News

Governor signs $6.3 billion capital construction budget

Governor signs $6.3 billion capital construction budget

OLYMPIA — Today the governor signed, in full, the most aggressive capital construction budget in state history, which funds $6.3 billion in priority infrastructure across the state, including investments in broadband internet access, affordable housing, behavioral health, natural resources, and projects in underserved communities. “This budget makes smart, life-changing investments in every corner of our state,” said Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle), vice chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and the Senate’s lead capital budget writer. “It is the result of an inclusive process that brought to the table community members, legislators, and stakeholders from every ...

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Nation-leading police accountability bills signed into law

Nation-leading police accountability bills signed into law

OLYMPIA – A package of law enforcement accountability legislation was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee today, increasing state oversight of police conduct, banning dangerous and unnecessary police practices, and raising standards for police conduct. “The public outcry over a series of high-profile deaths of members of Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities has now led to the most significant new accountability measures in our state’s history,” said Sen. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle), chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee and bill sponsor. “The killing of George Floyd, Manuel Ellis, Charleena Lyles, John T. Williams and many ...

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Legislation to promote recycling and reduce plastic waste becomes law, leads nation

Legislation to promote recycling and reduce plastic waste becomes law, leads nation

OLYMPIA – Today Gov. Jay Inslee signed SB 5022 into law at the Seattle Aquarium, one of only a few bills being signed at in-person events this year. Sponsored by Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), it is the first law in the nation to ban expanded polystyrene food ware, recreational coolers and packing peanuts. It will also require increased recycled content in plastic beverage containers, trash bags and bottles for household products and require that utensils, straws, cup lids and condiments only be provided to customers on request. SB 5022 ...

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Billig: Governor’s veto of Low Carbon Fuels bill provision an “overstep of executive power”

Billig: Governor’s veto of Low Carbon Fuels bill provision an “overstep of executive power”

Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig on Monday released the statement below following Gov. Jay Inslee’s veto of a provision of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (HB 1091). “This veto is an overstep of executive power. The governor has attempted to create a power for his office that simply does not exist. The constitution is clear that the governor is permitted only to veto a full section of a bill. In this case he has vetoed a subsection. “What’s worse, this is the second time in recent years this governor has attempted to invent such a power. He lost ...

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Governor approves Saldaña’s HEAL Act to ensure environmental justice

Governor approves Saldaña’s HEAL Act to ensure environmental justice

  OLYMPIA Today Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation that will reduce environmental health disparities and improve the health of all people in Washington state using principles of environmental justice. Senate Bill 5141, the Healthy Environment for All Act (HEAL Act), addresses the disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards suffered by Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, along with low-income communities in neighborhoods across Washington state, putting them at higher risk of adverse health outcomes. This risk is further amplified for communities with pre-existing economic barriers and environmental risks. The HEAL Act, sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D-Seattle), ...

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New laws expand services for safe and successful reentry

New laws expand services for safe and successful reentry

  OLYMPIAGov. Jay Inslee signed two bills Wednesday that will allow more incarcerated individuals to access essential transition services proven to be effective at reducing recidivism. Sen. Jeannie Darneille (D-Tacoma) sponsored this legislation to help adults leaving prison and youth exiting juvenile rehabilitation settings succeed when they return to their communities. “It’s about improving the status of people leaving these settings to give them a chance at making it,” said Darneille. “This means providing assistance for finding sources of income through jobs or education programs, as well as locating affordable housing, and obtaining access to health insurance and ...

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Governor signs bills to help survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault

Governor signs bills to help survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault

OLYMPIA – Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault will gain crucial protections and supports, and abusers will be held more accountable, under legislation signed into law by the governor. “This year, we made our justice system more responsive to the trauma of survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence,” said Sen. Manka Dhingra, chair of the Senate Behavioral Health Subcommittee and vice chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee. “We have a continual duty to help survivors reclaim their lives and move forward in a positive way, to understand that trauma exerts itself as a ...

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Governor signs Wilson bill to help kinship caregivers and childcare providers

Governor signs Wilson bill to help kinship caregivers and childcare providers

  OLYMPIA – Legislation signed into law today by Gov. Jay Inslee will help kids in foster care stay with family members and in their communities where possible. Senate Bill 5151, sponsored by Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), also waives licensing fees for childcare providers until 2023 and establishes a permanent program for outdoor, nature-based early learning. Help for kinship caregivers Consistent with the state’s goal of enabling family reunification wherever possible within the foster care system, SB 5151 allows DCYF to issue a child-specific license to a relative or other suitable person to provide foster care. This will help the ...

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Governor signs Hasegawa bill to implement JLARC racial equity analysis

Governor signs Hasegawa bill to implement JLARC racial equity analysis

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law today that requires the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) to incorporate a racial equity analysis into its audits, reviews and evaluations. JLARC consists of 16 members evenly split between senators and representatives in the Republican and Democratic caucuses. Nonpartisan staff within JLARC evaluate programs and conduct performance audits, sunset reviews, and other analyses as assigned by the Legislature. Senate Bill 5405 was sponsored by Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle) and allows JLARC to work with statewide commissions to design the racial equity analysis. “This is an important addition ...

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Governor signs Lovelett bill to expand farmworker housing

Governor signs Lovelett bill to expand farmworker housing

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law today a bill to increase community-based housing opportunities for local farmworkers in Washington. Sponsored by Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes), Senate Bill 5396, passed with bi-partisan support, addresses a shortage of seasonal and annual farmworker housing by extending an existing sales-and-use tax exemption. The exemption will now extend to housing where at least 50% of the occupants are farmworkers and to housing used by seasonal farmworkers but also used by other occupants for parts of the year.

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