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Senate budget proposal would invest $125 million in 38th District

Senate budget proposal would invest $125 million in 38th District

OLYMPIA — The Senate unveiled its capital budget proposal Monday, potentially investing more than $125 million in projects throughout the 38th Legislative District if passed.  The suggested funding would go toward behavioral health facilities, local sports venues, community buildings and more. Some of proposed district-wide investments include: 

  • Compass Health Broadway Behavioral Health Services (Everett) - $18,700,000 
  • Port of Everett Electrification - $5,000,000 
  • Ebey Waterfront Trail Phase 4 (Marysville) ...

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Senate Introduces Capital Budget Proposal with Major Investments in Housing, Higher Education, Environmental Protections, and More

Senate Introduces Capital Budget Proposal with Major Investments in Housing, Higher Education, Environmental Protections, and More

OLYMPIA – Budget leaders in the Washington State Senate proposed a $7.9 billion capital construction budget today, targeting investments in affordable housing, school construction, land preservation and environmental protection, and education. The proposal, if passed, would set a record for the largest ever investment in the state’s Housing Trust Fund. The budget outlines state infrastructure spending for the next two years and stays within the state’s constitutional debt limit – an important step to protect the state’s historically high Aaa credit rating and avoid higher debt service payments that could financially hinder future state budgets. Details and specific ...

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Senate passes Wilson bill to remove unneeded fees hindering childcare workforce applicants

Senate passes Wilson bill to remove unneeded fees hindering childcare workforce applicants

OLYMPIA – The Senate on Tuesday passed Senator Claire Wilson’s (D-Auburn) bill to remove licensing and background check fees for those entering Washington’s childcare workforce.   State law requires critical background checks when the Department of Children, Youth and Families is looking to approve applicants.    However, the associated fees are often a barrier for applicants. Not only are they costly but processing them creates delays between the time someone accepts a job offer and when they can begin work.   DCYF pays these fees for those entering Washington’s foster care and relative or kinship ...

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Senate passes Wilson bill to regulate non-public agencies serving students with disabilities

Senate passes Wilson bill to regulate non-public agencies serving students with disabilities

OLYMPIA – The Senate unanimously passed Sen. Claire Wilson’s (D-Auburn) bill to regulate non-public agencies that serve Washington students with disabilities Tuesday.   Senate Bill 5315 in response to a report by the Seattle Times and ProPublica, which found Washington has been giving millions of dollars to schools without proper oversight, leading to complaints of abuse, lack of academic progress and staff dependency on restraint and isolation. “It is on us to change this inadequate system,” Wilson said. “That’s what SB 5315 will do.”   SB 5315 requires the Office of the Superintendent ...

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Bill to help address health care staffing shortage passes Senate

Bill to help address health care staffing shortage passes Senate

OLYMPIA — A bill to help address the health care staffing shortage by mitigating unmanageable patient loads and worker burnout passed the Senate floor Monday.  Senate Bill 5236, sponsored by Sen. June Robinson (D-Everett), requires hospitals to submit staffing plans to the state Department of Health. The expected staff-to-patient staffing standards would be developed by a hospital’s designated nurse staffing committee, composed of 50% nursing staff and 50% hospital administration.  If a hospital is less than 80% compliant with its committee’s approved plan, DOH and state Department of Labor & Industries can ...

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Senate passes Cleveland bill to remove penalties for retired nurses returning to workforce 

Senate passes Cleveland bill to remove penalties for retired nurses returning to workforce 

OLYMPIA – The Senate took a critical step to address Washington’s healthcare workforce shortage by passing Sen. Annette Cleveland’s (D-Vancouver) bill to remove barriers for retired nurses wanting to return to patient care.   Currently, nurses in the state retirement system who return to work after retirement face a penalty of reduced benefits for life.   Retirees of the Public Employees’ Retirement System and the Public Safety Employees’ Retirement System can work up to 867 hours per year in a position covered by any of the state’s pension systems while receiving a retirement benefit. However, a ...

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Cleveland bill looks to recognize nurses’ pandemic trauma as industrial injury

Cleveland bill looks to recognize nurses’ pandemic trauma as industrial injury

OLYMPIA – Sen. Annette Cleveland’s (D-Vancouver) bill to improve workers’ comp benefits for nurses passed the Senate on Monday.  Nursing staff who care day after day for patients have faced tremendous and repeated stress since the start of the pandemic.  They have held the hands of dying patients and faced unparalleled patient surges driven by different COVID variants.   A report by the International Council of Nurses concluded that COVID is causing mass trauma among nurses that results in both immediate and lasting effects. The report suggests the pandemic is causing ...

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Legislation to better support those leaving incarceration passes the Senate  

Legislation to better support those leaving incarceration passes the Senate  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 6, 2023  Press Inquiries | 360.786.7298, erin.hut@leg.wa.gov  OLYMPIA – The Senate on Monday passed legislation to ensure those leaving incarceration are better prepared to be contributing members of our community.   SB 5134, sponsored by Senator Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), looks to increase gate money to better match to current rates of inflation.   People leaving Washington’s incarceration systems are currently given $40; an amount chosen in the 1970s when it went a lot further than it does today.   SB 5134 would remove the current ...

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Bill to address Supreme Court’s Blake decision passes Senate 

Bill to address Supreme Court’s Blake decision passes Senate 

OLYMPIA — A bill to amend Washington’s drug possession laws and expand access to pretrial treatment programs passed the Senate floor Friday.  Senate Bill 5536, sponsored by Sen. June Robinson (D-Everett), permanently addresses the state Supreme Court’s 2021 State v. Blake ruling, which struck down the statute that made possession of controlled substances a class C felony and removed any criminal penalties for possession. In response that same year, the Legislature established a simple misdemeanor penalty for knowing possession, but it is set to expire July 1, 2023.  “By working ...

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Senate passes Wilson bill to increase access to affordable childcare, build up childcare workforce

Senate passes Wilson bill to increase access to affordable childcare, build up childcare workforce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 3, 2023  Press Inquiries | 360.786.7298, erin.hut@leg.wa.gov  OLYMPIA – The Senate on Thursday passed Senator Claire Wilson’s (D-Auburn) legislation to simultaneously increase access to affordable childcare and strengthen Washington’s childcare workforce.   Senate Bill 5225 aims to allow more families to qualify for state-subsidized childcare through expanding eligibility to the Working Connections Child Care program.  Childcare providers are struggling to hire and retain employees. Too often, this is because staff are forced to forego work due to their ...

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