OLYMPIA – Senate Democrats today unveiled their 2020 supplemental operating budget, proposing to invest an additional $115 million this year to directly address the state’s homelessness crisis. “This is a realistic, sustainable and responsible budget that will make a difference in people’s daily lives,” said Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island), chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and chief budget writer. “Our economy remains strong and our state’s bond rating is at historic highs, but we also recognize the growing needs of our growing state. “I’m proud this budget makes targeted investments without any new taxes. It’s a budget ...Read More
The teaching of science-based, age-appropriate sexual health education would be expanded to more school districts and grade levels, under legislation passed today by the Senate. “Some people hear the words ‘sex education’ and mistake the focus of the curriculum, which is health and safety, and is age-appropriate for each grade level,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), the vice chair of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. “This is about making sure younger children know what kind of touching is inappropriate, whether by peers or predators. It’s about helping older students recognize and resist abusive or coercive ...Read More
A groundbreaking former state lawmaker has chronicled her experiences in the Legislature in a biographical oral history that will be celebrated at a book-signing reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma. All proceeds from sales of Rosa Franklin -- A Life in Health Care, Public Service, and Social Justice will go into an account that funds Capitol preservation, the state library and archives, and the legislative oral history program. “When Sen. Sam Hunt called me several months ago and said ‘the legislative oral history committee has voted for you to ...Read More
Early learners would get the assistance and support they need to avoid falling behind their peers in kindergarten and throughout life, under legislation heard today by the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. “Not everyone is ready to learn when they enter kindergarten, and those who aren’t often fall behind early and stay behind,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), the committee’s vice chair. “This is a pattern that can hinder them through grade school and high school, into their careers and even into retirement. They lag academically, they fare worse in getting jobs and promotions and saving ...Read More
OLYMPIA – A bipartisan group of Washington state senators and representatives today unveiled a pair of bills strengthening consumer access and control over personal data and regulating the use of facial recognition technology. Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) — sponsor of one of the bills, the Washington Privacy Act — told reporters gathered at a press conference that the lawmakers had reached “95 percent agreement in principle on the core elements of the bills.” He was joined by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center), Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center) and Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard). Carlyle's SB ...Read More
“The investigators’ report of Rep. Matt Shea’s involvement in domestic terrorism makes it clear Rep. Shea has no place in the Washington State Legislature. The report’s conclusion is unequivocal and chilling: Rep. Shea is a ‘present and growing threat of risk to others through political violence.’ “I appreciate the expedient and responsible manner in which House leadership has proceeded related to the investigation and I agree with House Republican Leader JT Wilcox that Rep. Shea should resign. I have confidence that House leadership will continue to take the appropriate steps related to Rep. Shea.”Read More
“We are still reviewing the court’s decision, but as I’ve said throughout this process, I believe the Legislature should continue to take steps toward greater transparency. Long before this decision came down, we started establishing an institutional infrastructure to help respond to public records requests, store documents and take other measures to increase public access. “We will be working with Senate administration and legislators in the coming days and weeks to ensure compliance with this decision.”Read More
Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) released this statement following the election of Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) as the Speaker-designate of the Washington State House of Representatives:
“I would like to extend congratulations to Laurie Jinkins on being elected the next House Speaker by her colleagues today.
“As an accomplished legislator and the first woman to hold the position, she will bring a vital perspective to leadership in the Washington State Legislature. I’ve enjoyed a productive working relationship with Laurie since we joined the House together in 2011. She has a long record of ...Read More
OLYMPIA – Derek Stanford was unanimously appointed state senator for the 1st Legislative District this morning at a joint meeting of the King and Snohomish County councils in Bothell.
“I’m excited to get to work in the Senate, and I’m grateful to the 1st District Democrats and to the Snohomish and King County councils for their support,” said Stanford (D-Bothell).
“It has been an honor to serve the people of the 1st Legislative District as state representative for the past nine years.”
Stanford was first elected to the House of Representatives in ...Read More
The state’s newly created state LGBTQ Commission will meet Saturday with stakeholders to discuss the commission’s initial steps, Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn) said today.
Wilson’s Senate Bill 5356 was signed into law earlier this month by Gov. Jay Inslee, establishing a commission to identify concerns specific to LGBTQ individuals and apply those concerns to inform practices and policies at state agencies.
“Our state constitution promises to protect us against discrimination in its many forms, but not everyone receives those protections,” Wilson said. “Many people regularly experience discrimination and other challenges, including physical violence, based merely on ...Read More