OLYMPIA – Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig on Thursday released the statement below following the adjournment of the 2022 legislative session: “There is a feeling that finally, as a state and as Washingtonians, we are turning the page. “But as we turn the page, we can’t forget the lessons we have learned. The pandemic showed us how much we have by taking so much of it away. “It shuttered some businesses and brought others to the brink. It challenged our physical and mental health. It closed our schools, it cost thousands of people their jobs and many their homes. “And for ...Read More
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Legislature gave final approval to a nearly $17 billion transportation package today. Move Ahead Washington, sponsored by Sen. Marko Liias (D – Everett) and Rep. Jake Fey (D – Tacoma), the respective chairs of the Senate and House transportation committees, invests $16.9 billion over 16 years in major projects throughout the state.
“We said when this package was announced that it was a first draft, and now we’ve passed a package that incorporates the feedback we’ve received over the last month,” ...Read More
OLYMPIA — The Senate today unanimously passed a supplemental capital construction budget (SB 5651) that invests $1.5 billion in priority infrastructure across the state, including landmark funding for housing to address the state’s homelessness crisis. “This budget takes on the most pressing issues facing our state,” said Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle), vice chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and the Senate’s lead capital budget writer. “More than one third of this 1.5 billion dollar budget goes toward building facilities to address the homelessness and mental health and substance abuse crises affecting us in Seattle ...Read More
OLYMPIA — Two bills passed recently by the Legislature would improve health care in Washington state by ensuring that people can use coupons to get lower prices for prescription drugs and by setting up a statewide program to provide outpatient treatment to children with serious behavioral health needs. SB 5610, which passed today, would require insurance companies to count prescription coupons used by a patient as part of the patient’s cost-sharing requirement. Some health insurance companies refuse to count coupons provided by drug manufacturers towards a patient’s deductible. “Patients often rely on coupons to afford lifesaving drugs that ...Read More
OLYMPIA – Legislation to restrict the sale of high-capacity firearm magazines was approved by the Washington House of Representatives on a 55-42 vote Friday. Senate Bill 5078, sponsored by Sen. Marko Liias (D-Everett), prohibits the manufacture, sale, import or transfer of large-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The approved legislation does not ban the current possession of a high-capacity magazine. “Enough families have experienced the tragedy of gun violence in our state,” said Liias. “It is long overdue that we step up to protect Washingtonians from mass shootings. The Legislature took that step today by voting to limit high-capacity magazines, ...Read More
OLYMPIA — Washington would take an important step to bring down skyrocketing prescription drug prices, under a bill passed today by the House. “It’s no secret that prescription drug prices are out of control,” said Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), the bill’s sponsor. “And the data shows that when drug prices go up, people's health goes down. When people can’t afford their prescriptions, they cut back, or skip doses, or cut pills in two, and that leads to more suffering and even death.” “The goal of this bill is to restrain egregious price increases for lifesaving drugs that ...Read More
OLYMPIA - The Washington State Senate today approved the spending portion of Move Ahead Washington, a 16-year transportation investment package. Senate Bill 5689, the Supplemental Transportation Budget, invests primarily in ferries, backfilling of Connecting WA projects, and preservation and maintenance while Senate Bill 5975 funds carbon reduction initiatives.
“We are on the verge of a new day in Washington – one that puts people, our environment, and working families at the center of every policy decision we make,” said Sen. Marko Liias (D-Everett), chair of ...Read More
OLYMPIA – Senate Democrats today introduced several measures aimed at reinvigorating the state’s small business economy while also providing free incentives for families to get outside and enjoy Washington. The proposal includes a tax cut for more than 125,000 small businesses across the state, waives entrance fees for county fairs and state fairs, and makes the Discover Pass available for free for a year starting July 1. The Senate has already approved measures to make transit and ferry fares free for youth and to reduce tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. “As we start to look beyond the pandemic, ...Read More
OLYMPIA – Budget leaders in the Washington State Senate today unveiled a $63.4 billion supplemental operating budget plan that increases investments to support working families and public schools, reduce poverty and homelessness, and address the climate crisis. The budget adds roughly $5.8 billion in new spending to the two-year budget passed by lawmakers last April, including a $2B transfer to help fund the Move Ahead Washington transportation package. “After two difficult and challenging years, Washingtonians are ready to look to the future with hope, and this budget provides an optimistic vision for our state,” said Sen. Christine Rolfes, (D-Bainbridge ...Read More
OLYMPIA– On Tuesday, the Senate passed Move Ahead Washington, SB 5974, an investment in our community and our environmental health. “We know that transportation is one of biggest carbon-emitting sectors in our state,” said Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center). “This package responds to the climate crisis and makes brave investments in maintenance and preservation, including investments in multimodal with transit, high-speed rail, and ferries. This package invests in a future in which we have prioritized the health and wellbeing of our communities, locally and globally.” Move Ahead Washington is a $16 billion, 16-year, transportation investment package with unprecedented ...Read More