26 06, 2015

Pedersen: Supreme Court ruling affirms the promise of equality for all

June 26th, 2015|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA – Today the United States Supreme Court issued its much-awaited ruling on marriage equality across the country.

In a landmark decision that will finally secure marriage rights for all couples, the Court ruled state bans on same-sex marriages across the country unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment, effectively granting couples in all 50 states the right to marry.

Washington voters approved marriage equality in 2012.

In response, Sen. Jamie Pedersen issued following statement:

“Because of today’s decision, the relationships of couples and families all across our country will now be legally protected and respected. I am proud of the role that Washington’s legislature and voters played in the rapid and dramatic progress that our country has made toward the promise of equality for all. I’m grateful for the bipartisan support that allowed our Legislature to become the first in the country to repeal a state instituted Defense of Marriage Act.”

Sen. Marko Liias also issued a statement:

“Today, the age-old promise of liberty and justice for all became more real for millions of Americans — including me. This is a historic day for gay and lesbian families. The Supreme Court has affirmed once and for all that our love is just as sacred and deserves equal treatment under the law.”

In recognition of today’s decision, the Tacoma and Seattle communities are hosting events and discussions on marriage equality.


Rainbow Center and Oasis at 5:00 p.m.

March to Union Station Federal Court House

2215 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402


United States District Court at 5:00 p.m.

700 Stewart St, Seattle, WA 98101

23 06, 2015

WHY DEMOCRATS OPPOSE A SHUTDOWN – Negative impacts on kids, schools

June 23rd, 2015|Uncategorized|

While some services are protected by constitutional or federal mandates, a government shutdown would still hurt people in communities across our state in more ways than you can imagine. Washington children would lose early learning and child care services they count on to help them come to school ready to learn, and school districts may struggle to pay their bills and prepare for the coming school year.

The impact on school districts will vary widely from district to district. Districts without large fund balances may struggle to pay the bills if the state’s July apportionment is delayed. The lack of a state budget will make it more difficult for all districts to determine their own budgets for the coming year.
This will make it harder for school districts to hire new teachers, order new technology, make decisions on new curriculum, finalize staff development programs, secure special education programs, or negotiate with unions. Schools currently under construction will not receive state reimbursements, potentially delaying or suspending construction.

The Dept. of Early Learning will suspend most services, including the Working Connections Child Care Program, which will significantly impact the nearly 30,000 families who rely on WCCC to help pay for child care so that parents can work, search for a job, or complete job readiness activities.
This will affect the child care providers who serve these families. Statewide, there will be only two employees to respond to complaints and emergencies in licensed child care facilities.  A third employee will be on-call. The licensing and inspection of child care facilities will be suspended.

Democrats are committed to avoiding a state government shutdown by passing a responsible compromise budget before July 1, but we can’t do it alone. We call on Republicans to join us in the middle to protect Washington children and families from an unnecessary and harmful shutdown.

— Sen. Andy Billig