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.

5 06, 2020

An open letter to the people of Washington state

June 5th, 2020|Leadership|

An open letter to the people of Washington state:

The Senate Democratic Caucus – fully recognizing that our own state Senate lacks the voice of even a single Black legislator, a voice that needs to ground us today and always – stands with our Black neighbors throughout Washington as we grieve together the violent and unjust killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Charleena Lyles, Manuel Ellis and too many others, at the hands of law enforcement.

A history of systemic and institutionalized racism and violence leveled against our Black neighbors has manifested in days of protests around our grieving country, including here at home. As the Senate Democratic Caucus, we unequivocally stand with those who are raising their voices in pain, anger and hope to make demands for substantive change.

We are moved by the love and grief displayed over the life and death of George Floyd that has mobilized so many of every background, some for the first time. Though our state and country face a moment of deep pain and renewed trauma, we are also witness to a pivotal moment of potential historic change in public policy; one with an opportunity to craft equitable and compassionate laws that serve all of us.

We recognize that the power to make substantive change lies with us, the policymakers. We recognize this power to make substantive change should have been wielded long ago. We recognize that Black, Indigenous and brown lives have been disproportionately subjected to police brutality in addition to the merciless cycle of incarceration. We are committed to changing these broken institutions.

Our agenda will be shaped by the community. We are committed to listening and working alongside Black leaders and organizers. Their ideas and their solutions to these issues will be elevated so that we may respond to their call for action. Successful efforts toward change have always had their origins at the local level. We are listening.

Know that we grieve with you, stand united in your call for justice and promise to work with you in these next crucial steps toward real change.

On behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus,

Billig e-sig Dhingra e-sig saldana e-sig
Sen. Andy Billig
Majority Leader
Sen. Manka Dhingra
Deputy Majority Leader
Sen. Rebecca Saldaña
Deputy Majority Leader