9 05, 2020

Sen. Billig and Speaker Jinkins issue statement on Senate Republican refusal to extend emergency domestic violence protections

May 9th, 2020|Uncategorized|

*Please see additional documents at the bottom of this statement

Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) and Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) issued the statement below following the refusal today of Senate Republican leadership to sign off on the Governor’s request to extend emergency protections for survivors of domestic violence:

“We find it incomprehensible that the Senate Republican leadership would refuse to approve extending a common-sense proclamation protecting victims of domestic violence, stalking, harassment, and sexual violence.

“We understand there are genuine disagreements about some aspects of the state’s attempts to protect Washingtonians from the health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the refusal to permit the extension of Proclamation 20-45 – which simply allows for the service of protection orders in a way that lessens the risk of anyone involved in the process either contracting or passing on the COVID-19 virus – defies understanding.

“We urge Senate Republican leadership blocking this extension to reconsider their decision. This proclamation doesn’t prevent anyone from working, from freely assembling, or from engaging in recreational activities. It is not a stay-home order. It closes no businesses.

“It simply makes a temporary, common-sense change to the service of protective orders, and the only effect of blocking its extension will be to endanger women, children, and other victims or potential victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and harassment.”

Related documents:

Letter from Legislative leaders on extension of proclamations

Joint letter of support from Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs

Letter of support from David Martin, Chair of Domestic Violence Unit, King County Prosecutor’s Office

Governor’s proclamation 20-45

6 05, 2020

Senate announces formation of bipartisan COVID-19 long-term recovery committee

May 6th, 2020|News Release|

OLYMPIA – Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) on Wednesday announced the formation of a bipartisan Special Committee on Economic Recovery in the Washington State Senate to address the state’s long-term economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The committee will hold its first meeting in June and is tasked with making recommendations on COVID-19 recovery legislation in advance of the 2021 legislative session, or before that if lawmakers are called back into session this year.

“It’s hard to imagine a single aspect of day-to-day life in Washington that will not be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and we must respond swiftly to its devastating impacts on workers, businesses and households with solutions that will foster a robust and sustained recovery,” Billig said. “This bipartisan committee will lay the groundwork and help lead our state in addressing the economic impacts of the virus through effective and innovative solutions to this unprecedented challenge.”

Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) will serve as the committee’s chair. Republican Senator Randi Becker (R-Eatonville) will serve as vice chair. In total, the seven-member committee will be comprised of four Democrats and three Republicans. Democratic senators will include Sens. Manka Dhingra, Christine Rolfes and Rebecca Saldaña. In addition to Becker, Sen. Tim Sheldon and a yet-to-be-determined Republican will represent the Senate GOP.

“The purpose of this select committee is to look deeply at the ways in which the pandemic has structurally changed our state and regional economies, and to make recommendations on how we can come out stronger on the other side for workers and the businesses that employ them,” Frockt said. “The goal is to have this committee work together, without partisanship, in order to drive innovative, forward-looking ideas that can help the people in every corner of this state recover and prosper.”

The committee will hold work sessions in the coming months to hear from experts in a variety of fields, look at what other states are doing to recover from the outbreak and identify innovative ways to rejuvenate Washington’s economy and communities throughout the state.

The Senate’s Facilities and Operations Committee voted today to officially form the committee.