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Nobles’ parks pilot focuses on health of disenfranchised youth

Nobles’ parks pilot focuses on health of disenfranchised youth

The Senate has passed legislation to create a task force to develop a pilot wellness program to address the health impacts of systematic inequities and discrimination. “This is about opening the doors to the outdoors for communities that need healing, both physically and mentally,” said Sen. T’wina Nobles (D-Fircrest). “This is an issue of justice. In my work prior to the Legislature, I specifically focused on girls and our Black communities to provide healing from institutional racism and other trauma.” Nobles’ Senate Bill 5292 will now be considered by the House. The bill would direct the task force to ...

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Stanford bill to engage tribes in emergency management passes Senate

Stanford bill to engage tribes in emergency management passes Senate

OLYMPIA – Native American tribes would gain a say in Washington state’s emergency management preparations under legislation passed unanimously today by the Senate. “Emergencies do not recognize borders,” said Sen. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell), the bill’s sponsor. “It’s crucial that federally recognized tribes, as sovereign nations, have a seat at the table as our state plans for emergencies like a pandemic.” SB 5101 would increase the size of the Washington state Emergency Management Council, which advises the governor and the adjutant general, who commands the Washington National Guard, from 18 members to 20. The additional two members would ...

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Dhingra: Duty-to-intervene bill empowers officers to do the right thing

Dhingra: Duty-to-intervene bill empowers officers to do the right thing

OLYMPIA – If a law enforcement officer uses excessive force, fellow officers would have a duty to intervene to stop it, under a bill passed today by the Senate. “I have had the pleasure of working with many law enforcement officers in my previous career as a senior deputy prosecutor, and the vast majority are committed to doing the right thing,” said Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond), the bill’s sponsor. “They hold themselves up to a high ethical standard. This bill is about empowering our good officers to hold their peers to the same high standard.” SB 5066, ...

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Salomon’s bill to boost critical Orca food supply wins Senate approval

Salomon’s bill to boost critical Orca food supply wins Senate approval

A bill aimed at restoring salmon habitat for Puget Sound orcas struggling to find enough food to survive was approved by the Senate by a vote of 28-21 on Thursday. Senate Bill 5273, sponsored by Sen. Jesse Salomon (D-Shoreline), would require residential property owners to use an alternative that has the least amount of negative impact on marine life when replacing existing shoreline seawalls.

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Kuderer’s pregnancy protection bill wins Senate approval

Kuderer’s pregnancy protection bill wins Senate approval

OLYMPIA – A bill that would protect pregnant patients’ access to health care during urgent medical situations was approved by the Senate by a vote of 29-20 on Wednesday. Senate Bill 5140, sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue), would bar hospitals from prohibiting health care providers from providing health care services related to miscarriage management and treatment for ectopic pregnancies.

“Women need to be safe, feel safe, and receive the best possible health care during pregnancy,” said Kuderer. “Pregnant patients should never have their lives put in jeopardy by having urgent medical care delayed or denied.”

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Legislature approves 2.2B COVID-19 relief bill

Legislature approves 2.2B COVID-19 relief bill

The Washington State Legislature on Wednesday gave final approval to a bipartisan $2.2 billion COVID-19 relief measure to expand testing and vaccine distribution, provide support to schools, make grants available for small business, and help thousands meet basic needs with housing and food assistance. The bill (HB 1368) will now head to Gov. Inslee to be signed into law. “This pandemic continues to put strain on communities across our state, and these investments target critical areas that will help us defeat COVID-19 while building back a stronger and more resilient Washington,” said Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island), chair ...

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Senate passes $1.7 billion in unemployment insurance tax relief

Senate passes $1.7 billion in unemployment insurance tax relief

All businesses in Washington would see significant relief from unemployment taxes, including reductions in bills due in April, if SB 5061 is passed by the Legislature by mid-February. The bill, which passed on the Senate floor today with an overwhelming bipartisan majority, has an emergency clause and would take effect as soon as Governor Inslee signs it into law. [TVW link] SB 5061, sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), targets relief to the most affected businesses and helps low-wage workers by raising their benefits. “This issue is urgent,” said Keiser. “Employers are seeing increases of 300 ...

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Senate committee considers Kuderer bill to ban open carry weapons at public demonstrations and legislative buildings

Senate committee considers Kuderer bill to ban open carry weapons at public demonstrations and legislative buildings

OLYMPIA – The Senate Law & Justice Committee held a public hearing on SB 5038 today, which would prohibit the open carry of firearms or other weapons at public demonstrations and the state capitol  grounds. [TVW Link] SB 5038, sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue), would also prevent open carry weapons within 1,000 feet of public demonstrations. Similar restrictions exist in Maryland, Alabama, and Washington, D.C. “The purpose of openly carrying a weapon at a protest is to intimidate people who are exercising their First Amendment rights,” said Kuderer testifying in support of ...

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Democrats unveil pandemic relief package

Democrats unveil pandemic relief package

Democrats in the Washington State Legislature released a $2.2 billion COVID-19 relief package today that would expand testing and vaccine availability, extend support to schools, provide grants for small business, and help thousands meet basic needs with housing and food assistance. The proposals are scheduled to receive hearings in the House and Senate next week. The overall relief package includes separate legislation that provides unemployment insurance relief for employers and workers across the state. “Getting this money out the door is a key part of our state’s battle against the pandemic, and this package will ensure that federal funding ...

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Walkinshaw sworn in as Senate Democrats' representative on Redistricting Commission

Walkinshaw sworn in as Senate Democrats' representative on Redistricting Commission

Former state representative Brady Piñero Walkinshaw was sworn in Friday morning as the Senate Democratic Caucus representative on the Washington State Redistricting Commission. Walkinshaw, who was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu, joins Secretary Treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) AFL-CIO April Sims, who will represent the House of Representatives on the Commission and took the oath of office Monday. "I'm honored to be serving our state in this once-in-a-decade effort that's so vital to our democratic process," said Walkinshaw. "I look forward to partnering with my fellow commissioners to lay the foundation for ...

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