OLYMPIA – Standing in as Floor Leader for the Senate Democrats on Monday, Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Beacon Hill, released the following statement after calling for swift passage of a critical bill (HB 2214) that will ensure thousands of qualified Washington students may graduate from high school this year:

“We promised kids in this state that ensuring their success would be our top priority this session. We’ve broken that promise to nearly 2,000 hardworking Washington students if this bill doesn’t receive a vote.

“And then what excuse can we offer them? What will we say to the National Honor student from a refugee family who persevered from a nearly impossible situation to being accepted at the University of Washington, contingent on a high school diploma? Or the Parkland student who needed a single point on one test for a class he got a B in? Great students are made through years of hard-work, not hours of narrow evaluation.

“Right now, these students’ futures are being stolen. Because it isn’t test scores standing between them and a bright future – it is one final vote being held up by Senate Republicans. Your Democratic colleagues are eager to move this bill through committee and pass it with the wide bipartisan support the House has provided twice already this year. If we can’t do this simple but significant thing for our students, then what are we doing here?”

HB 2214 tallied 87 yeas, 7 nays, 4 absent on the first vote; and 83 yeas, 6 nays, and 9 absent on the second vote last week. To date, this bill has not received a hearing in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 committee.