Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson released the statement below following the decision of Senate Republicans to finally pass the DREAM Act out of the Senate:
“I’m pleased that after a year and a half of hard work by students, stakeholders and people from all across our state, Senate Democrats will finally have the opportunity to vote for the DREAM Act. People from all across our state have worked hard and waited a long time for this moment.
“This is wonderful news for the hard-working students who will finally have the same access to financial aid that their peers have always had. Each child should have the opportunity to fulfill his or her dreams. Opening the door to college for all our kids is the right thing to do.
“This is a huge victory for our children and our state.”
WHAT: Senate Bill 6458
SPONSORED BY: Senators Becker, Angel, Dammeier, Brown, Tom, Schoesler, Bailey, Braun, Hill, Baumgartner, Litzow, Parlette, and Honeyford
WHAT IT WOULD DO:
- Eliminate the state’s elected insurance commissioner and replace that official with a board of appointees, two from each of the four legislative caucuses plus two non-voting gubernatorial appointees.
FACTS ABOUT WASHINGTON’S INSURANCE COMMISSIONER AND THE PROPOSED BOARD
- Washington has had an elected insurance commissioner since 1907. Commissioner Mike Kreidler was re-elected to his fourth term in office in 2012 with 58.3% of the vote.
- The commissioner oversees Washington’s entire insurance industry (home, auto, health, life, disability, title, annuities, business, credit, crop, warranties & service contracts, unusual risk situations, pets, travel, boat/marine, and Medicare) and advocates for consumers, directly helping more than 100,000 consumers each year.
- The commissioner regulates insurance plans sold in Washington state and approves plans for sale on the Health Benefit Exchange.
- According to the Association of Insurance Commissioners, every state has an individual responsible for insurance regulation – 11 states have elected commissioners and 39 have a single gubernatorial appointee.
QUOTE FROM SEN. KAREN KEISER:
“Washington has been a national leader in implementing the Affordable Care Act, in no small part due to the terrific work of Commissioner Kreidler. He has made sure that insurance plans protect consumers and that people get the coverage they pay for. His work with the Legislature has expanded health insurance to hundreds of thousands of previously uninsured Washingtonians, keeping people healthier and protecting them from medical bankruptcy.
“Commissioner Kreidler’s efforts to boost outreach and ensure transparency throughout the process for delivery health care have consistently safeguarded the health care needs of residents across our state. It makes no sense to politicize a public office that is serving the needs of Washingtonians so effectively.”
Health care costs would become more transparent under a bill sponsored by Sen. Mark Mullet of Issaquah. Nicole Vukonich reports. (TRT:54) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, and House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, released the statement below following the announcement of Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan to invest $200 million in K-12 education:
“We are glad Governor Inslee put forward a plan that gets us closer to fully-funding K-12 education in our state.
“We agree with the governor that something must be done this year – and every year – until we finally fulfill our obligation to Washington’s kids. A short session is no excuse for not doing our constitutional duty.
“This discussion shouldn’t be about the Supreme Court; it’s about our children, and making sure they get the best education we can provide them.
“We look forward to discussing the specifics of Gov. Inslee’s plan with our own caucuses. While there may be some disagreements over details, there is no debate about the ultimate goal.”
A bill in the Washington State Senate would give the state’s oil transportation safety regulations a much needed update. Ian Cope reports. (TRT: 1:04) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
WHAT: Senate Bill 6392
SPONSORED BY: Sen. Michael Baumgartner
WHAT IT WOULD DO:
- Requires adults ages 18-65 who receive unemployment benefits to perform at least eight hours of community service for every four weeks of benefits they receive.
FACTS ABOUT WASHINGTON’S UNEMPLOYED:
- In order to receive benefits, the 101,261 Washingtonians who received benefits as of Nov. 2013 must already make contact with at least three potential employers per week.
- According to the state’s Employment Security Department, 5-6,000 job seekers per month receive a Job Search Review to ensure they are actively looking for work.
- If it is shown job seekers are not meeting their job search requirements during a review, they could lose benefits.
- There will be substantial administrative costs associated with the development of this new program.
QUOTE FROM SEN. JEANNIE DARNEILLE:
“Our friends and neighbors seeking jobs are already struggling to pay the bills and feed their kids in addition to looking for work. Community service is an honorable pursuit, but forcing someone into it simply to maintain their family’s lifeline is downright cold.
“This also suggests that our friends and neighbors seeking work aren’t already working in their communities. That is an absolutely offensive notion.”
Members of the Washington State Senate paused on Friday to honor the life and work of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Ian Cope reports. (TRT: 1:06) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD.
Retiring with some financial security may be easier for the employees of small businesses. Ian Cope reports. (TRT: 45) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
As the need for low-income housing continues to rise, a Senate bill is would turn abandoned and unused buildings into safe and secure homes. Ian Cope reports. (TRT: 1:02) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD