16 04, 2020

Senator John McCoy announces retirement from Washington State Senate

April 16th, 2020|Uncategorized|


McCoy announces retirement from Washington State Senate

OLYMPIA — After 17 years of service in the Washington State Legislature, Sen. John McCoy (D-Tulalip) announced his retirement on Thursday after submitting a resignation letter to Gov. Jay Inslee. His retirement is effective Friday, April 17.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the people of the 38th Legislative District and our entire state,” McCoy said. “When I first came to the Legislature in 2003 as a member of the House of Representatives, I was humbled to represent such warm and vibrant people in Everett, Marysville and Tulalip. Through changes in committees, leadership roles, and even chambers over the course of my legislative career, it was always an immense privilege to represent my neighbors. I am deeply grateful for that privilege.”

“To my community members: thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to fight for you. Thank you for the chance to work with you and to bring your ideas to life at the Legislature. And thank you for trusting me with such an important job – elevating your voices and building a state where every one of us can thrive.”

McCoy leaves behind a legacy of steady leadership and commitment to serving his community. He brought a career in military service and years as a computer technician and business leader to his work at the Legislature, culminating in a lawmaker who effectively advanced economic development and equality of opportunity for his district. His work is characterized by tireless advocacy for Native American and rural communities, expanded access to high-quality education, and environmental sustainability.

Before McCoy became one of the longest serving Native American legislators in the state’s history, he led efforts to bring better telecommunication infrastructure to the Tulalip Tribe, of which he is a registered member. He also helped bring to fruition the Quil Ceda Village shopping, casino and hotel complex, a triumph of community that ultimately earned him the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Executive of the Year award.

During his subsequent five terms in the Washington State House of Representatives, McCoy fought for students, for the environment, for a healthy economy and for tribal communities. He sponsored policy that expanded support for students struggling with behavioral and emotional health needs, protected water rights and access, deterred wage discrimination and protected immigrant workers, and integrated comprehensive tribal history and culture education into teacher preparation programs.

After he was elected to the Washington State Senate, he led victories like the passage of the Native American Voting Rights Act to expand voting rights access in tribal communities, and passage of a groundbreaking dental therapy bill to expand dental care on reservations. He also established Native American Heritage Day, honoring tribal history the day after Thanksgiving, and got the Kelsey Smith Act signed into law, requiring wireless-telecommunications providers to provide call-location information for cell phones in emergency situations.

In a letter to his Senate colleagues on Thursday, McCoy wrote: “It has been the greatest honor to serve the people of Washington alongside you. It has been a gift to advocate for marginalized and disenfranchised Washingtonians, to lift up the voices of our sovereign tribal communities, to expand access to – and quality of – education and health care, and to do so with a team of dedicated public servants.”

McCoy was elected by his colleagues to serve as chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus in 2016, and most recently served on the Natural Resources Committee, the Agriculture, Water, Trade and Economic Development Committee, and the Rules Committee. McCoy’s retirement will allow him to spend more time with his wife, three daughters, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

His four-year Senate term that began in January 2019 will be filled by a temporary appointee, who will serve through this November’s election. The appointee will be chosen by the Snohomish County Council from a list of three names submitted by the district’s Precinct Committee Officers. Candidates wishing to serve the last two years of the Senate term may file during the week of May 11-15.


For information:

Hannah Sabio Howell, Senate Democratic Communications, 360-786-7326

For interviews:

Sen. John McCoy, 360-786-7674

16 04, 2020

Statement from Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) on the retirement of Sen. John McCoy (D-Tulalip) 

April 16th, 2020|News Release|

“I was saddened to learn of my friend John McCoy’s retirement from the Senate, but his legacy of service to his community, our state and the nation will be felt for generations.

“He served this country with distinction for 20 years as a member of the Air Force. For almost as long, he has represented the people of 38th District in the Legislature, advocating for a healthier environment, more inclusive education, a voice for Native American people and countless other policies to make life better for every Washingtonian.

“Since 2016, he has helped guide the Senate Democratic Caucus as our Caucus Chair, always offering a steady path forward as we regained the majority and took on historic challenges.

“As the only Native American member of the Senate, Sen. McCoy’s perspective and understanding of tribal sovereignty and governments has been instrumental in advancing the policies to support our state’s indigenous communities. His determination to integrate historically accurate tribal history, in a way that celebrates the beauty and the richness of every tribe into school curricula, will continue to give generations of Washington students a more complete education.

“He has led efforts to improve access to dental care in Native communities by sponsoring a landmark dental therapy bill. He worked to tear down barriers to voting, increase broadband access to rural areas and is a relentless champion for clean water.

“For me personally, John McCoy is a mentor. He was the chair of the first committee I ever served on in the legislature and was a teacher and role model for me then and he continues in that role today. I think the world of John McCoy..

“To his wife Jeannie, his daughters, grand-children and great grandchildren – thank you. Thank you for sharing this great man with our state and our country for so many years.

“I wish my friend John McCoy and his family nothing but the best in his well-earned retirement.”

3 04, 2020

Dem budget leaders support reductions to address economic impacts of COVID-19

April 3rd, 2020|Uncategorized|

Rep. Timm Ormsby (D-Spokane) and Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-Kitsap County) issued the statement below in support of Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision to veto parts of the 2020 supplemental operating budget to better reflect the state’s current economic situation:

“We support Gov. Inslee’s decision to veto sections of the 2020 supplemental operating budget along with a number of policy bills that also drove additional costs. While these reductions may be difficult, they are necessary to help address the sudden and dramatic change to our state’s fiscal situation and to maintain focus on the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The health and safety of all Washingtonians is paramount, and these reductions will help our state remain nimble as we face declining revenues. Our shared goal is to align our state for an economic recovery and we have a strong foundation on which to rebuild.

“We will continue to take a collaborative, bipartisan approach in addressing the health and economic impacts of this pandemic, as we did at the end of the session with a $200 million emergency funding package.

“It will be hard, but Washington will get through this. We will do everything in our power to emerge quickly from this crisis, help people get back to work and reignite our economy.”