Video: Sen. Carlyle on the Passport to Careers program

January 23rd, 2018|

Watch Sen. Reuven Carlyle’s remarks from a meeting on Thursday morning of the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee during testimony on Senate Bill 6274, which would create the Passport to Careers program administered by the Washington Student Achievement Council.

The bill would expand the innovative and wildly successful Passport to College Promise program that Carlyle helped create in 2007 as a citizen activist prior to winning election to the Legislature.

Specifically, it would create the Passport to Careers program with two pathways. The first would incorporate the Passport to College Promise program and expand it to include people who have experienced homelessness and those who have spent time in a tribal or federal foster care system.

Since 2008, the Passport to College Promise program has provided scholarships to an average of 345 students annually.

The second pathway, the Passport to Apprenticeship Opportunities, would establish a program of financial assistance to allow foster youth or youth who have experienced homelessness to pursue registered apprenticeships.

The Committee is scheduled to vote on the bill at a hearing starting at 8 a.m. today.

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    Lawmakers approve state construction budget, big investments in 36th District

Lawmakers approve state construction budget, big investments in 36th District

January 19th, 2018|

OLYMPIA – Lawmakers in Olympia passed a long-overdue $4.2 billion capital budget last night, funding vital infrastructure projects around the state like public schools, colleges and universities, parks, and environmental projects.

This budget includes a record $1 billion for public schools, which will help the state’s 295 local school districts achieve the state’s K-3 class size reduction goals.

Lawmakers from the 36th Legislative District welcomed the budget’s passage.

“I’m proud to have joined my colleagues in passing a capital budget that will reinvest in the future of Washington, improve our communities and elevate our overall quality of life,” Sen. Reuven Carlyle said. “I’m particularly pleased by the historic level of funding devoted to invaluable school construction projects, such as the reopening of Magnolia Elementary in 2019, that will build a better Washington for our children and continue to make the 36th Legislative District a great place to live and work.”

Carlyle, who added that he has made the reopening of Magnolia Elementary a “big priority,” has worked diligently in recent years to secure millions of dollars in funding for the project.

Rep. Gael Tarleton also applauded the budget’s approval.

“Our constituents did a great job keeping the pressure on lawmakers, reminding us that housing, parks, schools, and fish passage projects must move forward,” Tarleton said. “We heard you – we got the capital budget passed. And now these much-needed community investments can get started.”

Her colleague, Rep. Noel Frame, made similar remarks.

“It was long past time for this critical construction budget to pass, but I’m glad that these projects can now move forward,” Frame said. “With this budget, we made historical investments in affordable housing, community behavioral health, and education, as well as funding important projects in our local community. These investments will put people to work, grow our economy, and enrich the quality of life in communities across the state.”

The budget approved includes $20.1 million in funding for distressed schools across Seattle. Seattle Public Schools has indicated that $6.7 million in distressed school funds will go toward adding 10 classrooms to West Woodland Elementary School.

Magnolia Elementary, a historic landmark that has been closed since 2007, is set to receive a total of $6.6 million, including $4.3 million as a distressed school and $2.3 million from the School Construction Assistance Program (SCAP). That complements $30.4 million in local funding for Magnolia’s reopening that was raised in part by the $475.3 million BTA IV Capital Levy that Seattle voters approved in February 2016.

Similarly, Loyal Heights Elementary is set to receive $1.9 million in SCAP funds, complementing $39.2 million in local funding.

The capital budget also funds a number of local and community projects in the 36th Legislative District, as well as arts programs, including:

  • $1.9 million for the Seattle Opera, including The Seattle Opera at the Center, a space where students and visitors can view technical and artistic trades and participate in hands-on workshops;
  • $258,000 for the Seattle Repertory Theatre for renovations to its PONCHO forum, which hosts audience engagement programs and youth arts education workshops, and serves as a rehearsal hall for mainstage productions;
  • $900,000 for the Interbay Public Development Advisory Committee to explore redevelopment options at Fort Lawton;
  • $400,000 for the Seattle Aquarium to update existing facilities and add the Ocean Pavilion to better serve visitors;
  • $167,000 for the Millionair Club Charity Kitchen, which doubles as a job-training program; and
  • $30,000 for the renewal of the historic Yamasaki courtyard at the Pacific Science Center.

Click here for a complete list of state capital budget projects (sorted by legislative district).

The state construction budget, which is traditionally a strong bipartisan policy, was blocked by Republicans during the 2017 legislative session over a dispute regarding unrelated water legislation. That year marked the first time in state history lawmakers adjourned for the year without passing a biennial capital budget.

36th Legislative District town hall to be held January 6

November 27th, 2017|

Who: State Sen. Reuven Carlyle, State Rep. Gael Tarleton, and State Rep. Noel Frame (36th Legislative District)

What: Town hall meeting

When: 2:00 PM –  3:30 PM Saturday, January 6

Where: Coe Elementary School, 2424 7th Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119

Why: To meet with constituents to discuss issues and answer their questions about the upcoming legislative session.

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    Carlyle to chair Senate Energy, Environment & Technology Committee in new Democratic majority

Carlyle to chair Senate Energy, Environment & Technology Committee in new Democratic majority

November 13th, 2017|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, will serve as chair on the Energy, Environment & Technology Committee (EET) in the Washington state Senate. Seizing a one-seat majority after a special election victory in Washington’s 45th Legislative District, Senate Democrats will now set the agenda for policy committees and floor voting.

Following a year of limited action on pressing environmental issues, the new majority is poised to consider legislation addressing Puget Sound cleanup, salmon, forest health, oil safety, broadband deployment, next generation technologies and carbon emissions and more.

“We can build a modern, 21st Century clean energy strategy that embraces a strong environment and a strong economy,” said Carlyle. “The broad categories of energy, environment and technology are central to our quality of life for 7 million people and I’m excited to move forward with renewed commitment as a state to our future.”

The EET committee is also preparing to hear legislation that would better connect rural communities to high-quality broadband internet, striving to ensure access for every Washingtonian.

36th Legislative District Video Tour

October 9th, 2017|

Join Washington State Senator Reuven Carlyle on a tour of the 36th Legislative District!

Video: Sen. Carlyle’s Floor Speech on McCleary

July 1st, 2017|

Watch Sen. Reuven Carlyle’s floor speech in the Senate during debate on McCleary legislation.

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    It’s time to tax online sales equally with traditional stores

It’s time to tax online sales equally with traditional stores

June 16th, 2017|

OLYMPIA – Addressing the public statement that the Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA) will abandon federal efforts for taxation of remote sales in favor of supporting state-level policies, Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, released the following:

“The group representing the nation’s state tax administrators appears to have given up on any meaningful action from Congress concerning the taxation of remote sales. The resolution passed by the FTA is far from trivial or an irrelevant footnote to Washington state. Rather, this shift is representative of a critically important public policy issue that directly impacts our ability to fund education.

“Washington is highly dependent upon sales tax revenues to fund education and a multitude of other vital services. Ensuring that we accurately collect sales and use taxes is critical.

“Striking a fair balance between sales tax collection from traditional mom-and-pop storefronts and web-based sellers is essential. It’s disappointing that the Republican Congress – particularly the chair of the House Republican Conference, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers — is aggressively thwarting this important national policy that is broadly supported, most notably by the primary technology companies in our state.

“For years I’ve worked to equalize tax collections to help fund education. We must now accept that it is time for the Washington Legislature to pass the state version of streamlined sales tax legislation. Passing this legislation would mean hundreds of millions of dollars in increased collections of existing tax obligations that could help us meet the state’s education funding needs.

“We should embrace the tides shifting to state control on this issue and utilize an internet sales tax to fulfill our paramount duty under the state constitution.”


From Tax Notes’ Maria Koklanaris – June 16, 2017

The group representing the nation’s state tax administrators appears to have given up on any meaningful action from Congress on the issue of the taxation of remote sales.

At its annual meeting in Seattle on June 14, the Federation of Tax Administrators adopted a new resolution on the question of who should establish the responsibility of remote sellers to collect and remit tax to states in which they have no physical presence. Previously, the FTA acknowledged a role for Congress to establish legislation to do so. But now the organization says congressional action doesn’t seem likely and that it might not necessarily be a good thing for states if lawmakers did act.

“FTA will move from hoping Congress will help to thinking that anything they could do will be worse,” said Kevin Sullivan, president of the group and the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services.

The FTA said it therefore supports the action moving to the states. It said it would support states’ rights to establish laws related to remote sales, and also to craft that legislation in such a way that it could be used as a vehicle for the possible overturning of Quill v. North Dakota, the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision reaffirming the physical presence test. The most prominent piece of legislation in that vein, South Dakota’s S.B. 106, was struck down by a local court, but the state has appealed the decision to the South Dakota Supreme Court. Speaking at an FTA panel about Quill, South Dakota Revenue Secretary Andy Gerlach said the state is hoping that the case will be on the state supreme court’s fall docket.

“Decades of good-faith effort has generated no meaningful progress toward the goal of developing a workable solution for all stakeholders related to the issue of remote seller collection authority,” the FTA resolution said. “At this time, it appears that any federal legislation could contain unacceptable language that limits state taxing authority. Therefore, FTA supports the right of any state to enact fair and reasonable laws related to remote seller collection authority and to test the limits of, or seek to overturn, the Quill decision.”

The resolution acknowledged that the Senate in 2013 passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, but said any proposal from the House has been “unadministrable.”

“House committee leadership has been publicly adamant that it would not consider the Marketplace Fairness Act. The House instead has floated vague proposals, occasionally offered draft language, and only rarely introduced a bill,” the resolution said. “In every form, the proposals have been unadministrable. At their worst, they would expand preemptions of state tax authority and severely affect state tax authority over sellers who are currently collecting and remitting sales and use tax.”

Video Update – June 12, 2017

June 12th, 2017|

A brief update on the 2017 Legislative 2nd Special Session from State Senator Reuven Carlyle.

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    Legislature passes series of landmark bills expanding opportunity for homeless, foster youth

Legislature passes series of landmark bills expanding opportunity for homeless, foster youth

May 1st, 2017|

OLYMPIA – A package of bills passed by the Legislature will expand opportunity, protections and support for homeless and foster care youth. Each of the bills, from those designed to facilitate on-time high school graduation (HB 1444) and greater housing stability (SHB 1867) to those reducing barriers to obtain identification cards (SB 5382) and car insurance (ESHB 1808), demonstrate Washington’s commitment to closing the opportunity gap for those students most in need. All four bills have been sent to Gov. Inslee to be signed into law.

Senate Bill 5241, which will require school districts statewide to grant partial school credit and provide alternative means for required coursework for homeless students when waivers are not granted, has been signed into law by the governor.

“The 2017 Legislature took significant steps toward fulfilling our moral obligation to support and uplift children in need and who deserve a chance to succeed,” said sponsor of the bill, Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle. “I am thankful to my colleagues from both houses and both parties for their work coming together to help open these pathways.”

Several of the bills were proposed by foster youths themselves at the annual Mockingbird Society Youth Leadership Summit, where foster youth from around the state came together to present their ideas for the coming year to legislators and policy makers.

“Sen. Carlyle is to be commended for his unwavering support of the most vulnerable among us,” said Janis Avery, CEO at Treehouse, a nonprofit that serves 7,000 foster children statewide. “Now that the Senator’s bill, SB 5241, is law, foster youth will be able to continue progress toward high school graduation despite disruptions that are out of their control.”

The average kid in foster care changes placements three times—losing four to six months of academic progress at each stop.

House Bill 1816, a technical fix to help improve the performance of the Office of Homeless Youth and homeless youth service providers, and House Bill 1641, which changes consent provisions for nonemergency primary care services for homeless students, also await the signature of the governor.

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    Carlyle announces state funding for Magnolia, Queen Anne & Ballard schools

Carlyle announces state funding for Magnolia, Queen Anne & Ballard schools

March 30th, 2017|

Senate budget includes $20.1M for Seattle Schools as House negotiations begin

OLYMPIA – In addition to nearly $1.1 billion for school construction statewide, Seattle Public Schools would receive a special allocation of $20.1 million dollars for school construction projects in the 2017 capital budget passed by the Washington State Senate, according to Sen. Reuven Carlyle.

“As Seattle grows, thousands of additional kids are filling our schools each year and we need to add classrooms,” said Carlyle.  “I’m excited that the Senate budget includes key funding to reopen Magnolia Elementary School, improve Queen Anne Elementary and complete Loyal Heights and much more.”

“We need to get kids out of portables throughout our district and into real classrooms where young minds can thrive in healthy learning environments,” said Carlyle.  “Quality classrooms and space is part of our state’s paramount duty of a good education.”

The Seattle Public School District has indicated it plans to use the funds for distressed schools to build six additional classrooms at Magnolia Elementary School and 10 additional classrooms at West Woodlands Elementary School.

$1.9 million will also be allocated to Loyal Heights Elementary School through the School Construction Assistance Program.