Monthly Archives: January 2016

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    Lawmakers call on Sound Transit to clarify key ST3 questions

Lawmakers call on Sound Transit to clarify key ST3 questions

January 28th, 2016|

OLYMPIASen. Reuven Carlyle, Rep. Gael Tarleton, and Rep. Noel Frame, on Wednesday sent a letter to Dow Constantine, the Board Chair of the Sound Transit Board of Directors, urging Sound Transit to clarify information and key project details of Sound Transit 3 (ST3) ahead of any ballot measures asking voters to approve the proposed $15 billion project budget.

One of the main concerns of the lawmakers is that service from Ballard to West Seattle will not be accessible until much later than anticipated. The Ballard community currently has the fastest population growth in the City of Seattle.

“Sound Transit is a critical piece of a fully integrated transportation system for the 21st century,” said Sen. Reuven Carlyle. “At the same time, I feel strongly that connecting to Ballard and directly addressing transportation needs to enable long-term growth is absolutely essential. During the process of approving the authority for Sound Transit, it was made clear that Ballard was an essential component of Sound Transit’s success. Now it is time to live up to that commitment.”

During the 2015 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 5987, authorized Sound Transit the authority to ask voters to approve new revenue for financing the multi-billion dollar expansion of ST3. The 36th Legislative District delegation has asked the Sound Transit Board for clarification on several key issues:

  • The reasoning behind any changes to the Long Range Plan and the most recent options for the Ballard to West Seattle corridor.
  • An update on the results of the surveys with ST users and constituents conducted by Sound Transit board and staff, and how Sound Transit is using the results to develop the language for the ST3 ballot measure.
  • An update on the total build out costs, as well as the projected amount and revenue sources that Sound Transit will ask voters to approve.
  • The probability that Ballard will receive light rail service by the proposed date of 2023-25 given increased costs and corridor redesign.

“We appreciate our region’s strong commitment to light rail,” said Rep. Gael Tarleton. “The investments we need to make in Sound Transit 3 will be essential to a vibrant economy for a region that will grow to more than 6 million people in the next 25 years. Ballard is where urban density and thousands of jobs for our middle class come together. We need to get our investments right the first time and I look forward to helping make the right choices.”

The 36th LD lawmakers hope to better understand the details of the project proposal from both a transportation infrastructure perspective and a tax payer accountability perspective ahead of the measure being on the ballot in November.

“What is most important to me is that whatever decisions Sound Transit makes over the course of planning and implementing ST3, the promise of rail in Ballard not be neglected,” said Rep. Noel Frame.


View the letter here: 36th Legislators_ST3

Carlyle gives first speech in the Senate

January 27th, 2016|

On Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016, Sen. Reuven Carlyle gave his first official speech on the Senate Floor.

Traditionally, new members of the Senate offer their colleagues a small gift when they make their maiden speech. For his gift, Sen. Carlyle had Eltana bagels for the members of each caucus to enjoy.

To watch his first speech and the welcome from his Senate colleagues, click here.

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    Seattle Times Editorial: Improve transparency, restore trust in state government

Seattle Times Editorial: Improve transparency, restore trust in state government

January 27th, 2016|

To read this editorial as it originally appeared in the Seattle Times, click here.

Improve transparency, restore trust in state government

Originally published January 26, 2016

Improvements to state ethics rules are needed and shouldn’t die quietly in legislative committee.

By Seattle Times editorial board

WASHINGTON has been highly regarded for the integrity of its state government, but that reputation is slipping.

Even before questions arose about the state Department of Corrections scandal and state employees taking jobs at state-funded startups, The Center for Public Integrity lowered the state’s grade from a B-minus to a D-plus.

Reversing this trend should be a top priority of elected officials, especially those concerned about accountability, fiscal discipline and moral character.

Yet lawmakers in Olympia are — for the second year in a row — stifling efforts to strengthen state ethics rules.

A proposal championed by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and state Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, would expand the “cooling-off” period that prevents high-ranking state officials and lawmakers from leaving office and promptly going to work for companies that lobby or contract with the state.

Their effort was prompted in part by revelations that Ferguson’s predecessor, Rob McKenna, was successfully lobbying the Attorney General’s Office for clients Microsoft and T-Mobile.

An equally strong argument for the cooling-off period is the troubling pattern of top state transportation officials taking jobs at Parsons Brinckerhoff, the giant engineering firm and beneficiary of megaprojects, such as Sound Transit’s and the Highway 99 tunnel debacle. The former state transportation chief, Paula Hammond, and the state’s former lead on the viaduct-replacement project, Ron Paananen, both took jobs at Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Ethics rule changes introduced by Carlyle in SB 6258 would require elected officials and senior state employees to wait one to two years before they could lobby or contract with the state. It would also require ongoing public disclosure of their employers if they engage with the state.

That’s just a start to improving transparency, restoring trust and rebuilding Washington’s reputation for public integrity.

Lawmakers should consider broadening cooling-off rules to apply to less senior employees. They also need to close ethics policy gaps that enabled several Department of Commerce employees to join a clean-energy startup funded partly by state grants.

Yet just the modest fixes called for by SB 6258 appear to be withering away in the Senate Government Operations and Security Committee. The bill deserves a public hearing and vote so the public knows where its representatives stand on this issue — before any of them cash in on their government expertise and contacts.

Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Brier Dudley, Mark Higgins, Jonathan Martin, Thanh Tan, Blanca Torres, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).

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    Plaintiffs Frockt & Carlyle: Ruling tossing out I-1366 best for Washington governance

Plaintiffs Frockt & Carlyle: Ruling tossing out I-1366 best for Washington governance

January 21st, 2016|

After Thursday’s announcement of the King County Superior Court’s decision striking down Initiative 1366 in its entirety, Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, and Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle released the following statement:

“Today’s ruling ensures that the legislature will continue to have at its disposal every tool it needs to govern effectively and equitably on behalf of the people of Washington,” said Frockt. “It is my sincere hope that the matter has now been settled.”

“The integrity of our constitution is precious,” said Carlyle. “The super-majority rule allows 17 of 147 legislators to control the entire budget. We can now move forward together in a constructive way to both respect the will of the voters and protect our constitution.”


Carlyle appointed, sworn in to represent 36th LD as Senator

January 8th, 2016|

SEATTLE – Reuven Carlyle was appointed by the King County Council to serve as the Washington state senator for the 36th Legislative District. Following the confirmation of the appointment on Thursday, Carlyle was immediately sworn into office.

“I am honored to accept this appointment,” said Carlyle. “I am fortunate to serve one of the most educated, engaged and progressive legislative districts in our state. I believe we must work to continue to improve the quality of life for all Washingtonians by addressing the serious policy issues holding us back. I have enjoyed representing the people of the 36th as their state representative and look forward to serving them in the Senate.”

Carlyle was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 2008, and served during a time of unprecedented budget deficits brought on by the Great Recession. Despite these challenges, Carlyle earned a reputation as a leader who championed innovative public policies representing the values his constituents and state.

In the House, Carlyle sponsored legislation that improved foster youth programs, provided low cost open textbooks to college students, called for public transparency to the state’s unfair tax code and policies, protected the environment, connected our state’s community and technical colleges with four-year universities, fought for individual civil liberties, and helped craft responsible state budgets that help support our state’s one million public school students.

In the Senate, Carlyle will serve on three committees — Higher Education, Trade & Economic Development, and Transportation.

“I’m very pleased to welcome now Sen. Carlyle,” said Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson. “His knowledge of the issues and passion for public service are well known. He will be a great addition and an asset as we continue to fight for people in our state.”

Carlyle grew up in Bellingham and has a Master in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Carlyle and his wife, Wendy Carlyle, M.D., have four school-age children and are active in Seattle public schools along with numerous community groups in the 36th District and Seattle.