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23 02, 2017

Joint statement from the members of the LGBT caucus on Washington state’s commitment to a discrimination-free environment for all students

February 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|

The members of the Washington State Legislature’s LGBT caucus jointly released the following statement on Washington’s commitment to ensuring all students have the right to a discrimination-free environment:

“Washington’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal, was both clear and firm in his statement this morning about the protections transgender students have under state law. In light of yesterday’s action by the Trump Administration, it is reassuring to know our state not only has strong anti-discrimination laws on the books, but that our state’s chief school administrator is firmly committed to upholding those laws and ensuring every student feels safe and welcome in our public schools. We join Supt. Reykdal in this commitment, and stand arm in arm with our transgender sisters and brothers, as well as with all who are working to end discrimination wherever it exists.”

Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle
Sen. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood
Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma
Rep. Christine Kilduff, D-University Place
Rep. Joan McBride, D-Kirkland
Rep. Beth Doglio, D-Olympia
Rep. Nicole Macri, D-Seattle

23 01, 2017

Democrats urge Senate Republicans to act quickly on levy cliff

January 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|


OLYMPIA – The Senate Democratic Caucus on Monday delivered a letter to Majority Leader Mark Schoesler calling on Senate Republicans to pass legislation that would allow local school districts to continue to collect money that has been approved by district voters.

The letter, signed by all 24 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, urges Republicans to pass House Bill 1059 or its companion measure, Senate Bill 5023. The House of Representatives passed HB 1059 Monday on a bipartisan vote of 62-35.

If the legislation fails to pass the full Legislature, school districts across the state would lose $358 million – the largest cut to basic education in our state’s history—and be forced to map out worst-case scenario budgets that would cut programs, lay off staff and increase class sizes.

 

20 01, 2017

Statement from the Washington State Senate Members of Color Caucus

January 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|

 

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate Members of Color Caucus, Sens. Bob Hasegawa, D-Beacon Hill, Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle, John McCoy, D-Tulalip, Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, released the following statement:

“Today we have never been more proud to represent Washingtonians and the inclusive values we collectively hold.

“As a new administration takes over in the nation’s Capital, we stand ready to safeguard our state’s commitment to equal rights and human dignity. From the Yakima Valley to downtown Seattle, Vancouver to Spokane, we know many of our friends and neighbors are worried about attempts to foment hate and steer the path of our country away from justice.

“From the creation of reservations at our state’s founding, to Japanese internment camps during WWII, to mass detention and deportation of Latinos in the past two decades, it is not only the threats of a new president that make Washingtonians fearful, it is the experiences we carry with us.

“Our state has made great progress, but the job is never finished. Change comes from vigilance, from engagement and from organizing at the local level on up.

“The Washington State Senate Members of Color Caucus will continue to stand up for the immigrants who enrich the cultural and economic landscape of our state.

“We will continue to stand up for voters in every community until we all have the ability to be fully represented in fair elections.

“We will continue to confront racial bias in the criminal justice system and in other institutions built on the promise of equality.

“We will continue to fight for environmental protections, affordable health care, and tribal sovereignty.

“We will stand up for the rights of all citizens in the state, regardless of the color of their skin, their country of origin, how they worship or who they love.”

 

4 01, 2017

Democrats release school funding recommendations

January 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA – Democratic education leaders on Wednesday released final recommendations on a K-12 school funding package to ensure competitive wages for teachers and to resolve the McCleary case before the state Supreme Court.

Senate and House Democrats unveiled their plan during one of the final the Education Funding Task Force meetings. The panel was set up seven months ago and was directed by law (SB 6195) to develop bipartisan recommendations by the start of the 2017 legislative session.

While a bipartisan agreement on recommendations could not be reached, Democratic education leaders released a detailed plan that provides an opportunity to build new schools across the state, place high-quality educators in every classroom and give 1.1 million Washington school kids opportunities to learn and achieve their dreams.

House and Senate Republicans declined to propose a plan and instead submitted a “guiding principles” document.

Click below to read more about the plan released by House and Senate Democrats on the Education Funding Task Force:

 

21 12, 2016

Senate Democrats announce committee assignments

December 21st, 2016|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA – Senate Democrats on Wednesday announced their committee assignments for the upcoming 2017 legislative session.

“With six new members, Senate Democrats are energized heading into 2017 and we are ready to deliver on our values of fairness and opportunity for all in Washington,” said Sen. Sharon Nelson, the caucus leader. “We have a historic opportunity to fully fund quality education for our state’s 1 million kids and focus on improving the lives of working families and small business owners across the state.”

Nelson was especially proud of the diverse voices on her leadership team.

“We are a diverse state and we put together a team that reflects that,” Nelson said. “Voices from the LGBTQ community, communities of color and men and women from different areas of this state are all represented. I think our team is an accurate representation of the state in which we live.”

The 2017 legislative session officially starts on Jan. 9.

(Click here for a printable copy of the 2017 SDC committee assignments)

21 11, 2016

Senate Democrats elect new leaders ahead of 2017 legislative session

November 21st, 2016|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate Democratic caucus held leadership elections on Tuesday, electing Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip as caucus chair, and Sen. Marko Liias, D-Lynwood, as floor leader. Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, was re-elected leader and released this statement following the vote:

“With less than two months to go before the next legislative session, and a nearly evenly divided Legislature, our caucus elected two great new leaders. Sen. McCoy brings a steady demeanor and breadth of experience to the role of caucus chair, replacing retiring Sen. Karen Fraser who has served in that role for several years.

“Sen. Liias has served as the assistant floor leader and has proven to be a capable operative and dynamic speaker. He will continue to be an asset in his new role as floor leader. I am honored to continue to serve as the leader of such a strong group of Democratic senators, and look forward to continuing to fight for families across this state.”

17 11, 2016

Nelson: Senate Democrats resolute against fear and division

November 17th, 2016|Uncategorized|

State Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, released the following statement in response to recent actions by members of the Senate Republican Caucus following the presidential election:

“In the last week, we have seen behavior from Senate Republicans that a vast majority of Washington residents would find disturbing. Since the presidential election, members of the Senate Republican Caucus have used words and actions to create division and instill fear among members of our communities.

“We have already seen an unconstitutional proposal that would undermine our right to free speech and heard divisive and false language about immigrants in a Senate committee. At the same time, we are seeing a dramatic and alarming rise in hate crimes and increased fear in our communities of color.

“Senate Republicans may be successful in generating headlines, but they will not be successful in their attempt to bring ugly, Trump-style campaign rhetoric inside the Capitol in Olympia.

“It’s imperative that Senate Republican leaders immediately and forcefully rebuke these actions and statements.

“Washington is known for embracing diversity and rejecting the politics of bigotry and resentment. Senate Democrats will stand by our shared values of fairness and opportunity and lead the fight to resist division and fear.”

1 11, 2016

Nelson: Hill’s passing a tremendously sad day for our state

November 1st, 2016|Uncategorized|

Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson issued the statement below following the news of the passing of Sen. Andy Hill:

“Today’s news leaves us all with heavy hearts. We are devastated to learn of Senator Hill’s passing. He was a tireless advocate for his community and despite our political differences, I always respected his willingness to work across party lines.

“Throughout his career he stayed focused on serving his district and state and did so with pride and distinction.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. This is a tremendously sad day for our state.”

26 02, 2016

Nelson: Washington’s school kids shortchanged in Senate Republican budget

February 26th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson on Friday released the statement below following the party-line passage of the Senate Republican budget:
“All year we have seen Senate Republicans focused on politics. Maybe that’s why their budget reads like an afterthought.

“Senate Republicans fall far short in addressing homelessness and they cut mental health in this state by $14 million.

“Most disappointing, however, is the harm they do to Washington’s one million school kids.

“The Senate Republican budget cuts $53 million from K-3 class size reduction. It ignores the opportunity gap. It does nothing to retain and attract quality teachers and falls far short of addressing the teacher shortage in a meaningful way.

“It also fails to prevent what would be the largest cut to K-12 education in the state’s history and ignores the McCleary fine – which continues to grow and has now surpassed $20 million.

“A budget represents values. It’s supposed to address the needs of our state and its people.

“At best the Senate Republican budget does nothing. At worst, it does serious damage to the people who can least afford it.”

25 01, 2016

VIDEO: Sen. Nelson outlines priorities for 2016 legislative session

January 25th, 2016|Uncategorized|