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Nobles bill makes reimbursement Crime Victims Compensation Program permanent for survivors of strangulation

Nobles bill makes reimbursement Crime Victims Compensation Program permanent for survivors of strangulation

Today, the governor signed into law Senate Bill 5070, sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest), to make permanent the reimbursement for the Crime Victims Compensation Program for survivors of strangulation. Legislation establishing this reimbursement first passed unanimously in 2021. “In the midst of horrific circumstances, survivors are telling us that this program benefits them immensely,” said Nobles. “By making it permanent, we’re telling survivors they deserve access to treatment and justice.” According to the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, 68% of women who report domestic violence suffered near-fatal strangulation. Forensic examinations are the best resource to hold abusers ...

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Bill to help address health care staffing shortage signed into law

Bill to help address health care staffing shortage signed into law

OLYMPIA — A bill to help address the health care staffing shortage by mitigating unmanageable patient loads and worker burnout was signed into law Thursday.  Senate Bill 5236, sponsored by Sen. June Robinson (D-Everett), requires hospitals to submit staffing plans to the state Department of Health. The expected staff-to-patient staffing standards would be developed by a hospital’s designated staffing committee, composed of 50% frontline staff and 50% hospital administration.  If a hospital is less than 80% compliant with its committee’s approved plan, DOH and the state Department of Labor & ...

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Senate OKs Keiser bill to safeguard access to abortion medication

Senate OKs Keiser bill to safeguard access to abortion medication

OLYMPIA – Washingtonians would be guaranteed uninterrupted access to the safe, effective medication used in nearly 60% of abortions in the state, under a bill passed by the Senate today on a 28-18 party-line vote after a lengthy debate. At the direction of Gov. Jay Inslee, the state Department of Corrections (DOC) has purchased a three-year supply of mifepristone using its existing statutory authority and pharmacy license. SB 5768 would give DOC the authority to dispense, distribute or sell the medication to providers, clinics and others. These actions are intended to ensure the abortion medication remains available in Washington ...

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Keiser bill to safeguard access to abortion medication passes Senate committee

Keiser bill to safeguard access to abortion medication passes Senate committee

OLYMPIA – Washingtonians would be guaranteed uninterrupted access to the safe, effective medication used in nearly 60% of abortions in the state, under a bill that passed the Senate Ways & Means Committee today. At the direction of Gov. Jay Inslee, the state Department of Corrections (DOC) has purchased a three-year supply of mifepristone using its existing statutory authority and pharmacy license. SB 5768 would give DOC the authority to distribute or sell the medication to clinics around the state. These actions are intended to ensure the abortion medication remains available in Washington even if manufacturing were to be ...

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House Passes Bill to Protect Endangered Orcas

House Passes Bill to Protect Endangered Orcas

OLYMPIA—The House of Representatives passed legislation on April 11, 2023, to safeguard the endangered orcas in the Salish Sea. Senate Bill 5371, sponsored by Senator Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes) and supported by Representative Debra Lekanoff (D-Bow), received overwhelming bipartisan support through Lekanoff’s collaborative striker to strengthen the work of both House Democrats and Republicans. This effort resulted in the bill passing with an overwhelming majority of 96 ayes, 1 nay, and 1 absentee.  Senate Bill 5371 establishes a 1,000-yard setback distance for commercial recreational vessels from southern resident orcas, bringing them under the same ...

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Assault weapon ban passes Senate, heads back to House for concurrence

Assault weapon ban passes Senate, heads back to House for concurrence

A monumental step toward gun safety cleared another hurdle Saturday as the Senate passed House Bill 1240, a measure to ban the sale, manufacture and distribution of assault weapons in Washington state.  The bill passed 27-21. “We are the only country in the world that grapples with the horror of mass shootings, and today we took a critical step forward — and took the weapon of choice away from those who would do innocent people harm,” said Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue) sponsor of the Senate companion bill, SB 5265.Read More

Dhingra bill strengthening protections against hate crimes signed into law

Dhingra bill strengthening protections against hate crimes signed into law

OLYMPIA — A new law signed today by Gov. Jay Inslee will ensure hate crimes can be more effectively prosecuted and courts can require offenders to complete rehabilitative programs. “Hate crimes are horrific acts of violence that do more than affect individual victims — they make whole communities feel unwelcome,” said Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond), chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee and bill sponsor. “These crimes are corrosive to our society, and we need to have the proper tools available to protect survivors and ensure that courts can effectively supervise offenders in completing rehabilitative programs ...

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Senate passes transportation budget focused on safety, workforce, green investments

Senate passes transportation budget focused on safety, workforce, green investments

The Senate on Wednesday passed House Bill 1125, the 2023-25 transportation budget. The $12.9 billion plan invests in traffic safety, expands the state patrol and ferry workforces, funds green transportation options, and keeps work on schedule for transportation projects big and small across Washington.  The bill passed the Senate 42-6.   The Senate amended its own transportation budget proposal, Senate Bill 5162, onto the House’s version of the budget which passed the House on April 3. Now work will begin between transportation leads in the Senate and House to work out ...

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Legislation to protect workers on state highways signed into law

Legislation to protect workers on state highways signed into law

OLYMPIA – Sen. Marko Liias’s (D-Everett) bipartisan legislation to protect workers on Washington’s highways was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday.   Senate Bill 5272, which received unanimous support in both the Senate and House of Representatives, increases worker safety by authorizing the use of speed safety cameras in state highway work zones.   The need for this legislation comes as Washington sees an uptick in traffic collisions and fatalities, including in work zones. Data from the Washington State Department of Transportation show there were 283 ...

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Newspaper tax break passes Senate

Newspaper tax break passes Senate

Legislation to help support the news media by exempting them from the state business and occupation (B&O) tax passed the Washington State Senate today on a 47-1 vote. SB 5199, sponsored by Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), is intended to support local news outlets that have come upon tough economic times. “I've seen local newspapers and media in my district struggle over the past decade, and too many have already had to shut down,” Mullet said. “Local journalists play an essential role to inform the public, hold politicians and government accountable, and make our communities stronger. That role ...

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