28 02, 2019

Democratic lawmakers to host district town halls

February 28th, 2019|Uncategorized|

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. 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 11 am 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.
21 02, 2019

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

February 21st, 2019|Podcast|

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.

18 02, 2019

Week 6: Legislature faces first cutoff

February 18th, 2019|Uncategorized|

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

HEALTH & LONG TERM CARE COMMITTEE
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.

EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION COMMITTEE
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.

HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, Feb. 19 @ 8 a.m.

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

MEDIA AVAILABILITY
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. 

HEALTH CARE COMMITTEE
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.

WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE
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.

14 02, 2019

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

February 14th, 2019|Podcast|

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.

13 02, 2019

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

February 13th, 2019|Uncategorized|

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.

8 02, 2019

B.C. Premier to address Washington State Legislature

February 8th, 2019|Uncategorized|

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.

7 02, 2019

The Everblue State: Sen. Emily Randall on being a new senator

February 7th, 2019|Podcast|

In this week’s episode, we spoke with 26th District Senator Emily Randall about what it’s like to be one of the Senate’s newest members.

Her seat was previously held by a Republican, and she is working to make sure her constituents are fairly represented. She’s also one of the Legislature’s several new women of color, and is a LGBTQ leader.

She told us what it’s like to serve in a Legislature that is slowly becoming more diverse.

7 02, 2019

Changes to deadly force law signed

February 7th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill on Jan. 4 to apply consensus revisions to Initiative 940 — a voter-passed measure that changed Washington’s laws regarding police use of deadly force.

The Spokesman Review wrote the following:

With a crowd of supporters so large that the ceremonial bill signing had to be moved to the state reception room, Gov. Jay Inslee put his name on changes to Initiative 940, which voters approved last November by nearly 60 percent.

Read the full story here.

4 02, 2019

Week 4: Early learning, orca habitat and expanding voting access

February 4th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Senate takes on critical issues as session moves into fourth week

OLYMPIA — The fourth week of the 105-day legislative session will begin with Gov. Jay Inslee signing House Bill 1064, the bipartisan compromise fix for Initiative 940. Senate committees will continue to hold hearings on orca habitat, early education, voting access, and more. 

Last week, the Senate held its first significant floor votes of the session, including the formal adoption of new rules that will protect people who work at the Capitol from inappropriate behavior. A measure that will move Washington’s presidential primary to the second Tuesday of March passed by 29-18 vote, giving voters here greater influence on our presidential election process. That bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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What to watch this week

BILL SIGNING, HOUSE BILL 1064
Monday, Feb. 4 @ 3:30 p.m.

Gov. Inslee will sign this modification to Initiative 940, which addresses police officer training and deadly force standards. 

EARLY LEARNING & K-12 COMMITTEE
Monday, Feb. 4 @ 1:30 p.m.

The Senate will consider SB 5437 which will expand access to early childhood education programs for vulnerable populations

MEDIA AVAILABILITY
Tuesday, Feb. 4 @ 11 a.m.

Democratic leaders from the Senate and House will meet with the media to provide an update on the legislative session.

LAW & JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Tuesday, Feb. 5 @ 10 a.m.

In October, the State Supreme Court struck down the state’s death penalty law, ruling it “arbitrary and racially biased.” Lawmakers will now consider SB 5339 to officially clear the law from the books.

AG & NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
Tuesday, Feb. 5 @ 1:30 p.m.

SB 5404 and SB 5580 would implement a more complete strategy for improving forage fish populations in our state’s waters (crucial for orca and salmon recovery), including habitat restoration efforts.

WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE
Tuesday, Feb. 5 @ 3:30 p.m.

The Senate’s fiscal committee will hold a hearing on legislation to make prepaid postage for ballots in Washington permanent (SB 5063).

K-12 EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, Feb. 6 @ 1:30 p.m.

SJR 8201 would amend the state constitution to allow a simple majority, rather than a 60 percent requirement, to authorize school district bonds.

LABOR & COMMERCE COMMITTEE
Thursday, Feb. 7 @ 8 a.m.

Lawmakers will hear testimony on SB 5438, a bill to clarify the state’s role in the H-2A temporary visa program that allows migrant workers to enter the United States in order to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural work.

STATE GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
Friday, Feb. 8 @ 1:30 p.m.

Former Gov. Gary Locke returns for a discussion about the 2020 census. The committee will also hold a public hearing on three bills (SB 5139, SB 5140, SB 5250) that concern daylight savings time. 

JOINT LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Friday, Feb. 8 @12:15 p.m.

British Columbia Premier John Horgan will address a joint session of the House and Senate.

Click here to access the entire schedule of Senate hearings.

1 02, 2019

The Everblue State: Catching up with Sen. Andy Billig

February 1st, 2019|Podcast|

This week, we spoke with Sen. Andy Billig, the new Senate Majority Leader.

He told us why he first ran for office, what it’s like to lead the Senate Democratic Caucus (and how it compares to running a baseball team) and what we can expect from the Senate this year.