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11 02, 2018

Senate passes Hasegawa bill to avoid institutional racism

February 11th, 2018|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA — Future legislative proposals will be assessed for disproportionate or unintended impacts on racial and ethnic populations, under legislation passed today by the Senate.

“Passing this bill is an important step towards understanding if institutional racism is embedded in proposed bills before we vote on them,“ said Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Beacon Hill and the sponsor of SB 5588. “I have been working on addressing racial disparities for quite some time, and passing this bill off the floor is great news for people of color across Washington.”

SB 5588 would require racial and ethnic impact statements to provide statistical analysis of the effects of proposed legislation on racial or ethnic populations. The legislation focuses on laws with felony implications, but Hasegawa hopes to later expand the scope to include higher education, human services, government contracting, and other areas that often see racial disparities.

“Conversations about race and racial disparities are tough to have but are extremely necessary. We talk a great deal about addressing racial disproportionality at the Legislature, and yet we often have no understanding of how new policies may specifically impact communities of color,” Hasegawa said. “It is incumbent that those with power and privilege understand the needs of communities often left out of the legislative process. The fact that this bill was passed almost unanimously by both Democrats and Republicans shows real progress.”

The bill passed will only one member voting ‘no,’ it now moved to the House for further consideration.

5 02, 2018

Week 5: Senate floor action heats up

February 5th, 2018|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA — As we reach the mid-point of the 2018 session, Senate Democrats remain focused on policies that put people first. Last week, the Senate passed several measures that protect and improve women’s health care with bipartisan support, including the Reproductive Parity Act which had been blocked by Senate Republicans since 2013. The Senate Energy, Environment & Technology Committee also took a big step toward a cleaner future by passing a plan to put a price on carbon pollution. On Monday and Tuesday of this week, expect to see a flurry of hearings on dozens of bills in the Senate Ways & Means Committee as the Legislature faces a Tuesday deadline to move bills out of fiscal committees. The remainder of the week will focus on floor action as the full Senate considers a long list of bills before a Feb. 14 deadline to move all bills out of the Senate.

Click here for a list of bills passed by the Senate so far in the 2018 session.

Monday

Ways & Means, 10 a.m., Senate Hearing Room 4 Full agenda as of 2/4 – Subject to change

Public Hearing:

  • SSB 5689 – Establishing a statewide policy supporting Washington state’s economy and immigrants’ role in the workplace.
  • SSB 5407 – Ensuring housing options.
  • SSB 6253 – Establishing a clean, efficient, renewable energy standard.
  • SSB 6314 – Extending the existing state property tax exemption for residences of senior citizens and disabled persons to local regular property taxes.
  • SSB 5935 – Enhancing consumer access, affordability, and quality of broadband and advanced telecommunications services.
  • SSB 6161 – Establishing a training course for campaign treasurers.
  • SB 6201 – Making the open educational resources project permanent.
  • SSB 6421 – Updating the environmental and sustainability literacy plan.
  • SSB 6410 – Concerning school safety.
  • SSB 6388 – Concerning paraeducators.
  • SB 6389 – Regarding career and technical education in alternative learning experience programs.
  • SB 6184 – Adding part-time employees to state civil service.
  • SSB 6026 – Prohibiting health carriers and pharmacy benefit managers from using contracts to prevent pharmacists from telling their customers about cheaper ways to buy prescription drugs.
  • SSB 6150 – Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related services.
  • SSB 6102 – Enacting the employee reproductive choice act.
  • SB 6549 – Expanding the access to baby and child dentistry program to serve children with disabilities.
  • SSB 6129 – Concerning an ambulance transport quality assurance fee.
  • SSB 5970 – Establishing the mental health field response teams program.
  • SB 6491 – Increasing the availability of assisted outpatient behavioral health treatment.
  • SB 6573 – Establishing the capacity to purchase community long-term involuntary psychiatric treatment services through managed care.
  • SSB 6160 – Revising conditions under which a person is subject to exclusive adult jurisdiction and extending juvenile court jurisdiction over serious cases to age twenty-five.
  • SSB 6277 – Creating a graduated reentry program of partial confinement for certain offenders.
  • SB 6283 – Repealing an expiration date that affects state fire service mobilization.
  • SSB 6453 – Concerning legal support for kinship caregivers.
  • SB 6309 – Extending the timeline for completing a family assessment response.
  • SSB 6223 – Concerning equitable educational outcomes for vulnerable children and youth.
  • SSB 6502 – Concerning eligibility for the essential needs and housing support and the aged, blind, or disabled assistance programs.
  • SSB 6539 – Ensuring compliance with the state’s fiduciary duty in managing state trust lands.
  • SB 6109 – Concerning the International Wildland Urban Interface Code.
  • SSB 6413 – Reducing the use of certain toxic chemicals in firefighting activities.
  • SSB 6396 – Concerning the use of perfluorinated chemicals in food packaging.
  • SSB 6268 – Creating the orca protection act.
  • SSB 6386 – Ensuring the funding of fairs.
  • SSB 6529 – Establishing a modernizing pesticide notification work group.
  • SSB 6199 – Concerning the consumer directed employer program.
  • SSB 6360 – Improving transition planning for students in special education who meet criteria for services from the developmental disabilities administration.
  • SSB 6101 – Establishing the evergreen free college act.
  • SSB 6262 – Establishing pilot programs to plan for the needs of certain college students experiencing homelessness.
  • SSB 6246 – Providing for approval of school district bonds by fifty-five percent of the voters voting.
  • SJR 8213 – Amending the Constitution to allow at least fifty-five percent of voters voting to authorize school district bonds.
  • SB 6480 – Concerning local government infrastructure
28 01, 2018

Week 4: Youth homelessness, student loans, electric vehicles, law enforcement, net neutrality, ‘ban the box’ policies and more

January 28th, 2018|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA — As the midpoint of the 60-day session approaches, Senate Democrats continue to pass priority legislation with bipartisan support, including votes last week to help sick Hanford workers, reduce gun violence, and expand college opportunities for DREAMers. This week features hearings on youth homelessnessstudent loanselectric vehicleslaw enforcementnet neutrality‘ban the box’ policies, and many more issues. Policy committees also face a Friday deadline to move bills out. Any policy bill that doesn’t earn committee support by the 5 p.m. deadline on Friday is likely “dead” this session.


• Democratic leaders from the House and Senate will hold a press availability at 11 a.m. on Tuesday in the Senate Caucus Room.
• Possible floor action Wednesday-Friday.
• This is not a complete list of committees or agendas. It only includes items we think you might find of interest. Check the legislative website for complete agendas.
PDF – Media contacts by senator – Follow Us – Like us – Subscribe/Unsubscribe

Monday, Jan. 2

Health & Long Term Care 10 a.m., Senate Hearing Rm 1

SB 6273 – Concerning state charity care law. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.

Law & Justice 10 a.m., Senate Hearing Rm 4

SB 5970 – Establishing a pilot project for crisis intervention response teams composed of qualified law enforcement and mental health professionals to respond professionally, humanely, and safely to crisis involving people with mental health issues.

Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks 1:30 pm, Senate Hearing Rm 3

SB 6396 – Concerning the use of perfluorinated chemicals in food packaging. 

Tuesday, Jan. 3

Financial Institutions & Insurance 8 a.m., Senate Hearing Rm 3

SJM 8002 – Requesting that Congress enact legislation that would reinstate the separation of commercial and investment banking functions that were in effect under the Glass-Steagall act.

SB 6400 – Concerning local authority to address affordable housing needs through regulation of rent and associated charges.

SB 6532 – Creating a Washington affordable housing tax credit program.

SB 6557 – Concerning sales, use, and excise tax exemptions for self-help housing development

Energy, Environment & Technology 10 a.m., Senate Hearing Rm 1

SB 6080 – Concerning the electrification of transportation.

SB 6098 – Reducing climate altering emissions from light duty vehicles

Health & Long Term Care 10 a.m., Senate Hearing Rm 2

SB 6157 – Regarding prior authorization. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.)

SB 6416 – Requiring the insurance commissioner to review a health carrier’s surplus levels in its rate filing review process.

SB 6470 – Concerning health carrier provider networks.

Human Services & Corrections 1:30 pm, Senate Hearing Rm 2

SB 6560 – Ensuring that no youth is discharged from a public system of care into homelessness SB 6566 – Concerning juvenile offenses

Ways & Means 3:30 pm, Senate Hearing Rm 4

SB 6110 – Prohibiting employers from asking about arrests or convictions before an applicant is determined otherwise qualified for a position. (Ban the box)

SSB 5689 – Establishing a statewide policy supporting Washington state’s economy and immigrants’ role in the workplace.

SSB 6029 – Establishing a student loan bill of rights

Wednesday, Jan. 31 

Energy, Environment & Technology 8: a.m., Senate Hearing Rm 1

SB 6423 – Concerning the internet.

State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections 8 a.m., Senate Hearing Rm 2

SB 6075 – Concerning disclosure of contributors to online political advertising.

Labor & Commerce 1:30 p.m., Senate Hearing Rm 4

SB 6266 – Concerning loot boxes in online games and apps.

Friday, Feb. 2

State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections 8 a.m., Senate Hearing Rm 2

SB 5816 – Designating Sasquatch the official cryptid or crypto-animal of Washington.

21 01, 2018

Week 3 Hot Topics: Women’s health, clean energy, death penalty, sexual harassment, protecting orcas, preventing oil spills, and more

January 21st, 2018|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA — Senate Democrats ended the second week of the 2018 session by passing a list of long-delayed priority legislation with bipartisan votes, including:

  • $4 billion capital construction budget (Passed the Senate 49-0)
  • Washington Voting Rights Act (29-19)
  • Same-day registration (29-20)
  • The DISCLOSE Act (32-17)
  • Breakfast After the Bell (40-8)
  • Protecting transgender students from bullying in school (30-18)
  • A ban on the so-called practice of “conversion therapy” (32-16)
  • Eliminating unfair credit “freeze” fees for consumers (46-2)

The third week will focus on more policies that put people first, led by package of bills aimed at improving health care access for women in Washington. The Senate will focus on the next steps in education funding, with a hearing in the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee on Monday afternoon. Other highlights this week include hearings on the death penalty, sexual harassment, clean energy, reducing gun violence, protecting orca whales, preventing oil spills, and many more.

Monday, Jan. 22

Health & Long Term Care, 10 am, Senate HR1

Public Hearing:

  1. SB 5912 – Concerning insurance coverage of tomosynthesis or three-dimensional mammography.
  2. SB 6102 – Enacting the employee reproductive choice act.
  3. SB 6105 – Enacting the reproductive health access for all act. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.)
  4. SB 6048 – Concerning the age of individuals at which sale or distribution of tobacco and vapor products may be made.
  5. SB 6026 – Prohibiting health carriers and pharmacy benefit managers from using contracts to prevent pharmacists from telling their customers about cheaper ways to buy prescription drugs. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.)

Law & Justice, 10 am, Senate HR4

Public Hearing:

  1. SB 6052 – Reducing criminal justice expenses by eliminating the death penalty and instead requiring life imprisonment without possibility of release or parole as the sentence for aggravated first degree murder.

Early Learning & K-12 Education, 1:30 pm, Senate HR1

Public Hearing:

  1. SB 6362 – Modifying basic education provisions.
  2. SB 6397 – Concerning public schools.

Human Services & Corrections, 1:30 pm, Senate HR2

Public Hearing:

  1. SB 6467 – Concerning families in need of services.

Tuesday, Jan. 23

Financial Institutions & Insurance, 8 am, Senate HR3

Public Hearing:

  1. SB 6371 – Concerning facilities financing by the housing finance commission.

Economic Development & International Trade, 8 am, Senate HR1

Work Session: Infrastructure and Broadband

Energy, Environment & Technology, 10 am, Senate HR1

Public Hearing:

  1. SB 6253 – Establishing a clean, efficient, renewable energy standard.

Law & Justice, 10 am, Senate HR4

Public Hearing:

  1. SB 6297 – Concerning provisions governing firearms possession by persons who have been found incompetent to stand trial and who have a history of one or more violent acts.
  2. SB 6298 – Adding domestic violence harassment to the list of offenses for which a person is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks, 1:30 pm, Senate HR3

Public Hearing:

  1. SB 6268 – Creating the orca protection act.

Transportation, 3:30 pm, Senate HR1 Public Hearing:

  1. SB 5110 – Enhancing youth voter registration. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.)

Ways & Means, 3:30 pm, Senate HR4

Public Hearing:

  1. SSB 6086 – Protecting the state’s marine waters from the release of nonnative finfish from marine finfish aquaculture sites.

 Wednesday, Jan. 24

 State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections, 8 am, Senate HR2

Public Hearing:

  1. SB 6193 – Concerning dates and timelines associated with the operation of the state primary and elections.

Energy, Environment & Technology, 8 am, Senate HR1

Public Hearing:

  1. SB 6424 – Authorizing an alternative form of regulation of electrical and natural gas companies.

Labor & Commerce, 1:30 pm, Senate HR4

Public Hearing:

  1. SB 5996 – Encouraging the disclosure and discussion of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace.

Ways & Means, 3:30 pm, Senate HR4

Public Hearing:

  1. 2ESHB 1508 – Promoting student health and readiness through meal and nutrition programs. 

Thursday, Jan. 25

Higher Education & Workforce Development, 8 am, Senate HR2 Public Hearing:

  1. SB 6131 – Providing a tuition waiver for state residents who are members of a federally recognized Indian tribe.

Economic Development & International Trade, 8 am

Senate Full Committee Senate HR1 Work Session: The Future of Work.

Health & Long Term Care, 10 am, Senate HR2 Public Hearing:

  1. SB 6238 – Concerning long-term care services and supports.

Energy, Environment & Technology, 10 am, Senate HR1 Public Hearing:

  1. SB 6267 – Providing for an emergency response system that provides for an emergency response towing vessel.
  2. SB 6269 – Strengthening oil transportation safety.

 

 

 

21 01, 2018

#MeToo comes to Olympia as Senate hears sexual harassment bills

January 21st, 2018|Uncategorized|

The Senate Labor & Commerce Committee will hear three pieces of legislation sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.

When: 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Senate Hearing Room 4.

Where you can watch it live: /www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2018011337

Brief Summary:
·  Senate Bill 5996 prohibits an employer from requiring an employee, as a condition of employment, to sign a nondisclosure agreement that prevents the employee from disclosing sexual harassment or sexual assault.
· Senate Bill 6313 addresses mandatory employment contracts and agreements that limit an employee’s right to file a complaint or cause of action for sexual harassment or sexual assault.
· Senate Bill 6471 relates to developing model policies to create workplaces that are safe from sexual harassment.

Quote:
· Sen. Karen Keiser:
· “For a long time, women felt sexual harassment was something we had to deal with just to have careers. I want to make clear that sexual harassment will no longer be accepted, time is up, and we must make a change.

“There’s a burden of humiliation and fear of reprisal that intimidates victims from coming forward. These bills will provide a path forward for victims to report without fear of losing their jobs or suffering other forms of retaliation. We must no longer limit the economic and career potential of half of our population. We must demand that our workplace culture shifts to reflect our values of fairness and respect.”

16 01, 2018

Nelson: Spellman protected environment, ‘cared deeply for our state’

January 16th, 2018|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA – Senate Majority Leader Sharon Nelson released the following statement after the death of former Gov. John Spellman.

“Gov. Spellman cared deeply for our state and devoted a large part of his life to serving the people, first in King County and then in the governor’s office.

“He led our state during a difficult financial time in the early 1980s and left his mark by working to strengthen local governments. He also recognized early on that the state had an important role to play in protecting the environment and the open spaces in our unique corner of the world.

“The Senate Democratic Caucus extends its deepest condolences to the entire Spellman family.”

14 01, 2018

Week 2: Preventing gun violence, reducing carbon pollution, protecting women’s access to health care and more

January 14th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Last week Senate Democrats moved quickly on key policy priorities such as voting rights and equal pay — issues that had been bottled up by Republican committee chairs over the last five years. The pace won’t slow this week with hearings on legislation that will finally put the people of Washington state first: preventing gun violence, combating the opioid epidemic, reducing carbon pollution, ensuring a women’s right to quality reproductive care and more.

  • Democratic leaders from the Senate and House will hold a joint media availability at 11 a.m. on Tuesday in the Senate Majority Caucus Room.
  • Possible floor action on Wednesday and Thursday.

Subscribe to Weekly Hot Topics.  Download a printable PDF of the Weekly Highlights.

MONDAY, Jan. 15
Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Resolution in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. at noon on the Senate floor.

Law & Justice 10:00 am, Senate HR 4

  • SB 5992 – Concerning trigger modification devices.
  • SB 6049 – Concerning high capacity magazines.
  • SB 5444 – Concerning enhanced background checks and licensure for assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
  • SB 5463 – Protecting public safety through responsible storage of firearms.
  • SB 6146 – Relating to local government authority to regulate firearms.

Health & Long Term Care 10:00 am, Senate HR 2

  • SB 6150 – Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related services.
  • SB 6050 – Concerning restrictions on prescriptions for opiates.

Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks 1:30 pm, Senate HR 4

  • SB 6316 – Concerning the certification and evidence of adequate and available water

Labor & Commerce 1:30 pm, Senate HR 3

  • SB 6227 – Concerning workplace injuries by janitors.
  • SB 6214 – Allowing industrial insurance coverage for posttraumatic stress disorders of law enforcement and firefighters.

Human Services & Corrections 1:30 pm, Senate HR 2

  • SB 6222 – Concerning expansion of extended foster care eligibility.

Early Learning & K-12 Education 1:30 pm, Senate HR 1

  • SB 6144 – Reducing state assessment requirements to only those required for federal purposes in order to facilitate removal of inequitable barriers to students.
  • Executive Session: SB 6003 – Concerning breakfast after the bell programs in certain public schools. SB 5766 – Preventing harassment, intimidation, and bullying in public schools.

Transportation 3:30 pm, Senate HR 1

  • SB 6054 – Requiring the department of transportation to complete a study on passenger-only ferry services.

TUESDAY, Jan. 16

Higher Education & Workforce Development 8:00 am, Senate HR 2

  • SB 6087 – Expanding opportunities for apprenticeships for inmates.

Financial Institutions & Insurance 8:30 am, Senate HR 3

  • SB 6375 – Developing a publicly owned depository business plan

Energy, Environment & Technology 10:00 am, Senate HR 4

  • SB 6203 – Reducing carbon pollution by moving to a clean energy economy.

Law & Justice 10:00 am, Senate HR 1

  • Executive Session: SB 5992 – Concerning trigger modification devices

Health & Long Term Care 10:00 am, Senate HR 2

  • SB 6219 – Concerning health plan coverage of reproductive health care.
  • SB 5701 – Creating the Washington apple care trust

Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks 1:30 pm, Senate HR 3

  • SB 6099 – Concerning orca captivity

Early Learning & K-12 Education 1:30 pm, Senate HR 1

  • SB 6141 – Strengthening school district plans for recognition, screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students

Ways & Means 3:30 pm, Senate HR 4

  • Executive Session: SB 6090 – Concerning the capital budget. SB 6089 – Concerning state general obligation bonds and related accounts.

Transportation 3:30 pm, Senate HR 1

  • Work Session: Electric vehicles; Road Usage Charge pilot.

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 17

State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections 8:00 am, Senate HR 2

  • SB 5780 – Making provisions to commemorate the centennial of national women’s suffrage.
  • SB 6200 – Allowing persons who will turn eighteen years of age by the general election to vote in the primary election

Energy, Environment & Technology 8:00 am, Senate HR 1

  • SB 6130 – Concerning community solar gardens

Labor & Commerce 1:30 pm, Senate HR 4

  • SB 5249 – Providing damages for wage theft.
  • SB 5527 – Simplifying and enforcing employee status under employment laws to ensure fairness to employers and employees and address the underground economy

Transportation 3:30 pm, Senate HR 1

  • Work Session: Cascadia subduction zone impacts on state highway system. 

THURSDAY, Jan. 18

Energy, Environment & Technology 10:00 am, Senate HR 1

  • SB 5935 – Enhancing consumer access, affordability, and quality of broadband and advanced telecommunications services.

Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks 1:30 pm, Senate HR 3

  • SB 6235 – Concerning the establishment of forest practices pre-application review

Health & Long Term Care 10:00 am, Senate HR 2

  • Work Session: Global perspective on Universal Health Care; State perspective on Universal Health Care.
  • SB 5747 – Addressing health care financing and development of a publicly sponsored integrated delivery system by creating the access for all trust.

Higher Education & Workforce Development 8:00 am, Senate HR 2

  • SB 6263 – Expanding the passport to college promise program to include youth experiencing homelessness and foster youth. SB 6259 – Creating the social work professional loan repayment program.

Ways & Means 3:30 pm, Senate HR 4

  • SB 5513 – Increasing tax exemption transparency and accountability.
  • Executive Session: SB 6062 – Addressing the establishment of an individual health insurance market claims-based reinsurance program.
12 01, 2018

Gun safety bills to be heard Monday in Senate’s Law & Justice Committee

January 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA — The Senate Law & Justice Committee will hear several gun-related bills on Monday. Gun violence is a public health crisis in our state and nationwide, and it’s time to impose reasonable restrictions on firearms to ensure the safety of Washingtonians.

Senate Bill 5463, Protecting public safety through responsible storage of firearms:

  • Creates liability for people who don’t safely store firearms, when those firearms are used to kill or injure someone.
  • More than 65 percent of school shooters obtained their fire at home, or at the home of a relative.
  • More than 75 percent of youth who attempt to take their own lives do so with a gun found at home.

Sen. Guy Palumbo, D-Maltby: “This bill simply says that if you are an irresponsible gun owner who allows an unsecured weapon to be used by somebody prohibited from owning a gun, such as a terrorist, domestic abuser or a child, that there will be legal repercussions. The grim reality is that easy access to firearms is a leading factor in shootings, and deaths, among children.”

Senate Bill 5992, Concerning trigger modification devices:

  • Would ban the conversion kit known as a “bump stock” that essentially allows people to turn semi-automatic weapons into machine guns.
  • This type of modification is easily purchased, and allowed a shooter in Las Vegas to kill 58 people and wound 546 more in 2017.

Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim: ““The clear purpose of bump stocks is to give a legal semiautomatic weapon the rapid-fire capability of machine gun, which is an illegal weapon. As a lifetime NRA member and longtime supporter of gun rights and responsible gun ownership, I don’t take this action lightly. But these devices pose an emerging and deadly threat to public safety that urgently needs to be addressed. Bump stocks should never have been legalized in the first place.”

Senate Bill 6049, Concerning high-capacity magazines:

  • Would prohibit the manufacture, possession, sale or transfer of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
  • Possession of a high-capacity magazine would be a gross misdemeanor.
  • Exemptions would include law enforcement officers and members of the military when on duty.
  • Introduced at the recommendation of Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle: “When a shooter enters a building with a 30-round magazine, that’s 30 people that he could kill quickly, without stopping to reload. By allowing high capacity magazines in our state, we give active shooters the ability to inflict a huge amount of damage.”

  • Senate Bill 5444, Concerning enhanced background checks and licensure for assault weapons and high capacity magazines
  • Would require enhanced background checks for the purchase of an assault weapon.
  • Today in Washington, it is easier to buy an assault weapon than a handgun. This bill would remedy that problem.
  • Introduced at the recommendation of Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle: “Today, state law treats assault weapons the same as hunting rifles. That makes them easier and faster to purchase than handguns. Given the deadly killing efficiency of these guns, that is unacceptable. We need better regulations to make sure they don’t end up in the wrong hands.”

Senate Bill 6146, Relating to local government authority to regulate firearms:

  • Would allow local authorities to adopt responsible approaches to gun safety to protect their communities.
  • For more than 30 years, our local towns, cities and counties have been blocked from taking action on their own to prevent gun violence because of the statewide preemption law.

When: 10 a.m. on Jan. 15
Where: Senate Hearing Room 4, Cherberg Building

10 01, 2018

Senate Democrats to hear higher education bills to expand access and opportunity to all Washingtonians

January 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA – Senate Democrats have introduced a package of higher education bills to ensure access and opportunity for all Washingtonians. The Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee will begin work to ensure DREAMers have opportunity regardless of federal action, find solutions for students mired in massive student loan debt and make college free for low-income students facing the high cost of higher education.

The committee will hear bills at 8 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, in the Cherberg Building Senate Hearing Room 2.

SB 5074, Eligibility for financial aid programs for DREAMers
• Extends the standard established in 2003, when the state first allowed eligible undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at state universities and colleges to include those who were granted DACA status to ensure DREAMers are eligible for state financial aid programs.
Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle: “Every Washingtonian deserves access to higher education, and the opportunities that will follow. Policies at the national level have placed DREAMers in jeopardy. We as a state need to make it clear that DREAMers deserve respect, and that they deserve access to the financial aid packages that Washington offers.”

SB 6029, Establishing a student loan bill of rights.
• Creates new protections for borrowers, requires loan servicers to obtain a license from the state and establishes a Student Education Loan Advocate to assist and aid borrowers.
Sen. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood: “I’m one of the 800,000 Washingtonians still paying off my student loans, so I really understand the economic pressures people face when trying to plan for their future. The student debt crisis is going to continue to grow and we should act now to protect borrowers from predatory loan servicers.”

SB 6101, Evergreen Free College Act:
• Creates the Evergreen Free College Program to offer free college to all Washingtonians making $89,000 or less for a family of four.
Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island and committee chair: “There is a huge need in expanding access and opportunity for children, particularly those who do not have the ease of access and support of many families. While many of our lowest income students are eligible for our Student Need Grant and other programs, many students’ parents make just a bit more than those thresholds but can still not afford college. It is our duty to make absolutely sure that every single child has the chance to fully pursue their educational and training dreams and fully succeed in life.”

14 12, 2017

Rolfes: Governor’s budget makes smart, targeted investments

December 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Kitsap County, incoming chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, released the following statement after the release of the governor’s 2018 operating supplemental budget proposal.

“I appreciate the work the governor has done to craft a prudent supplemental budget proposal that offers a blueprint to complete our work in 60 days.

“This budget takes the final step in our duty to amply fund basic education and makes smart, targeted investments in programs that lift Washingtonians up. I appreciate the governor’s focus on expanding treatment for mental health patients and his commitment to protecting affordable health care for all residents.

“This is a realistic approach that will guide the Legislature as we work to put people first with a balanced budget delivered on time.”