News

Rolfes: Senate budget proposal reinvests in communities, environment

Rolfes: Senate budget proposal reinvests in communities, environment

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 ...

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Senate prioritizes environment with Move Ahead Washington

Senate prioritizes environment with Move Ahead Washington

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 ...

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Senate capital construction budget invests in housing, broadband, school seismic safety

Senate capital construction budget invests in housing, broadband, school seismic safety

OLYMPIA — The Senate’s bipartisan proposed supplemental capital construction budget (SB 5651) would invest nearly $1 billion in priority infrastructure across the state, including a landmark investment in a new school seismic safety fund. “This budget invests in 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. “We are fulfilling our promises to expand broadband internet access, assist in addressing the state’s housing and homelessness crisis, preserve our natural resources, and make schools safer from earthquakes and tsunamis. ...

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Senate approves Move Ahead Washington transportation revenue package

Senate approves Move Ahead Washington transportation revenue package

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate today approved revenue sources for Move Ahead Washington; the 16-year transportation investment package sponsored by Transportation Committee Chair Sen. Marko Liias (D – Everett). Senate Bill 5974 passed the chamber on a 29-20 vote Tuesday evening.  Move Ahead Washington includes $16.8 billion in investments for projects across the state, including historic funding for public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian safety, road preservation and maintenance, and climate mitigation. 

“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 Liias. ...

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Senate passes Nobles bill to boost college affordability for military households

Senate passes Nobles bill to boost college affordability for military households

Olympia– Legislation unanimously passed by the Senate would advance college affordability for military veterans, active military members, and their families by applying Washington state residency more broadly. “Our service people valiantly serve our nation,” said Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest). “They have our backs and we need to have theirs. Education is such a powerful tool in which our service members and their families could access career paths, jobs, income and much more. They deserve whatever we can do to alleviate their stressors.” Nobles’ Senate Bill 5874 would expand residency status for all active duty, veteran, and dependent students ...

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Senate passes legislation to expand and strengthen apprenticeships

Senate passes legislation to expand and strengthen apprenticeships

OLYMPIA — Workers in Washington state would benefit from new apprenticeship programs in growing fields, reinvigorated support for existing apprenticeships, and significantly increased state funding for apprentices at public colleges, under two bills passed recently by the Senate. “The ‘earn-while-you-learn’ approach, with both classroom instruction and supervised on-the-job training, makes apprenticeships accessible to many—especially women and people of color—who can’t take time off work or afford to go to a traditional college or university,” said Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), chair of the Senate Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs Committee. “We can build a more diverse and expanded apprenticeship system that opens the door to a ...

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Senate passes Nguyen bill to fast-track carbon reduction efforts

Senate passes Nguyen bill to fast-track carbon reduction efforts

OLYMPIA– Legislation passed today by the Senate would accelerate the state’s efforts to reduce carbon and pollution from residential and commercial buildings. “Residential and commercial buildings are the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington and account for 27% of statewide emissions,” said Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-West Seattle). “This legislation provides an accessible, incentive-based program to reduce the energy buildings use, and in turn bring down statewide emissions.” Senate Bill 5722 would overhaul energy standards for commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet and would direct the Department of Commerce to adopt state energy management and benchmarking ...

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Lovelett bill to provide transitional food assistance unanimously clears Senate

Lovelett bill to provide transitional food assistance unanimously clears Senate

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate today approved legislation to provide transitional food assistance for more families. Senate Bill 5785, sponsored by Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes), would direct the Department of Social and Health Services to provide transitional food assistance to households that no longer receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The transitional food assistance would last for five months after the family ceases to receive TANF benefits so long as they are not in full-family sanction status.

“This bill is an important measure to make sure kids across the state are getting the food they need to ...

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Senate unanimously passes Lovelett bill to conserve and restore kelp forests

Senate unanimously passes Lovelett bill to conserve and restore kelp forests

OLYMPIA – Today the Washington State Senate unanimously approved legislation to conserve and restore the plants that are the foundation of our marine ecosystems and key in our fight against ocean acidification. Senate Bill 5619, known as the Kelp Forest and Eelgrass Meadow Conservation Initiative, was sponsored by Sen. Liz Lovelett (D – Anacortes) at the request of the Department of Natural Resources.

“Washington has one of the most beautiful natural environments in the country, but at every level our ecosystems are facing an existential crisis,” said Lovelett. “Kelp and eelgrass are a crucial part of the ...

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Senate approves Liias bill to restrict high-capacity magazines 

Senate approves Liias bill to restrict high-capacity magazines 

A bill to restrict the sale of high-capacity firearm magazines in Washington was approved by the state Senate on a 28-20 vote Wednesday.   Senate Bill 5078, sponsored by Sen. Marko Liias (D – Everett), prohibits the manufacture, sale, import or transfer of large-capacity magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The approved legislation does not ban the current possession of a high-capacity magazine.   

“My community has seen firsthand the devastating impact that gun violence can have on families,” said Liias. “We need to act now to protect residents across the state from unnecessary harm, and limiting the capacity of mass shooters to inflict more damage on innocent lives is an important measure for our public ...

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