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Senate transportation budget addresses I-976 funding crisis, restarts stuck projects

Senate transportation budget addresses I-976 funding crisis, restarts stuck projects

The Senate on Tuesday unveiled the 2020 supplemental transportation budget. Normally a document used to make minor tweaks and updates to the statewide transportation needs, this version of the supplemental budget is introduced at a time when Washington’s transportation funding is at a crossroads. This budget utilizes one-time balancing methods that provide a short-term fix, but does not attempt to address the larger, longer-term transportation budget crisis the Legislature must address next session. “I’ve chaired the Transportation Committee for the last three years and been a member of the committee for nearly a decade. I can honestly say putting ...

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Senate budget proposal targets homelessness, early learning and childcare, climate resiliency

Senate budget proposal targets homelessness, early learning and childcare, climate resiliency

OLYMPIA – Senate Democrats today unveiled their 2020 supplemental operating budget, proposing to invest an additional $115 million this year to directly address the state’s homelessness crisis. “This is a realistic, sustainable and responsible budget that will make a difference in people’s daily lives,” said Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island), chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and chief budget writer. “Our economy remains strong and our state’s bond rating is at historic highs, but we also recognize the growing needs of our growing state. “I’m proud this budget makes targeted investments without any new taxes. It’s a budget ...

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Senate passes Wilson’s comprehensive sexual health education bill

Senate passes Wilson’s comprehensive sexual health education bill

The teaching of science-based, age-appropriate sexual health education would be expanded to more school districts and grade levels, under legislation passed today by the Senate. “Some people hear the words ‘sex education’ and mistake the focus of the curriculum, which is health and safety, and is age-appropriate for each grade level,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), the vice chair of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. “This is about making sure younger children know what kind of touching is inappropriate, whether by peers or predators. It’s about helping older students recognize and resist abusive or coercive ...

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Legislature honors Franklin on Senate floor, celebrates oral history

Legislature honors Franklin on Senate floor, celebrates oral history

A groundbreaking former state lawmaker has chronicled her experiences in the Legislature in a biographical oral history that will be celebrated at a book-signing reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma. All proceeds from sales of Rosa Franklin -- A Life in Health Care, Public Service, and Social Justice will go into an account that funds Capitol preservation, the state library and archives, and the legislative oral history program. “When Sen. Sam Hunt called me several months ago and said ‘the legislative oral history committee has voted for you to ...

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Wilson bill would address critical needs of early learners

Wilson bill would address critical needs of early learners

Early learners would get the assistance and support they need to avoid falling behind their peers in kindergarten and throughout life, under legislation heard today by the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. “Not everyone is ready to learn when they enter kindergarten, and those who aren’t often fall behind early and stay behind,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), the committee’s vice chair. “This is a pattern that can hinder them through grade school and high school, into their careers and even into retirement. They lag academically, they fare worse in getting jobs and promotions and saving ...

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Bills on consumer data privacy, facial recognition introduced

Bills on consumer data privacy, facial recognition introduced

OLYMPIA – A bipartisan group of Washington state senators and representatives today unveiled a pair of bills strengthening consumer access and control over personal data and regulating the use of facial recognition technology. Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) — sponsor of one of the bills, the Washington Privacy Act — told reporters gathered at a press conference that the lawmakers had reached “95 percent agreement in principle on the core elements of the bills.” He was joined by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center), Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center) and Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard). Carlyle's SB ...

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Statement from Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) on the independent investigation of Rep. Matt Shea

Statement from Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) on the independent investigation of Rep. Matt Shea

“The investigators’ report of Rep. Matt Shea’s involvement in domestic terrorism makes it clear Rep. Shea has no place in the Washington State Legislature. The report’s conclusion is unequivocal and chilling: Rep. Shea is a ‘present and growing threat of risk to others through political violence.’ “I appreciate the expedient and responsible manner in which House leadership has proceeded related to the investigation and I agree with House Republican Leader JT Wilcox that Rep. Shea should resign. I have confidence that House leadership will continue to take the appropriate steps related to Rep. Shea.”

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Statement from Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) on today’s Supreme Court ruling on public records

Statement from Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) on today’s Supreme Court ruling on public records

“We are still reviewing the court’s decision, but as I’ve said throughout this process, I believe the Legislature should continue to take steps toward greater transparency. Long before this decision came down, we started establishing an institutional infrastructure to help respond to public records requests, store documents and take other measures to increase public access. “We will be working with Senate administration and legislators in the coming days and weeks to ensure compliance with this decision.”

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Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig’s statement on election of Rep. Laurie Jinkins as Speaker-designate

Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig’s statement on election of Rep. Laurie Jinkins as Speaker-designate

Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) released this statement following the election of Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) as the Speaker-designate of the Washington State House of Representatives:

“I would like to extend congratulations to Laurie Jinkins on being elected the next House Speaker by her colleagues today.

“As an accomplished legislator and the first woman to hold the position, she will bring a vital perspective to leadership in the Washington State Legislature. I’ve enjoyed a productive working relationship with Laurie since we joined the House together in 2011. She has a long record of ...

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Stanford appointed 1st Legislative District senator

Stanford appointed 1st Legislative District senator

OLYMPIA – Derek Stanford was unanimously appointed state senator for the 1st Legislative District this morning at a joint meeting of the King and Snohomish County councils in Bothell.

“I’m excited to get to work in the Senate, and I’m grateful to the 1st District Democrats and to the Snohomish and King County councils for their support,” said Stanford (D-Bothell).

“It has been an honor to serve the people of the 1st Legislative District as state representative for the past nine years.”

Stanford was first elected to the House of Representatives in ...

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