: WA Legislature to start 2021 session with heightened security

Washington’s Legislature convenes in Olympia Monday for a new session that will be unlike any other in state history. State lawmakers plan to conduct most of their 105-day session remotely, holding hearings on legislation and even voting via web conferencing. But first, they need to convene in person so they can adopt new rules allowing that to happen. And a cloud hangs over ...

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The Seattle Times: Washington Legislature to convene amid safety concerns in largely virtual session

The Seattle Times: Washington Legislature to convene amid safety concerns in largely virtual session

Washington’s 2021 legislative session was already bound to be as challenging as any in state history. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers have arranged Zoom-powered proceedings, with a limited number of legislators allowed at any one time on the House and Senate floors, and the Capitol closed to the general public. Their task list is packed. It includes: adopting a 2021-23 state operating ...

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Pandemic-related relief tops state budget priority list

Pandemic-related relief tops state budget priority list

Desperately needed COVID-19 relief is a top priority for this year’s state Legislature, and Republicans and Democrats generally agree it will be necessary to get that aid out as soon as possible. The parties are split, however, when it comes to increasing some taxes to erase a revenue shortfall. House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, outlined on Thursday some of the early economic ...

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