30 11, 2020

Senate Democrats set committees, leadership for 2021

November 30th, 2020|News Release|

OLYMPIA – The Senate Democratic Caucus on Monday voted to confirm committee membership and leadership positions ahead of the 2021 Legislative session.

“I am proud of the work Senate Democrats have done in putting people first in recent years,” said Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane). “The pandemic has challenged our state like never before and this upcoming session will be unlike any other. I am confident that we have the team to meet these challenges head on and do our part in helping all Washingtonians battle back stronger than before.”

Key changes to committees include the following:

  • Sen. June Robinson (D-Everett) joins Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) as a Vice Chair of Ways & Means.
  • Sen. Lisa Wellman (D-Mercer Island) joins Ways & Means.
  • Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn) joins Rules.
  • Issues concerning local government will now be under the jurisdiction of the newly combined Housing & Local Government Committee.

Key changes to leadership include:

  • Sen. Emily Randall (D-Bremerton) becomes Majority Whip.
  • Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent) becomes Majority Caucus Vice Chair.
  • Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center) becomes Asst. Majority Caucus Floor Leader
  • Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens) joins Sen. Steve Conway as Vice President Pro Tempore.
  • Sen. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell) will fill the new position of Leadership Liaison to Tribal Communities.
  • Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) will fill the new position of Leadership Liaison to the Business Community.

For a complete list of committees and committee assignments, click here. The 105-day 2021 Legislative Session is scheduled to begin on Jan. 11. During that first day, the full Senate will vote on confirmation of committee structure and membership.

The 2021 session will largely be conducted virtually with committee hearings held on the Zoom platform. Members of the public interested in participating should check www.leg.wa.gov for the latest information. Legislative hearings are streamed live on TVW.org and also recorded and available to view in TVW’s archive.

 

20 11, 2020

Statement from Sen. Christine Rolfes on COVID-19 economic aid for businesses and individuals

November 20th, 2020|News Release|

OLYMPIA – State Senator Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island), chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, released this statement following today’s announcement from Gov. Jay Inslee on economic relief for individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19.

“This economic aid package was developed in consultation with budget writers and prioritizes much-needed relief for small business owners and the thousands of workers who find themselves without a job through no fault of their own. Senate Democrats remain committed to helping our state’s small businesses, including through regulatory relief and assistance for displaced workers. We are counting on communities across the state to commit to wearing masks and social distancing so we can get our local economies back on track.”

 

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For interviews:         Sen. Christine Rolfes, 360-786-7644

18 11, 2020

Statement from Sen. Christine Rolfes on November revenue forecast

November 18th, 2020|News Release|

OLYMPIA – State Senator Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island), chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, released this statement following today’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council meeting:

“This updated forecast will put the Legislature in a better position to meet the needs of struggling families and small businesses when we convene in January. Our state still has a lot of challenges ahead, which I’m confident we will continue to meet, and we continue to look to our federal government to help get us through these trying times.”

9 11, 2020

Sen. Billig reelected Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Hasegawa elected Caucus Chair

November 9th, 2020|Leadership, News Release|

Sen. Andy Billig (D-Spokane) was reelected Senate Majority Leader on Monday by the members of the Senate Democratic Caucus. Sen. Bob Hasegawa was elected Caucus Chair, filling the position left vacant with the retirement of former Sen. John McCoy in April.

“It is an incredible honor to receive the trust of my colleagues,” Billig said. “I have the good fortune of working alongside dedicated, compassionate and thoughtful public servants in the Senate, and I cannot imagine a better team to help our state move forward. Washington families and small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges, but Washingtonians have never shied away from a challenge. There’s nothing we cannot overcome if we work together.”

“I am so honored to be chosen by my colleagues as the newest Majority Caucus Chair in the Washington State Senate,” said Hasegawa. “We may be facing a year full of challenges, but our goal of putting the people of Washington first will remain the top priority. From providing families with the resources necessary to recover from the pandemic, to increasing access to high-speed broadband for all Washingtonians, to addressing the budget shortfall we face through an equity lens, bold intentions from state lawmakers will pave the way towards a better Washington that we can all thrive in. I’m eager to get to work and build that future.”

Billig, who represents Spokane’s 3rd Legislative District, was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010, the Senate in 2016 and was first elected Majority Leader in 2018. Under Billig’s leadership, the Senate has prioritized education funding, election reform, health care, the environment, job creation and other issues that have helped make Washington’s economy one of the best in the nation.

Hasegawa is a lifelong resident of the 11th Legislative District, which he now represents in the State Senate after 8 years in the House of Representatives. As a longtime labor and social justice advocate, he uses his voice to address the struggles of working families, small businesses, and disenfranchised communities. He is Vice Chair of the Senate Financial Institutions, Economic Development & Trade Committee, and serves on the Ways & Means, Rules, and State Government & Tribal Relations Committees.

The Majority Caucus Chair is primarily responsible for serving as chair for all caucus meetings. The chair is also a member of the caucus leadership team, which plays a large role in determining which legislative priorities to advance during the legislative session.