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21 04, 2015

Hargrove honors journalist John Hughes for long, distinguished career

April 21st, 2015|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA – The state Senate honored state historian and former publisher of The Daily World, John C. Hughes with Senate Resolution 8670. Sens. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, and Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond, both spoke about the legendary journalist on the Senate floor.

15 04, 2015

Senate Democrats offer plan to fully implement K-12 funding

April 15th, 2015|Uncategorized|

Senate Democrats on Wednesday introduced a plan to phase in full funding of K-12 education for Washington students and get the state out from under the Supreme Court’s contempt of court ruling.

The plan will meet the needs of Washington’s one million school kids by addressing teacher compensation, reducing the reliance on local levies, shrinking class sizes and establishing a dedicated revenue source that asks the states multi-millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. This is in addition to the all-day kindergarten, school operating costs and K-3 class size reduction that both parties have agreed needs to be funded in this year’s operating budget.

The proposal centers around Sen. Christine Rolfes’ bill to implement full McCleary funding (SB 6104). Among the highlights are a new compensation system for all educational staff and a plan to implement the voter-approved class size reduction initiative.

“A great education for our students is dependent on having great teachers in every classroom,” Rolfes said. “Educator compensation has been the elephant in the McCleary room for a long time – any plan that will meet our obligations to our students and satisfy the court must address it. This is a reasonable and responsible proposal to ensure that as we come to solutions regarding education funding, we don’t stay silent on fundamental issues like compensation.”

Sen. Kevin Ranker is proposing a capital gains tax of the top 1/10th of 1 percent of the wealthiest in the state to begin funding the plan (SB 6102). He also introduced a constitutional amendment that will prevent capital gains levels from dropping below $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a household without a vote of the people (SJR 8206).

Ranker also received a letter signed by over 100 Washingtonians asking that a high-earners capital gains tax be implemented, calling the idea important both “economically and ethically.”

“Many of the wealthiest Washingtonians in our state want to do more and give back to the great state that they love,” Ranker said. “They understand that giving back and asking everyone to do their share makes our state a better place. These people have found success in our state. They want to make our schools stronger so that others can share in that success.”

The final part of the plan addresses the state’s need to take on levy reform (SB 6103). Sen. Jim Hargrove’s plan would return local levies to their intended purpose of paying for extras and ensuring that the state pays for all elements of a basic education.

As K-12 compensation is increased and the state takes on the obligation of compensation, there is a dollar for dollar reduction. For every dollar given to the schools in increased funding, local levy revenue is reduced by one dollar.

“Under this plan more than 98 percent of families in this state will see their property tax reduced or remain untouched,” Hargrove said. “This addresses two critical needs, the Supreme Court’s order and some tax relief for families throughout the state.”

One pager
SB 6104 in depth
Capital Gains Letter

12 04, 2015

Video: Beef Day 2015!

April 12th, 2015|Uncategorized|

It’s a “Game of T-Bones” as Sen. Brian Hatfield welcomes the Washington Cattlemen’s Association to Olympia for Beef Day 2015.

3 03, 2015

Sen. Sharon Nelson applauds State House for helping close the wage gap

March 3rd, 2015|Uncategorized|

Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson released the statement below Tuesday following the State House’s passage of a measure to raise Washington’s minimum wage:

“I applaud the leadership of our colleagues in the House of Representatives for passing a bill today that will benefit hundreds of thousands of working Washingtonians.

“The economy is improving, but not for everyone. This important piece of legislation represents a critical component of the remedy for income inequality.

“This is in stark contrast to the Republican-controlled Senate. While the House works to make life better for more of our friends and neighbors, Republicans continue to work against them. Republican-sponsored bills that create sub-minimum wages, roll back protections for sick or injured working people and legislation to make it difficult for working folks to have a say in wages and working conditions are all being considered in the Senate.

“These common sense ideas coming over from the House will make life better for working families and benefit our entire economy – including those at the very top. These ideas must have their day in the Senate to create an economy that benefits everyone, not just a few.

“There’s no starker contrast between Democrats and Republicans than on these issues. At the same time Democrats took action to make things better for working families, Republicans continue to promote policies that make the gap between the rich and the rest of us even wider.”

2 03, 2015

Sen. Hobbs: Transportation “investments will put our state on solid ground for generations to come”

March 2nd, 2015|Uncategorized|

Following Monday’s passage of a 16-year, $15 billion plan to invest in Washington’s transportation infrastructure, Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, the Senate Democrats’ lead transportation negotiator, issued the statement below:

“Our state’s infrastructure is at a crossroads and the passage of this plan comes at an absolutely critical time. Not only is this plan a boon for our state’s economy, it is also a potential game changer throughout our shared communities.

“After years of conversations and negotiations that started and then stalled without a deal, there is certainly a feeling of satisfaction that we were able to deliver this critical deal to the people of this state.

“This plan will continue to have its critics. I am one of them. No deal is perfect; that’s the nature of compromise.

“What is important is that we’ve taken a crucial step forward and now the House will have the opportunity to consider this plan.

“Every corner of our state is in dire need of upgrades to roads, bridges, rail, bike and pedestrian paths and transit options. This package addresses those needs.

“Of course the most important benefit of these investments are the approximately 200,000 jobs that will be created over the life of this plan. These investments will put our state on solid ground for generations to come.”


2 03, 2015

Legislative town hall meetings coming up March 14

March 2nd, 2015|Uncategorized|

OLYMPIA – As the legislative session hits the halfway mark, legislators are taking time to meet with their constituents across the state. Several town halls will take place on March 14 to offer people a chance to get an update on the 2015 session, ask questions and hear what lawmakers are working on in Olympia.

UPCOMING TOWN HALLS (Click here to download a list of town halls)

March 14

  • 1st District – Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, Reps. Derek Stanford and Luis Moscoso
    Where: Northshore Senior Center in the Wellness Center, 10212 East Riverside Drive, Bothell, WA 98011
    When: 10 a.m.. – noon
  • 3rd DistrictSen. Andy Billig, Reps. Timm Ormsby and Marcus Riccelli
    Where: WSU-Spokane Riverpoint Campus, 600 North Riverpoint Blvd, Academic Center Auditorium, Rm #20, Spokane, WA 99202
    When: 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • 5th DistrictSen. Mark Mullet
    Where: Issaquah Fire Station 73, 1280 NE Park Dr., Issaquah, WA
    When: Noon – 1 p.m.
    Where: Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd. SE., Snoqualmie, WA
    When: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
    Where: Tahoma School District Central Services Board Room, 25720 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Road SE., Maple Valley, WA
    When: 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • 11th District – Sen. Bob Hasegawa, Reps. Zach Hudgins and Steve Bergquist
  • When: 1-3 p.m.
  • Where: King County Regional Communications & Emergency Coordination Center (RCECC) 3511 NE 2nd Street, Renton, WA 98056
  • 21st District – Sen. Marko Liias, Reps. Lillian Ortiz-Self and Strom Peterson
    Where: Meadowdale High School, Great Hall, 6002 168th Street SW, Lynnwood, WA 98037
    When: 10:30 a.m.- noon
  • 23rd District – Sen. Christine Rolfes, Reps. Sherry Appleton and Drew Hansen
    Where: Bainbridge Island City Council Chambers, 280 Madison Ave. N, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
    When: 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.
    Where: The Jenne-Wright Administration Center, Central Kitsap School District, 9210 Silverdale Way NW, Silverdale, WA 98383
    When: 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • 27th District – Sen. Jeannie Darneille, Reps. Laurie Jenkins and Jake Fey
    Where: Evergreen State College – Tacoma Campus, 1210 6th Ave., Tacoma, WA 98405
    When: 10 a.m.-Noon
  • 29th District – Sen. Steve Conway
    Where: Garfield Book Co. at Pacific Lutheran University, 208 Garfield Street South #101, Tacoma, WA 98444
    When: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • 32nd District – Sen. Maralyn Chase and Rep. Cindy Ryu
    Where: Shoreline Fire Dept. 17525 Aurora Ave. N. Shoreline, WA 98133
    When: 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • 36th District – Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Reps. Reuven Carlyle and Gael Tarleton
    Where: Phinney Neighborhood Association, community room, 6532 Phinney Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98103
    When: 10 a.m. – noon
  • 37th District – Sen. Pramila Jayapal, Reps. Tomiko Santos and Eric Pettigrew
  • Where: Rainier Valley Cultural Center—3515 S Alaska St, Seattle, WA 98118
  • When: 9-11 a.m.
  • 38th District – Sen. John McCoy, Reps. Mike Sells and June Robinson
    Where: Everett Community Resource Center, 3900 Broadway Ave., Everett, Wa 98201
    When: 10-11 a.m.
  • 43rd District – Sen. Jamie Pedersen, Speaker Frank Chopp and Rep. Brady Walkinshaw
    Where: Erickson Theater, 1524 Harvard Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
    When: 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • 48th District – Sen. Cyrus Habib, Reps. Ross Hunter and Joan McBride
    Where: Redmond City Hall, 15670 NE 85Th St., Redmond, WA 98052
    When: 10 a.m.


March 11

  • 21st District – Sen. Marko Liias, Reps. Lillian Ortiz-Self and Strom Peterson
    When: 6-7 p.m.

March 19

  • 49th District – Sen. Annette Cleveland, Reps. Jim Moeller and Sharon Wylie
    When: 6-7 p.m.

March 25

  • 33rd District – Sen. Karen Keiser, Reps. Tina Orwall and Mia Gregerson
    When: 6-7 p.m.
18 12, 2013

Governor proposes “hold steady” supplemental budget

December 18th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Gov. Jay Inslee is proposing what he calls a “hold steady” supplemental budget for the 2014 Legislative Session. Click here for a link to the budget documents.

The $250 million supplemental budget includes maintenance-level increases for rising caseloads in K-12 education and corrections, increased participation in the College Bound scholarship program, wildfire funds and fixes to the 2013-15 biennial budget.

In continuing the state’s efforts to bolster its support for K-12 education, Inslee’s budget includes $3 million for new teacher mentoring, $1 million for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Alliance and $250,000 for early warning dropout prevention.

The governor’s budget also includes $10.3 million to provide youth mental health services to high-need patients, $10.8 million in fire suppression costs for the Department of Natural Resources, and $5.1 million to open a new medium security unit at the Washington State Penitentiary.

The governor also highlighted the fact that one-time fixes used in the 2013-15 budget will not be available for the 2015-17 budget, leaving budget writers with many holes to fill in the next biennium.

The 2014 legislative session begins on Jan. 13.

17 12, 2013

Pedersen sworn in as senator for the 43rd Legislative District

December 17th, 2013|Uncategorized|

State Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, was sworn into office to represent the 43rd Legislative District on Monday night at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.

Pedersen replaces former Sen. Ed Murray, who resigned following his election as mayor of Seattle in November. The King County Council unanimously approved Pedersen’s appointment earlier in the day.

Pedersen has served since 2006 in the State House, where he was chair of the House Judiciary Committee. He also served on the House Appropriations Committee, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government, and the House Higher Education Committee.

“I am honored to serve the people of the 43rd Legislative District,” Pedersen said. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues in the Senate.”

He was joined by his family and Seattle Mayor-elect Murray during the ceremony, which took place prior to a performance by the Seattle Men’s Chorus. Pedersen has sung with the chorus since 1996. Pedersen lives on Capitol Hill with his husband, Eric Pedersen, and their sons Trygve, Leif, Erik and Anders.

12 12, 2013

Sen. Nelson’s statement on Boeing’s decision to relocate research and tech jobs

December 12th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Senate Democratic leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, released the statement below Thursday in response to a decision by Boeing to move research and technology jobs to other states resulting in the loss of as many as 1,200 jobs:

“Boeing’s announcement that it’s moving 800-1,200 jobs out of Washington State is both unfortunate and disappointing.

“Our state and Boeing have a long and prosperous relationship, and the loss of these high tech jobs will have an impact throughout Washington.

“The pool of talent in Washington State is deep. Our state has long been a destination for people across the nation and from around the world in search of high tech jobs. This is of course in addition to the thousands of Washingtonians who have been innovators in this and other fields for generations.

“Our thoughts are with the families across the state that will be impacted by Boeing’s decision.”

27 11, 2013

McCoy appointed senator for the 38th Legislative District

November 27th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, took the oath of office today to become senator for the 38th Legislative District.

McCoy, who has served in the state House since 2003, fills the vacancy left by the resignation of former senator Nick Harper.

“It is an honor to represent the people of the 38th Legislative District and I am excited to get to work with my new colleagues in the Senate,” McCoy said.

McCoy was sworn in following a unanimous vote by the Snohomish County Council.