News

Senate unanimously approves major school seismic safety funding bill

Senate unanimously approves major school seismic safety funding bill

OLYMPIA — Schools in parts of the state threatened by earthquakes or tsunamis would be able to draw from a sizable pot of state funding to replace or retrofit buildings, under a bill passed by the Senate tonight. “Hundreds of school buildings across the state, from tsunami zones on the coast to seismically active areas inland, face a high risk of serious damage,” said Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle), the sponsor of SB 5933. “Low-probability but catastrophic risks like earthquakes and tsunamis are some of the hardest for communities to guard against. The cost is high, and ...

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Keiser: Unemployment insurance tax relief will help small businesses

Keiser: Unemployment insurance tax relief will help small businesses

Update March 1: The House of Representatives has passed SB 5873 unanimously. OLYMPIA — Washington businesses would see $214 million in unemployment insurance tax relief this year, with no use of state funds, under a bill passed by the Senate today. Unemployment insurance (UI) premiums have spiked due to surging demand during the pandemic. “The layoffs due to COVID-19 hit small businesses especially hard,” said Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), the bill’s sponsor. “This bill will keep unemployment insurance premiums for all employers, and especially for small businesses, from going up as much as they otherwise would have.” SB ...

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Senate passes Nguyen bill to quickly site shelters and address homelessness

Senate passes Nguyen bill to quickly site shelters and address homelessness

OLYMPIA – Legislation that would allow temporary shelters or transitional encampments for people experiencing homelessness to be quickly sited passed off the Senate floor. Senate Bill 5428, sponsored by State Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-West Seattle), would give local jurisdictions a valuable option for relieving homelessness. “In the two years of the pandemic, we saw a critical housing issue go from bad to much worse,” said Nguyen. “Temporary shelters and transitional housing add another tool to the toolbox in providing some relief to our housing crisis. While these shelters aren’t the ultimate solution, our communities are in urgent need.” Temporary ...

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Senate passes Keiser bill to cap insulin costs at $35 per month

Senate passes Keiser bill to cap insulin costs at $35 per month

OLYMPIA — Washingtonians with diabetes would pay no more than $35 a month for insulin under SB 5546, passed yesterday by the Senate. “Insulin is a lifesaving medication,” said Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), the sponsor of the legislation. “It was first used 100 years ago. There is no reason for the price of insulin to be so high today, but across the country, it has skyrocketed by 54% in recent years. We have a responsibility to keep vital prescriptions affordable.” In 2020, the Legislature passed SB 6087, also sponsored by Keiser, which capped patients’ out-of-pocket cost ...

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Senate and House Transportation Chairs Introduce 16-year “Move Ahead Washington” funding proposal

Senate and House Transportation Chairs Introduce 16-year “Move Ahead Washington” funding proposal

OLYMPIA – On Tuesday, Senate and House Transportation Committee Chairs Sen. Marko Liias, D – Everett, and Rep. Jake Fey, D – Tacoma, unveiled Senate Bills 5974 and 5975 and House Bills 2118 and 2119 — Move Ahead Washington — a 16-year transportation proposal for Washington state. The $16 billion package provides historic funding for preserving our infrastructure, combating climate change by reducing emissions, expanding safe, affordable transit options, and addressing harm caused in communities of color from our existing transportation system.

“Washington is a nationwide leader on so many issues, and we can continue to show our progressive values in the transportation sector,” ...

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Senate okays bipartisan Liias bill on private long-term care insurance

Senate okays bipartisan Liias bill on private long-term care insurance

OLYMPIA - The Washington State Senate approved bipartisan legislation today to ensure Washingtonians who pay for private long-term care insurance are able to receive benefits when they are needed most. Senate Bill 5508, sponsored by Sen. Marko Liias (D – Everett), passed on a unanimous vote. The legislation would align state law with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Model Act to ensure the Guaranty Fund will remain solvent in the long term.

“This is an important step to make sure Washingtonians are receiving the private long term care coverage that they have paid into,” said Liias. “In some ...

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Committee hears Lovelett bill to allow campaign funds to pay for childcare

Committee hears Lovelett bill to allow campaign funds to pay for childcare

OLYMPIA – Legislation to explicitly authorize candidates running for office in Washington state to use campaign funds for childcare was heard in the Senate State Government & Elections Committee today. Senate Bill 5855, sponsored by Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes), would clarify rules on the use of campaign funds.

“This legislation is an important step to create elected bodies that looks more like the communities they represent,” said Lovelett. “Too many parents, and especially single moms, are not able to run for office – not for a lack of desire but because they are unable to balance their family ...

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22nd LD Virtual Townhall Jan. 26 7 PM

22nd LD Virtual Townhall Jan. 26 7 PM

OLYMPIA-- Please join your lawmakers from the 22nd Legislative District for a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26. This is their chance to hear from you as well as update you on their work in at the Legislature on your behalf. The 22nd District includes Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater. WHO: Sen. Sam Hunt, Rep. Laurie Dolan, Rep. Jessica Bateman WHAT: 22rd Legislative District virtual town hall meeting WHEN: 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26 WHERE:  You can watch or participate in the live event on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. You can submit questions live ...

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Sen. Reuven Carlyle won’t seek re-election

Sen. Reuven Carlyle won’t seek re-election

OLYMPIA – State Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, today announced he will not seek re-election to the senate in 2022. Carlyle, chair of the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee, has sponsored and shepherded numerous major bills through the senate and legislature during his 13-year career. Carlyle’s proudest work includes cap and invest carbon pricing, 100% clean energy, a clean fuel standard, environmental justice, public disclosure of tax exemptions, reforming marijuana and telecommunications taxation, higher education finance, foster youth success and leadership on national data privacy policy. Carlyle, 56, was first elected to the House of Representatives from the 36th ...

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Trudeau: “This is about setting up our newest little Washingtonians on the strongest, healthiest path”

Trudeau: “This is about setting up our newest little Washingtonians on the strongest, healthiest path”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 21, 2022 Legislation proposed by Sen. Yasmin Trudeau (D-Tacoma), SB 5702, would allow new parents to affordably access donor breast milk by requiring that health plans and the state Medicaid program provide coverage for donor breast milk. “This bill is deeply personal to me and to so many new or expecting parents in our communities,” said Trudeau. “I understand the struggle, the shame and the trauma that accompanies difficult labor and the inability to produce the nutrients that your baby needs. When I had to go through that, I was not aware that donor ...

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