Monthly Archives: January 2014

14 01, 2014

State of the State: “I applaud the governor for laying out an ambitious agenda for 2014”

January 14th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Senate Democratic Caucus leader Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, issued the statement below following Gov. Jay Inslee’s State of the State speech:

“I am glad the governor took such a strong stance on issues important to our caucus – particularly his call to action on fully funding education, passing a transportation investment package and calling on the Senate to pass the Dream Act.

“The State of the State speech is a great opportunity to take stock of what needs to be done in Washington over the course of a year, and I applaud the governor for laying out an ambitious agenda for 2014. Though the Senate and House have only 60 days to get Washington’s work done for the year, it is enough time to address the important issues on the table. These issues include developing an education funding plan by the Supreme Court’s deadline of April 30th, and passing a balanced transportation package before the Legislature adjourns in March.

“Our caucus is diverse, but we all share the core value of putting people over party and power. I know that we have colleagues across the aisle who share that value. I call on them to work with us to bring the necessary votes to the floor of the Senate that will allow us to act on these critical issues and continue moving Washington forward.”

13 01, 2014

Sen. Nelson: “Put politics aside and vote on the Dream Act”

January 13th, 2014|Radio, Uncategorized|

A priority bill for Senate Democrats has sailed through the House of Representatives and now awaits action by the Senate.  Ian Cope reports.  (TRT: 51)  CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

13 01, 2014

Nelson on Dream Act: “This bill, and the kids it will support, deserve the chance for a vote.”

January 13th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, issued the following statement on the House of Representatives passing the Dream Act with an overwhelming 71-23 vote on the first day of the 2014 legislative session:

“I’m so happy the House got to work on the very first day of session, passing one of the most important pieces of unfinished business from last year.

“In this modern economy, higher education is so important to getting a great job, and the Dream Act will give a new generation of Washingtonians the opportunity to further their education and contribute to our economy. We have smart and hard-working kids growing up here who just want to be able to get jobs here, in the place they call home. By opening access to financial aid, the Dream Act gives them a chance to learn engineering, computer science, and other skills that our modern economy needs to grow.

“The Dream Act passed the House with wide bipartisan support and I know that if it were to receive a vote on the Senate floor, it would pass with similar support here. The only question will be if the Senate Republican leadership puts politics aside and allows the Senate an opportunity to vote on this important bill. This bill, and the kids it will support, deserves the chance for a vote.”

10 01, 2014

Transportation issues await Legislature in 2014

January 10th, 2014|Radio|

Washington lawmakers answered questions on Thursday about the many transportation issues facing the Legislature in 2014.  Ian Cope reports.


9 01, 2014

McCleary: “We hope that Republicans will join us in approaching the challenge with open minds and a collaborative approach”

January 9th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island and Senate Democratic Leader, offered the following statement on the Supreme Court’s statement responding to the Legislature’s Article IX Committee report back to the Court:

“We were not surprised by the Supreme Court’s statement today. As we said in the Democratic draft report of the Article IX Committee, while the 2013-15 budget made progress in some areas of basic education funding, the Legislature failed to make significant progress towards fully funding key priorities that we all know will help our children learn.

“The Court ordered the Legislature to outline our plan for implementing full funding of basic education by 2018. The Joint Task Force on Education Funding’s report offered recommendations for such a plan before the 2013 session. Democrats introduced legislation to outline such a plan last year but neither bill received a hearing. We extend our hand to work in coordination with Senate Republicans to pass legislation this year, as ordered by Court.

“This plan must include provisions for funding the state’s share of teacher compensation, which has gone underfunded for far too long. We want every child to have a great teacher, but to hire those great teachers we need to pay a competitive salary and we’re dumping a huge share of the burden onto our local districts. Having a teacher in the classroom is a basic part of a kid’s education, and as the Court says, the state needs to fully fund its share of the cost. As the court says, ‘nothing could be more basic than adequate pay’ for teachers.

“We hope that Republicans will join us in approaching the challenge with open minds and a collaborative approach and will work with us to find the money that the Court demands and that our kids deserve.”

9 01, 2014

Senate loses an “honorable statesman” in Shin

January 9th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Sen. Paull Shin’s sudden announcement that he will retire from the Senate immediately earlier this week sent tributes to the long-time public servant rolling in.

A tribute to Sen. Shin and a bit about his personal story which aired on King 5 can be viewed by clicking here. The Everett Herald published an editorial about Sen. Shin’s life and legacy which can be viewed here.

Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson issued the statement below about Sen. Shin and his decision to retire:

“Sen. Paull Shin is one of the most honorable legislators I have ever had the pleasure to serve with.

“He has been a valuable member of the Senate and an outstanding advocate for the people of the 21st District and of the Korean-American community throughout our state.

“Sen. Shin’s story is truly American. With the help of a heroic and empathetic G.I., he overcame a childhood of significant obstacles, arrived in America following the Korean War and served his adopted home with distinction as both a teacher and legislator for many years.

“This is a tremendous loss for the Senate. We all wish him only the best.”


9 01, 2014

2014 session is about unfinished business

January 9th, 2014|Radio|

Senate and House Democrats are preparing for a legislative session in which they will pursue bills to strengthen the state’s middle class. Ian Cope reports.

8 01, 2014

Sen. Shin announces immediate retirement

January 8th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds, today announced his retirement from the Washington State Senate, effective immediately, in the attached letter sent to the Governor, his legislative colleagues and his constituents.

“It is with the deepest regret that I resign from the Senate,” said Shin, who had served honorably in the Senate since his election in 1999. “I have loved this place and the work we do here on behalf of the people of Washington. Unfortunately, I have determined with the assistance of my family that recent health problems and a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease make it impossible for me to represent my constituents in the manner they deserve.”

Shin grew up as an orphan in South Korea during the Korean War and was adopted by an American soldier and brought to America. Shin received a GED and eventually a Ph.D. from the University of Washington and taught for 31 years in Washington’s higher education system. Sen. Shin was elected to the Washington State Senate in 1999. Prior to that, he served in the House of Representatives from 1993-1994. He is the Senate’s Vice President Pro Tempore, which presides over floor action in the absence of the Lieutenant Governor and President Pro Tempore.

During Shin’s legislative career, he has championed higher education, support for the developmentally disabled and other vulnerable members of our communities, and expanding trade with foreign countries.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your help and support over the years,” said Shin. “It has been a tremendous privilege to be a member of the State Senate and work with such wonderful colleagues. I am grateful for the camaraderie, the work we accomplished, and the valuable lessons learned. I would also like to thank my wife and children for their love, support, and shared belief in the importance of service. Most of all, I would like to express my thanks to the citizens of the 21st Legislative District, who placed their trust in my stewardship for all of these years; it has been my honor and privilege to serve them for the past 17 years. I look forward to assisting the Senate in making this transition as smooth as possible.”

4 01, 2014

“Every machinist made an extremely difficult decision and an enormous sacrifice for the greater good of Washington.”

January 4th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, released the statement below, following the machinist’s vote last night that will ensure the 777X and its carbon fiber wings will be built in Washington State:

“On Friday night, some 32,000 machinist’s made a very difficult decision about not only their own economic future, but the economic future of their families, their communities and their state.

“The men and women of the International Association of Machinists District 751 ensured that Washington’s long tradition of aerospace innovation will continue and that thousands of direct and indirect family-wage jobs will remain and be created in our state for years to come.

“This is a positive outcome for our state, but the truth is that this was a very close vote and every machinist – whether they voted yes or no – made an extremely difficult decision and an enormous sacrifice for the greater good of Washington.

“We owe them a debt of gratitude for putting the best interests of our state ahead of their own. That’s a lesson from which we can all learn.”

3 01, 2014

Sen. Adam Kline will not run in 2014

January 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|

State Senator Adam Kline announced in his constituent newsletter today his decision not to run for re-election in November 2014, after completing his 18th session representing the 37th District in Southeast Seattle.

“I’ll miss the action here, the engagement on issues important to the extraordinary people of Southeast Seattle,” he said. But approaching his 70th birthday, he said, it’s time to quit and spend time with his family and to travel.

Kline, formerly a lawyer working in Pioneer Square, and as a cooperating lawyer with the ACLU, is best known for his work in the field of civil liberties, notably in the aftermath of September 11, when he successfully opposed a bill that would have broadened the wiretap authority of police and criminalized activity that some felt included lawful political advocacy. Later that same year, the ACLU awarded Kline its Civil Libertarian Award for “courage and determination in withstanding intense pressure in order to uphold freedom in the wake of September 11”

More recently, he has worked to bring drug and alcohol treatment into state criminal sentences, and to shorten prison time for nonviolent offenders. During the past two sessions he has cooperated with prosecutors and defense lawyers to strengthen our DUI laws, a subject that first brought him to Olympia as a local leader of MADD in the 1990’s.

“I’m going to miss this work,” he said. “It has to do with human liberty, with the limits we place on the government’s ability to take it away. There are times when I’ve been really jazzed to find consensus among disparate interests, finding the sweet spot where changes in the law make a real difference in the lives of people caught up in the criminal justice system.”