News

Senate approves Kuderer bill to ban open carry weapons at permitted demonstrations and capitol campus

Senate approves Kuderer bill to ban open carry weapons at permitted demonstrations and capitol campus

OLYMPIA – A bill sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue) that would prohibit the open carry of firearms and other weapons on the state capitol grounds and within 250 feet of permitted public demonstrations was approved by the Senate by a vote of 28-20 on Thursday.

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Employment Security reform bill clears Senate

Employment Security reform bill clears Senate

A bill to reform the Employment Security Department and correct several of the issues that prevented Washingtonians from receiving unemployment benefits in a timely manner received bipartisan support Thursday. Senate Bill 5193, sponsored by Sen. Steve Conway (D-Tacoma), addresses many of the problems exposed in the wake of the layoffs caused by the pandemic and resulting “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” orders. The bill, which passed on a 48-0 vote, will implement additional oversight and performance measures at ESD to ensure Washingtonians who have lost their job will find a more responsive agency, receive benefits quickly and securely ...

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Senate passes Wilson bill to help kinship caregivers access resources

Senate passes Wilson bill to help kinship caregivers access resources

  OLYMPIA Legislation passed today by the Senate would help kids in foster care to stay with family members and in their communities where possible. Senate Bill 5151, sponsored by Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), would also waive licensing fees for childcare providers until 2023 and would make permanent a pilot program for outdoor, nature-based early learning. Help for kinship caregivers Family reunification – wherever possible – is the ultimate goal of our foster care system. SB 5151 would allow DCYF to issue a child-specific license to a relative or other suitable person to provide foster care, which would help ...

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Senate unanimously passes bills to help survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault

Senate unanimously passes 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, if four bills passed unanimously by the Senate become law. SB 5180, passed today, would make it easier for survivors to wipe off their record sentences they received for offenses that were the result of being a victim of sex trafficking, domestic violence or sexual assault. “Traditionally our justice system has not done a good job in understanding the trauma of survivors,” said Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond), the bill’s sponsor. “This bill is about helping ...

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Liias bill to prohibit arbitrary local housing ordinances that limit housing options gets Senate approval

Liias bill to prohibit arbitrary local housing ordinances that limit housing options gets Senate approval

OLYMPIA – A bill to restrict local governments from enacting arbitrary housing restrictions on accessory dwelling units (ADU) and home occupancy was approved by the Senate by a vote of 43-6 on Wednesday.Add New SB 5235, sponsored by State Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood) would prevent local governments from having ordinances that restrict who can live in ADUs in most circumstances. The bill would also restrict local governments from placing arbitrary limits on the number of unrelated people within a home. These arbitrary limits disproportionally impact historically and currently marginalized communities, and have contributed to widespread discrimination in ...

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Liias bill to expand blood donation options to 16- and 17-year-olds gets Senate approval

Liias bill to expand blood donation options to 16- and 17-year-olds gets Senate approval

A bill to expand eligibility for a certain type of blood donation to 16- and 17-year-olds was approved by the Senate by a vote of 48-1 on Tuesday. SB 5179, sponsored by State Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood) would allow people ages 16 and 17 to donate blood through the apheresis process with parental or guardian permission.

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Senate passes nation-leading Keiser bill to protect frontline workers during pandemic

Senate passes nation-leading Keiser bill to protect frontline workers during pandemic

OLYMPIA — Frontline workers who are infected with COVID-19 would receive medical coverage and partial wage replacement for lost work hours under the Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA), passed today by the Senate on a vote of 48-1. “HELSA would take a big step to assure frontline workers that they will be kept informed about what is happening in their workplaces and reduce the fear and anxiety they feel about coming to work every day,” said Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), the bill’s sponsor. SB 5115 would create a presumption that any frontline employees infected by ...

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Nobles’ parks pilot focuses on health of disenfranchised youth

Nobles’ parks pilot focuses on health of disenfranchised youth

The Senate has passed legislation to create a task force to develop a pilot wellness program to address the health impacts of systematic inequities and discrimination. “This is about opening the doors to the outdoors for communities that need healing, both physically and mentally,” said Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest). “This is an issue of justice. In my work prior to the Legislature, I specifically focused on girls and our Black communities to provide healing from institutional racism and other trauma.” Nobles’ Senate Bill 5292 will now be considered by the House. The bill would direct the task force to ...

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Stanford bill to engage tribes in emergency management passes Senate

Stanford bill to engage tribes in emergency management passes Senate

OLYMPIA – Native American tribes would gain a say in Washington state’s emergency management preparations under legislation passed unanimously today by the Senate. “Emergencies do not recognize borders,” said Sen. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell), the bill’s sponsor. “It’s crucial that federally recognized tribes, as sovereign nations, have a seat at the table as our state plans for emergencies like a pandemic.” SB 5101 would increase the size of the Washington state Emergency Management Council, which advises the governor and the adjutant general, who commands the Washington National Guard, from 18 members to 20. The additional two members would ...

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Dhingra: Duty-to-intervene bill empowers officers to do the right thing

Dhingra: Duty-to-intervene bill empowers officers to do the right thing

OLYMPIA – If a law enforcement officer uses excessive force, fellow officers would have a duty to intervene to stop it, under a bill passed today by the Senate. “I have had the pleasure of working with many law enforcement officers in my previous career as a senior deputy prosecutor, and the vast majority are committed to doing the right thing,” said Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond), the bill’s sponsor. “They hold themselves up to a high ethical standard. This bill is about empowering our good officers to hold their peers to the same high standard.” SB 5066, ...

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