News

Bipartisan group of WA senators to Biden: Don’t abandon Hanford workers

Bipartisan group of WA senators to Biden: Don’t abandon Hanford workers

OLYMPIA — A large bipartisan, bicameral group of Washington state legislators has signed a strong letter of protest urging the Biden administration to withdraw its challenge to the Washington state law strengthening workers’ compensation access for workers at the Hanford nuclear site. The 2018 law grants presumptive workers’ compensation coverage for sick workers who were exposed to toxic fumes and nuclear waste on the job at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. A court challenge brought under the previous administration failed in the federal district court and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Biden administration recently requested ...

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Das’s “Reusable Bag Act,” banning single-use plastic bags, goes into effect

Das’s “Reusable Bag Act,” banning single-use plastic bags, goes into effect

OLYMPIA — A bill to reduce pollution by prohibiting retailers in Washington state from handing out single-use plastic bags goes into effect today after a year-long delay brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent) sponsored Senate Bill 5323, which was supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders, including retailers and environmentalists. “Our state’s commitment to the environment was never put on pause, even while it was necessary to delay the implementation of the single-use plastic bag ban,” Das said. “I’m so proud of all our communities across the state for staying hopeful and dedicated to ...

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Rolfes: September revenue forecast is ‘good news we had hoped for’

Rolfes: September revenue forecast is ‘good news we had hoped for’

OLYMPIA – State Senator Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island), chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, released this statement following today’s positive economic news from the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. “Today’s revenue forecast is the good news we had hoped for when we developed the state’s two-year operating budget. It reflects the strength of our state’s safety net during the pandemic and affirms the progressive changes we made to the excise tax on real estate transactions in 2019. From a state budgeting perspective, we are in a solid position to plan for our future.”

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Senate Majority Leader Billig and Speaker Jinkins comment on Gov. Inslee's vaccine mandate for some state employees, health care workers

Senate Majority Leader Billig and Speaker Jinkins comment on Gov. Inslee's vaccine mandate for some state employees, health care workers

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“Protecting the health and safety of people and communities in our state was a top priority of the legislature’s work this session, and the governor’s announcement today is an important step in stopping the spread of the virus and its variants. Vaccines are the best defense we have against COVID-19, and that’s why the Legislature put $1.2 billion into making sure people have access to vaccines, as well as contact tracing and testing efforts. State employees and health care providers serve the public. Being vaccinated with a safe, effective vaccine is a simple extension of that commitment. ...

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Dhingra & Pedersen: Police have a responsibility to show up and help people in crisis

Dhingra & Pedersen: Police have a responsibility to show up and help people in crisis

Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond), chair of the Senate Behavioral Health Subcommittee and vice chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee, and Sen. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle), chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee, today released the following statement on the implementation of HB 1310, which goes into effect on Sunday, July 25:

"The public outcry over a series of high-profile deaths in communities of color led in the 2021 legislative session to the most significant new police accountability measures in our state’s history. "We worked closely with communities that have suffered, as well as with ...

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Legislature’s 2021 budgets bring big investments to 30th district

Legislature’s 2021 budgets bring big investments to 30th district

  The budgets approved by the Legislature this year brought significant investments to the 30th Legislative District, which includes Federal Way, Algona, Pacific, Milton, Des Moines and Auburn. “I’m proud to have supported and advocated for investments that will make life in our district better, from improving programs that increase equity and support our youth, to fostering community development and addressing the unique transportation struggles we experience in our district,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn). Highlights of the investments that affect the district communities in each budget are listed below. The operating budget pays for the day-to-day operations of state government ...

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New state childcare provisions in Fair Start for Kids Act to take effect

New state childcare provisions in Fair Start for Kids Act to take effect

  Several provisions of the Fair Start for Kids Act, the system overhaul the Legislature passed this year in response to the state’s childcare crisis, take effect today. “In Washington, over half a million children do not have access to licensed childcare,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), who sponsored the act. “Even where there is childcare available, the cost is so high that it remains out of reach for most families. The Fair Start for Kids Act will help parents keep their jobs and the salaries they need to take care of their families by increasing access to affordable, ...

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Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig calls on Rep. Walsh to apologize and "educate himself about the history of the Holocaust and Jim Crow laws"

Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig calls on Rep. Walsh to apologize and "educate himself about the history of the Holocaust and Jim Crow laws"

Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig released the statement below Wednesday in response to Republican Rep. Jim Walsh’s comparison of Washington’s COVID public health rules to the Nazi persecution of Jews and a Supreme Court ruling that upheld Jim Crow laws: “Rep. Walsh's comments and actions were deeply offensive and demonstrated either extreme ignorance or a willful effort to lie about historical facts for perceived political benefit. “Before Rep. Walsh makes another clumsy attempt to equate life-saving vaccines with the murder of six million men, women and children, I’d invite him to visit the Holocaust Center for Humanity in ...

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Sens. Billig and Van De Wege react to the passing of former Senator Mark Doumit

Sens. Billig and Van De Wege react to the passing of former Senator Mark Doumit

Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig and Chair of the Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee Sen. Kevin Van De Wege issued the statements below following the passing of former Senator and Representative Mark Doumit. Doumit represented the 19th Legislative District from 1996 until 2006. He passed away June 21 at the age of 59. "Mark had a reputation as a person that brought instant credibility to an issue. He spent his entire life in public service, first working on behalf of his community and then as a champion for Washington’s forests. Even years after he had left ...

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Senate MOCC issues statement on AG decision in Manuel Ellis case

Senate MOCC issues statement on AG decision in Manuel Ellis case

The Washington State Senate Members of Color Caucus today issued the following statement in response to the Attorney General's most recent action in the case of Manuel Ellis' death. “As the Members of Color Caucus of the Washington State Senate, we send love and solidarity to Manuel Ellis’ loved ones and community. The Attorney General’s decision to charge two of the involved law enforcement officers with murder and one other with manslaughter may be meaningful progress toward justice, but we know the process to get here was a long and painful one for Manny’s friends and family, ...

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