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Liias’ sustainable aviation fuels bill clears committee

Liias’ sustainable aviation fuels bill clears committee

OLYMPIA — Communities near Paine Field in Everett suffer from some of the worst air quality in the state. Sen. Marko Liias grew up nearby in a neighborhood overburdened by pollution. This experience was, in part, the motivation behind his sponsorship of Senate Bill 6114, which cleared the Senate Transportation Committee Monday.  The bill requires airport operators to make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blends available to noncommercial, private jet owners with the goal of ultimately having all jet owners in Washington use this renewable fuel. To qualify, fuel blends must include a ...

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Nobles bill would continue program to improve active transportation connectivity in overburdened communities

Nobles bill would continue program to improve active transportation connectivity in overburdened communities

OLYMPIA — A bill to continue a statewide program to improve active transportation connectivity in overburdened communities was heard in the Senate Transportation Committee Thursday.  Senate Bill 6283, sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest), would eliminate the expiration date for the Sandy Williams Connecting Communities Program, which is set to end in 2027. Williams, a Black community organizer and advocate, worked to address historic injustices created by highway projects in the mid-century. She led the effort to reconnect her Spokane neighborhood after Interstate 90 geographically split it in half.  “Sandy dedicated her ...

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Nobles bill to increase student access to free school meals heard in committee

Nobles bill to increase student access to free school meals heard in committee

OLYMPIA — A bill to increase students’ access to free meals was heard in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee Monday.  Senate Bill 5964, sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest), would require all school districts to provide breakfast and lunch without charge to any requesting students, beginning with the 2024-25 school year.  Nobles said for current free school meals programs, income eligibility for a household of four is $55,500 — this means two parents making minimum wage would be ineligible. While the cost of school meals for a family with ...

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Robinson bill to reduce property taxes for lower-value homes heard in committee

Robinson bill to reduce property taxes for lower-value homes heard in committee

OLYMPIA — A bill to reduce property taxes for lower-value homes was heard in the Senate Ways & Means Committee Thursday.   Senate Bill 6249, sponsored by Sen. June Robinson (D-Everett), would decrease property taxes for homeowners starting in 2027 by providing a tax break of $100,000 or 60% of the median home value in the county, whichever is more. It also establishes a state funding mechanism to assist counties with the cost of administering the exemption.   “By providing a significant exemption, we are shifting the disproportionate share of the property ...

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Nobles bill to create Smokey Bear license plate to support human-caused wildfire prevention

Nobles bill to create Smokey Bear license plate to support human-caused wildfire prevention

OLYMPIA — Legislation to create an official Smokey Bear license plate was heard in the Senate Transportation Committee Thursday.  Senate Bill 5910, sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest), would allocate all funds raised by the special license plate to support the state Department of Natural Resources' human-caused wildfire prevention efforts. If passed, Washington would be one of three states with a Smokey Bear license plate, joining Oregon and Texas.  In Washington, more than 2.2 million homes are exposed to heightened wildfire risk, and over the past five years, wildfire suppression costs statewide ...

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Nobles’ education bills heard in committee

Nobles’ education bills heard in committee

OLYMPIA — Several education bills sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest) were heard in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee Wednesday.  The legislation included: 

  • Senate Bill 6082 provides school districts with an additional allocation equal to $7 per hour plus benefits for all paraeducators hired in the 2022–23 school year. It also requires funding for paraeducator salaries under this bill to only be used for paraeducator salaries and sets a minimum staffing compliance ratio that ensures the additional funding does not inadvertently ...

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Nobles bill to increase financial aid accessibility, postsecondary enrollment heard in committee

Nobles bill to increase financial aid accessibility, postsecondary enrollment heard in committee

OLYMPIA — A bill to make financial aid more easily accessible was heard in the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee Wednesday.  Senate Bill 6254, sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest), expands the FAFSA/WASFA completion program at the community and technical colleges to every educational service district, as well as the scope of the completion programs to include supporting student persistence.   The bill also creates a new financial aid certification program for secondary school teachers and counselors, higher education staff, and community partners with the goal of providing at least one ...

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Nobles bill to provide prescribed access to outdoor recreation heard in committee

Nobles bill to provide prescribed access to outdoor recreation heard in committee

OLYMPIA — A bill to provide prescribed access to outdoor recreation, particularly for youth of color, was heard in the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee Tuesday.  Senate Bill 5095, sponsored by Sen. T'wina Nobles (D-Fircrest), requires the state Department of Health to create an advisory committee for the parks Rx health and wellness pilot programs. The committee’s membership would include communities that have been historically marginalized in access to parks. DOH and the advisory committee must then establish at least three, two-year pilot programs in the Puget Sound and eastern ...

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Nobles bill to create more affordable homeownership opportunities heard in committee

Nobles bill to create more affordable homeownership opportunities heard in committee

OLYMPIA — A bill to create more affordable homeownership opportunities was heard in the Senate Housing Committee Friday.  Senate Bill 6173, sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest), aims to expand the production of affordable housing by enabling local municipalities to support organizations in creating homeownership opportunities for households earning up to 80% of area median income.  It also seeks to address the significant gap between median incomes and home prices in areas where homeownership is largely unattainable for those earning less than the median income, particularly among communities of color.    According ...

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Keiser earns praise, continues fight to lower cost of insulin further

Keiser earns praise, continues fight to lower cost of insulin further

OLYMPIA —Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines) continues to press for access to life-saving insulin even as she has won national recognition for her work in 2023 to reduce the cost of the drug to diabetes patients. Legislation capping out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35 a month, passed in 2023, today earned Keiser the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) Legislative Champion Award. “I am honored to receive the DPAC Legislative Champion Award, recognizing the Legislature’s bipartisan efforts to make healthcare more affordable,” said Keiser. “We have to make sure everyone can afford to get the care they need. Capping out-of-pocket ...

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