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Democratic lawmakers to host district town halls

OLYMPIA – Democrats in the Legislature will host town halls in their legislative districts in March to hear from their constituents.

Senators and representatives from multiple legislative districts will provide a brief overview of their work so far this session before making themselves available for questions, comments and concerns from the public.

Below is a list of all scheduled town halls. More dates and locations are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, and this post will be updated.

  • 3rd Legislative District – March 16 at 10 am with Senate majority leader Billig and Reps. Riccelli and Ormsby. More information here.
  • 43rd Legislative District – March 16 at 10 am with House speaker Chopp, Sen. Pedersen, and Rep. Macri. More information here.
  • 22nd Legislative District – March 19 at 6 pm with Sen. Hunt and Reps. Dolan and Doglio. More information here.
  • 33rd Legislative District – March 23 at 10 am with Sen. Keiser and Reps. Gregerson and Orwall. More information here.
  • 41st Legislative District – March 23 at 10 am with Sen. Wellman and Reps. Senn and Thai. More information here.
  • 32nd Legislative District – March 23 at 2 pm with Sen. Salomon and Reps. David and Ryu. More information here.
  • 5th Legislative District Town Hall – March 16 with Sen. Mullet and Reps. Callan and Ramos. Three town halls will be held between 10 am – 3:30 pm. See more information here.
  • 26th Legislative District Town Hall – March 23 with Sen. Randall. There will be three town halls between 9 am – 4:30 pm, each at a different location. Find out more here.
  • 27th Legislative District Town Hall – March 23 at 10 am with Sen. Darneille and Reps. Fey and Jinkins. More information here.
  • 29th Legislative District Town Hall – March 23 at 10 am with Sen. Conway and Rep. Morgan. More information here.
  • 33rd Legislative District Town Hall – March 23 at 10 am with Sen. Keiser and Rep. Gregerson. More information here.
  • 37th Legislative District Town Hall – March 23 at 10 am with Sen. Saldaña and Reps. Pettigrew and Santos. More information here.
  • 40th Legislative District Town Hall – March 23 at 10 am with Sen. Lovelett and Rep. Morris. More information here.
  • 47th Legislative District Town Hall – March 23 at 10:30 am with Sen. Das and Reps. Sullivan and Entenman. More information here.
  • 48th Legislative District Town Hall – March 23 at 10:30 am with Sen. Kuderer and Reps. Slatter and Walen. Location and more details here.
  • 21st Legislative District – March 23 at 11 am with Reps. Peterson and Ortiz-Self and Sen. Liias. Find out more here.
  • 1st Legislative District Town Hall – March 23 at 1:30 pm with Sen. Palumbo and Reps. Stanford and Kloba. More information here.
  • 36th Legislative District Town Hall – March 24 at 2 pm with Sen. Carlyle and Reps. Frame and Tarleton. Find out more here.
  • 30th Legislative District Town Hall – March 23 at 2 pm with Sen Wilson and Reps. Reeves and Pellicciotti. More information here.
  • 45th Legislative District Town Hall – March 24 at 2 pm with Sen. Dhingra and Reps. Goodman and Springer. More information here.
  • 23rd Legislative District Town Hall – March 23 with Sen. Rolfes and Reps. Hansen and Appleton. There will be two town halls between 10 am – 3 pm. More information here.
  • 44th Legislative District Town Hall – March 23 at 9:30 a.m. with Sen. Hobbs and Reps. Lovick and Mead. More information here.
February 28th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Senate passes Carlyle’s Washington Privacy Act

OLYMPIA – The Washington Senate today overwhelmingly approved the Washington Privacy Act, one of the nation’s strongest privacy protection measures based on global standards to strengthen consumer access and control over personal data held by companies and the government.

A bipartisan group of senators voted 46-1 in favor of Senate Bill 5376, sponsored by Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle).

“We’re so proud that Democrats and Republicans voted together to recognize that consumer privacy is essential and that data belongs to individuals,” said Carlyle, who chairs the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee. “This bill carefully, responsibly takes the best practices from Europe, California and other states to build a data privacy regulatory framework that will help set a standard and lead the nation in bringing our data privacy laws into the 21st century.”

The comprehensive act reflects central elements of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation and gives Washington residents meaningful tools to determine how their personal data is used and shared. That includes the right to know who is using consumers’ data and why, the right to correct inaccurate personal data, the right to delete certain personal data, and the right to restrict the sale of data in key areas.

The bill also sets out steps companies must take to prevent practices that might compromise the security of personal information and limits how companies and law enforcement can use facial recognition technology to ensure it is not irresponsibly deployed.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

March 6th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Presidential primary bill passes full Legislature

OLYMPIA — A measure to make Washington’s presidential primary process more accessible and relevant—and to end reliance on precinct caucuses—passed out of the state House today on a 54-42 vote.

Senate Bill 5273, sponsored by Sen. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia), would move Washington’s presidential primary to the second Tuesday in March, bringing it in line with nearly two dozen states across the country that are expected to hold primaries or caucuses by that date.

The current date for Washington’s primary, the fourth Tuesday in May, was so late that the state had no meaningful impact as nominees had effectively already been determined. This bill ensures that both major political parties in Washington state will have a voice in the nominating process and that their decisions will help dictate their party’s presidential nominee. 

“The earlier date will make the presidential primary more meaningful in our state and will increase participation,” Hunt said. “It also will enable the major political parties to use primary election results instead of caucuses to allocate Washington’s national convention votes to presidential and vice presidential candidates.”

In 2016, voter participation rates were three times higher in states with presidential primaries than in those with caucuses. The change will ease participation among voters who have non-traditional work schedules, lack childcare, or cannot commit to spending hours on a weekend in caucus. The bill allows voters to express their preferences through the state’s vote-by-mail system, as they do in all other elections, effectively ending the use of caucuses to choose presidential candidates.

“The presidential primary is part of the national presidential nominating process.  For the primary to be part of Washington state’s delegate selection process, it must be consistent with nominating rules established by the national political parties. The states are not free to enact whatever primary they want.  The parties require that only ballots from voters who identify with that party may be considered as valid,” said Hunt. As to allowing voters to cast an unaffiliated vote that would not be part of the process, he said, “it’s not participation if your vote does not count.  We want to work for high voter participation, but we also want to have a meaningful presidential primary where peoples’ votes count.  This bill accomplishes that.”

SB 5273 passed in the Senate on Jan. 30 on a 29-18 vote.          

March 4th, 2019|Uncategorized|

The Everblue State: Sen. Jesse Salomon talks fracking and restorative justice

For this episode of The Everblue State, we spoke with Sen. Jesse Salomon, the first-year senator from the 32nd District.

Salomon has spent his career in public service — working as a public defender, serving on the Shoreline City Council and more. In the Senate, he’s working hard on environmental and early childhood education issues.

March 1st, 2019|Podcast|

Bill committing Washington to 100 percent clean energy passes Senate

OLYMPIA – The Washington Senate today approved a sweeping, historic bill to commit the state to 100 percent clean energy from renewable and zero-emission sources.

Senators voted 28-19 in favor of Senate Bill 5116, sponsored by Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle). The bill would require all electric utilities in Washington to transition to a 100-percent, carbon-neutral electricity supply by 2030 and to 100-percent carbon-free electricity by 2045.

“It’s simply time to move past the era of carbon into the next generation with modern, 21st-century energy systems using integrated wind, hydro and solar power,” Carlyle said. “I’m proud that this is the strongest, 100-percent clean energy bill adopted in the nation, and we thank Hawaii and California for paving the way. Now, it’s up to the other states to follow our lead.”

Electricity remains the largest source of carbon emissions worldwide and is the third-highest emitting sector in Washington, after transportation and buildings.

Senate Bill 5166 would make Washington one of the first states in the nation to commit broadly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from electricity while adopting a precise action plan to do so. It is also the most extensive measure on climate action that Washington’s Legislature has adopted since 2008, when it committed the state to reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels.

The bill is part of a wider package of Senate legislation to make a meaningful reduction in Washington’s carbon footprint.

It now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

March 1st, 2019|Uncategorized|

The Everblue State: Transportation and nerd stuff with Sen. Steve Hobbs

This week on The Everblue State, Sen. Steve Hobbs updated us on Washington’s transportation policy. He also went in-depth about his nerdy pursuits — including Dungeons and Dragons.

He even told us which members of the Legislature he would pick for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Hobbs represents the 44th District, and is a combat veteran.

February 21st, 2019|Podcast|

Week 6: Legislature faces first cutoff

OLYMPIA — It’s day 36 of the 105-day session and the snow is finally melting away at the Capitol. It will be a busy week as lawmakers will be holding hearings on hundreds of bills ahead of the session’s first cutoff on Friday. Policy bills that do not pass out of committee by the end of the week cannot receive further consideration. (View cutoff calendar). Health care, preventing bullying, and tax fairness will be among the hot topics discussed in committee this week.

What to watch this week

Monday, Feb. 18 @ 1:30 p.m.

The committee will hear SB 5526, which creates a public option health care plan; SB 5805, which protects threatened Obamacare mandates like preexisting conditions; and SB 5822, which establishes a pathway to universal health care in Washington.

Monday, Feb. 18 @  1:30 p.m.

The Senate will hold a hearing on SB 5689, which is designed to end bullying, harassment, intimidation and discrimination against transgender students in public schools.

Tuesday, Feb. 19 @ 8 a.m.

Should collegiate athletes get paid? The Higher Education Committee will explore that issue when it hears SB 5875.

Tuesday, Feb. 19 @ 11 a.m.

Democratic leaders in the Senate and House will hold their weekly media availability in the Senate Majority Caucus room. 

Wednesday, Feb. 20 @ 1:30 p.m.

With the spread of measles on the rise, the Senate Health Care Committee will hear SB 5841, which will eliminate the personal/philosophical objection exemption to common vaccinations. A press conference will precede the hearing at 12:30 p.m. in JAC 211.

Thursday, Feb. 21 @ 3:30 p.m.

SB 5810 will address inequities in our state’s tax structure and help give working families a leg up. The Working Families Tax Credit is a proven tool to increase family income, reduce child poverty and improve overall quality of life for low- and middle-income households.

Click here to access the entire schedule of Senate hearings.

February 18th, 2019|Uncategorized|

The Everblue State: Sen. Joe Nguyen on marijuana policy and opportunity

For this episode of The Everblue State, we spoke with another one of our new legislators: Sen. Joe Nguyen.

Nguyen represents the district he grew up in (the 34th District) and is passionate about providing opportunities for Washingtonians regardless of their income level. He’s also working this session to vacate some marijuana convictions.

February 14th, 2019|Podcast|

Washington state’s expansion of voting rights to be discussed in Congress

OLYMPIA — Washington’s Secretary of State Kim Wyman is set to testify Thursday morning on HR 1, a measure sponsored by Congressional Democrats to strengthen and expand voting rights across the country.

HR 1, called the “For the People Act,” replicates many measures that were part of the Access to Democracy package passed by the Washington State Legislature in 2018.

In November 2017, Democrats in Washington state took control of the Legislature after five years of Republican control in the state senate. When Democrats took the gavels heading into the 2018 legislative session, they prioritized expanding voting rights for all Washingtonians. In other states where legislative control flipped back to Democrats, similar efforts have reversed years of Republican bills to limit voter access.

Prior to their passage here in Washington state, each of the Access to Democracy bills passed the Democratic-controlled House only to die in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Bills in the 2018 Access to Democracy package included:

  • Washington Voting Rights Act (SB 6002)
  • Automatic Voter Registration (HB 2595)
  • Disclosure of campaign spending by nonprofit organizations  (SB 5991)
  • Same Day Voter Registration (SB 6021)
  • 16 and 17-year old Pre-Registration (HB 1513)

Senate Democrats have continued the push to expand voting access in 2019. Already, the Native American Voting Rights Act passed the Senate with bipartisan support. In addition, a bill restoring the right to vote for the roughly 18,000 individuals on probation or parole and a bill to permanently provide prepaid postage for all elections are expected to pass the Senate in the coming days.

February 13th, 2019|Uncategorized|

B.C. Premier to address Washington State Legislature

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate will welcome John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia, to the Washington State Capitol on Friday. Horgan will deliver an address in the form of a joint session of the State House and Senate.

“B.C. and Washington State have a lot in common, and we know we are stronger when we work together,” said Premier Horgan. “Gov. Inslee and I are committed to act jointly together to fight climate change, increase connectivity and transportation links, grow the innovation economy and tech sector, grow mutually beneficial trade, and work to make life more affordable for people.”

Gov. Jay Inslee spoke about the need for the region to work together towards sustainability during a visit to Victoria in 2017 – the first time a Washington governor had delivered remarks in front of B.C. lawmakers since 1984.

In October, the two leaders signed a memorandum of understanding to fight climate change, and improve digital connectivity and transportation links, among other common goals.

Washington exports more to B.C. than it does to all other provinces combined, and represents B.C.’s third largest international export market. As of 2018, British Columbia’s exports to Washington are nearly equal to the value of all the province’s exports to China.

February 8th, 2019|Uncategorized|