Monthly Archives: April 2013

Sen. Chase talks about the importance of fair trade

April 27th, 2013|

Sen. Chase: Republicans still living ‘in the time of Eisenhower’

April 26th, 2013|

Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, released this statement today regarding almost half the Republican caucus’ support of Senate Bill 5927, which legalizes discrimination against gay people:

“The party of Reagan and Lincoln, as they like to call themselves, continues to pursue legislation that lands them in the time of Eisenhower.

“It’s 2013. We’ve come a long way from segregated schools and lunch counters. But evidently there are at least 11 members of the Washington State Senate who are still fighting on the wrong side of battles won generations ago by the forces of tolerance and equality.

“This bill is yet another example of a backwards, out-of-touch, far-right agenda that has no place in a state that prides itself on acceptance and has the track record to prove it.

“Washingtonians want us to move forward with policies that lift all people equally.

“Unfortunately for the rest of us, there are at least 11 senators who are stuck in a time of saddle shoes, Leave it to Beaver and beating the Ruskies to the Moon.”

Hello from Olympia

April 23rd, 2013|

Hello!

I’m Senator Maralyn Chase and this is my weekly news letter where I let you know about what’s happening on my end of the legislature. If you no longer wish to receive this news letter or believe that you were sent this by mistake please click here to unsubscribe.

If you would like to know more about me and my position on key issues please click here and you will be directed to my web page.

We are finishing up the last week of session and at this point your input is more valuable then ever! Please feel free to contact my office at any point during session to me how you feel on any issue that is of importance to you. Remember I work for you!

 

Parliamentary attempt to revive Reproductive Parity Act and Dream Act fails

Last week, the Senate majority caucus showed its unwillingness to allow a vote on two bills that have support from a majority of members of the Senate – the Washington Dream Act and the Reproductive Parity Act. Both bills uphold the fundamental Washington values of fairness and choice.

The Reproductive Parity Act, HB 1044, would move our state in the opposite direction of 21 states that have banned abortion coverage in their insurance markets. The act would uphold our state’s long tradition of allowing women – not insurance companies – to make their own health care choices and to ensure that the choices remain based on health and not economics.

The Washington Dream Act, HB 1817, would allow deserving Washington students to pursue their full potential in education and in life. The act would open up state financial aid to young dreamers who are currently penalized simply because their parents are undocumented immigrants.

These bills are supported both by a majority of Washingtonians and by a majority of members of this chamber.

This week, we attempted to use a parliamentary procedure known as the Ninth Order to allow these bills a vote. We believed the health and well-being of thousands of Washingtonians are too important to allow these bills to fail. The majority caucus’ votes to block these two bills amounts to an attack on a woman’s right to choose and on a free, fair and accessible education system for all.

I’m disappointed that the majority caucus did not live up to its promises of bipartisanship and has steadfastly fought to prevent either bill from receiving an up or down vote. The people of Washington deserve better and I will continue fighting for these important protections for health and equality.

 

Local control, safer streets will be result of bill passed in Senate

The last bill passed in the state Senate before the deadline to pass policy bills at 5 PM last Wednesday was HB 1045, the Safe Streets bill. This bill would cut the red tape for cities seeking to lower speed limits on neighborhood streets, saving money – and, more importantly, lives.

The bill would not directly change any speed limits but would allow cities and towns to lower speed limits on side streets – not major commercial streets or highways – without the need for costly engineering studies. Right now, cities and counties must pay for an engineering report to raise or lower a speed limit. An engineering report would still be required to raise a speed limit, to ensure that the road could handle the higher speed. Since a road can always handle a lower speed, the engineering report would no longer be necessary to lower a speed limit. The reduction in red tape and expenses for local governments would improve local control over speed limits and increase governmental efficiency.

Studies show that a person struck by a car going 30 miles per hour has a 40 percent chance of fatality. When the speed of the car drops to 20 mph, the likelihood of fatality drops to just 5 percent.

The bill passed on a 45-2 bipartisan vote. This legislation will give our local communities more control to make our streets safer for seniors, families and children.

 

Bipartisan group urges tougher DUI laws

In the wake of several tragic and high-profile DUI collisions in the past few days, Gov. Inslee and a bipartisan group of legislators have proposed new, tougher DUI legislation to crack down on repeat offenders.

The new legislation would mandate an arrest on a first offense and a choice of six months jail time or enrollment in a new Sobriety 24/7 program on second offense. The program, which was implemented in South Dakota, provides stricter accountability and substance abuse support that has proven to reduce recidivism.  Offenders would be sentenced to one year in jail for a third offense.

Additional provisions include installation of ignition interlock devices on all DUI offender vehicles, authorization to establish DUI courts in local municipalities, and increased funding for the state’s Target Zero program.

It’s unfortunate that it sometimes takes a tragedy to clear the way for good legislation to move forward, but this will be a real step to crack down on repeat DUI offenders and reduce the incidence of the tragic and preventable crime. This positive step forward will make our streets safer and will save lives.

 

Bill to ban some toxic flame retardants passes Senate

HB 1294, a bill that would ban the use of toxic flame retardants in children’s products and upholstered furniture, passed Wednesday in the Senate. Two chemicals, TCEP and TDCPP, more commonly identified as “Tris,” are used as flame retardants in foam found in everyday products such as couches, nursing pillows, changing pads, car seats, strollers and children’s nap mats.

The bill that passed the Senate adopted an amendment that strips the bill down to banning just the two chemicals; the House-approved legislation would prohibit other flame retardant chemicals in children’s products listed on the state’s list of chemicals of high concern for the health of children.

Toxic chemicals in the foam of common household products break down over time and are released as dust particles which are then ingested. Young children and babies are especially at risk of overexposure to these chemicals. Science has proven that toxic flame retardant chemicals are ineffective in fire retardation and can make the smoke from fires more lethal to firefighters, first responders and victims. These chemicals have been proven to cause cancer, hormone defects, growth problems and brain damage.

With the Senate passage of this bill in amended form, the bill must go back to the House where they will likely request that the Senate reconsider its position and pass the full legislation as it came out of the House. Our kids and families deserve the right to be confident that their children’s products are safe and toxic free.

 

Revenue Dept. honored for helping small businesses file taxes more efficiently

The state Department of Revenue has won another national award in recognition of its efforts to help businesses easily file and pay taxes accurately.

The Federation of Tax Administrators named Washington the winner of its 2013 FTA Award for Outstanding Compliance Program. Our state has won more national FTA awards than any other state tax agency in the nation, 19 in all over the past 14 years.

The award was given for an iPhone and Android app developed by the department to help taxpayers, especially small businesses, accurately determine the right sales tax rates to charge customers. Washington’s Department of Revenue is the first in the nation to identify a compelling taxpayer need and develop a phone app to meet it.

“What’s not to like,” one FTA judge said of the phone app. “All the states have been looking for ways to use those apps, and this is a great way. It’s more than just ‘here is a list of our district offices.’ They took the technology and applied it to a need. A carpet-layer who works in five jurisdictions during the day has to look up the tax rate five times a day. And they clearly did some design work. They just didn’t say ‘type in your location.’ They incorporated GPS so it starts with your location.”

Nobody likes paying taxes, but the least we can do is to make it as easy as possible. This is the kind of work our state is constantly doing to help make government work better for our small businesses. I’m proud of the work that we’ve seen here and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next!

Town Halls

For the past few weeks I have been hosting town halls all over my district and I have gotten chance to know you, my constituents. These town halls have been an opportunity for us to have a working dialog on issues before the legislature. I would like to thank everyone that came out and showed their support in these last weeks. I have greatly appreciated getting to know you and the issues that you are concerned about on a more personal level.

I always consider your opinions while working at the legislature, and these town halls are a great opportunity for me to get to know what your concerns are on a more thorough level.

There will be more town halls coming up in the next few weeks, please check out my website for time and dates.

 

Contact me!

This time of year I’m hard at work at my office in Olympia should you wish to to get in touch with me. I’ll be back in my offices in Shoreline at the end of the legislative session, on April 29th.

Olympia Office:

241 John A. Cherberg Building

PO Box 40432

Olympia, WA 98504-0432

Phone: (360)-786-7662

 

District office:

18560 First Ave NE, Room E-124

Shoreline, WA 98155

Phone (206)-366-2605

 

Email: Maralyn.Chase@leg.wa.gov

April 17, 2013 – E-Newsletter

April 17th, 2013|

Hello!

This is my weekly newsletter where I let you know what’s happening in my end of the legislature.  If you no longer wish to subscribe to my newsletter or believe that you received this message on accident please, click here to unsubscribe.

We are in the midst of negotiating a budget between the house and the senate. We have a lot of hard work and some difficult decisions ahead of us, but I look forward to working with my fellow Senators and Representatives to put together a budget we can be proud of.

The funding of higher education is one of my major concerns. We must ensure that our children have the opportunity to pursue a higher education without the fear of a crippling debt. We must also ensure that the universities that receive state funding spend it in a way that benefits the students as much as possible. With this is mind, please take a moment to review my video that discusses higher education funding for the University of Washington.

House Democrats release budget proposal

Last Friday, the House released its budget proposal. Democrats and Republicans will have to negotiate between this proposal and the budget proposal brought forward in the Senate by the Republican majority and find a compromise that the House, Senate and Gov. Inslee can all agree on.

The House budget has several key differences from the budget the Senate. The House budget provides almost $400 million more towards K-12 education than the Senate budget, including money for class size reduction which wasn’t in the Senate budget. The House budget doesn’t make cuts to important social service programs like the Working Connections Child Care subsidy program, enrollment in which was capped in the Senate budget. The House budget also doesn’t include some of the fund transfers and accounting tricks that were in the Senate budget, like a shift of $166 million out of a fund intended for school construction and used instead to pay for operating expenses – a transfer that has raised significant concerns about its constitutionality.

 

The House budget raises new revenue to fund this additional education spending by closing several tax loopholes and extending some taxes on business operations and beer that otherwise would have expired. The tax loopholes they recommend for closure are many of the same ones that Gov. Inslee recommended for closure in his budget. One, for instance, benefits just five big oil refineries who are experiencing record profits; another exempts sales tax for landline telephone service but doesn’t apply to cell phone service.

Funding our children’s education is more important than a tax break for oil refineries and closing some of these unproductive loopholes makes sense.

 

Inslee, LaHood: Columbia River Crossing at 11th hour

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood came to Olympia last week to meet with Gov. Inslee and urge the Legislature to commit to Washington State’s share of funding for the Columbia River Crossing or risk forfeiting $850 million in federal aid.

Replacing the bridge will free up capacity along our crucial north-south transportation corridor and spur economic activity from Canada to Mexico, which is exactly what our region needs as we continue to rebound from the Great Recession.

Secretary LaHood’s message was clear: After more than a decade of planning, our state needs to step up and match Oregon’s $450 million commitment for its share of the bridge by September 2013. Gov. Inslee, in turn, was equally clear: If our state misses the deadline, the bridge project would be set back for years and far less federal money would be available in the future.

The September deadline isn’t the only reason the bridge needs to move forward. As Gov. Inslee noted, the existing bridge sits on rotting piers that were put in the Columbia River in 1917 and would not survive a major earthquake. Every new delay on the project jeopardizes the safety of the people who travel the bridge each day.

 

Celebrating Washington ranching

Last Week we celebrated Beef Day here at the Legislature, a day that recognizes the role of Washington ranching. Washington has a large and impressive cattle industry – we’ve got more than 1.1 million cows, we employ nearly 20,000 workers in ranching and dairy and Washington produced more than 800 million pounds of beef in 2012.

It’s also a major international export for us – we exported more than $100 million worth of beef to other countries in 2012. As a result of the free trade agreement that the US recently signed with South Korea, we expect Washington state beef exports to rise by $7 million annually as South Korean tariffs on our beef are phased out.

Ranching is an important part of our economy and our agricultural heritage as a state, and we passed a resolution on the Senate floor honoring cowboys and ranchers and the work they do for us. I’m glad that we have such a strong and sustainable agricultural economy here and I’m looking forward to working on ways to strengthen the industry.

Constituent Responses

“Your listening to the concern of the elderly and infirm population of Four Freedoms House and Henry M. Jackson Apartments this winter was appreciated. The matter to do with the bus stop on Linden Avenue and 135th Street was resolved in favor of the residents, in part due to the knowledge that your office had been contacted.

The contesting entities were shocked by our having sought you out! We knew you were here to represent us in all ways, and never had a moment’s thought about calling on you. Bless you for the strength you bring to your people.”

–          Lee Suitor

–          On behalf of the people of Four Freedoms House and Henry M. Jackson Apts.

I work for you.

As session comes to a close, I need your input more than ever. Please contact my office, or stop by with any concerns on issues that are of importance to you. Your input is paramount to the process!

 

Olympia Office:

241 John A. Cherberg Building

PO Box 40432

Olympia, WA 98504-0432

Phone: (360)-786-7662

 

 

District Office:

18560 First Ave NE, Room E-124

Shoreline, WA 98155

Phone: (206)-366-2604

FAX:  (206)-366-2605

Come meet Sen. Maralyn Chase during an upcoming town hall

April 9th, 2013|

Please join Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, during one or both of her upcoming town hall events.

Sen. Chase hopes to see you in person in Edmonds on April 13 or the following day in Shoreline on April 14 to discuss issues important to you, your family and our state.

The locations, dates and times are as follows:

WHEN: April 13, 2013
WHERE: Edmonds Senior Center
220 Railroad Ave.
Edmonds, WA 98020
TIME: 10 a.m. to Noon
Click here for directions to the event

WHEN: April 14, 2013

WHERE: Shoreline City Council Chambers
17500 Midvale Ave. North
Shoreline, WA 98133
TIME: 10 a.m. to Noon
Click here for directions to the event

April 9th Newsletter

April 9th, 2013|

Hello!

This is my weekly newsletter that I send out to let you know what happening on my end of the legislature. If you believe that you received this email by mistake, or no longer wish to be part of my mailing list please click here and unsubscribe.

Senate Republicans release budget proposal

This week, the Republican majority in the Senate released its budget proposal for 2013-2015. I don’t believe that this was a good working budget for Washington State. To hear the reasons for my ‘No’ vote, please click here.

While I’m glad that the budget implements the Affordable Care Act and ratifies our collective bargaining contracts with our state employees, I’m disappointed that the budget doesn’t invest more money into our K-12 system and makes cuts to important parts of our social safety net for our most vulnerable. Gov. Inslee’s budget proposal last week invests almost $300 million more dollars into K-12 education than this proposal does, including money to reduce class sizes for our students.

This budget proposal from the Republicans is an important part of the conversation and I look forward to working with the Senate Republicans, the House of Representatives and the governor to do what we can to pass a better budget.

Republicans refuse to hold a vote on the Reproductive Parity Act

The vast majority of insurance plans in Washington state currently cover abortion services. However, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the next two years, we must take steps to make sure these medical services continue to be covered under insurance. The Reproductive Parity Act, or RPA, would guarantee that all insurance plans that cover maternity care also cover abortion services.

Without the RPA, insurance companies will be able to choose whether to include abortion coverage in their plans. With the RPA, women will be able to choose whether or not they need to have an abortion with the confidence that it will be covered by their insurance plan. We believe that decision belongs with the woman, not the insurance company. The bill allows religiously-sponsored insurance carriers not to provide coverage for health care services to which they object based on conscience or religion while ensuring that alternative insurers who do cover abortion are available to employees.

This is a basic protection for women’s reproductive health and a bipartisan majority of members of the Senate have signed a letter in support, but the Republican chair of the Senate Health Care Committee has refused to allow it to come to a vote in committee, much less a vote on the floor of the Senate — even though a majority of senators has committed to voting in favor of the bill. This blatant disregard for the will of the Senate is disappointing — the bill passed the House on a bipartisan vote and the full Senate deserves an opportunity to vote on the issue as well. I will continue to advocate for protection of women’s reproductive choices and the fight to write this protection into law is far from over.

Dream Act prevented from moving out of committee

The Washington Dream Act would enable aspiring Washington citizens to attend college and continue to contribute to their communities. House Bill 1817 was written to help children who have grown up in Washington state, but whose parents had entered the country illegally, to succeed in our higher education system. Giving these students a fair shot means giving them the same access to our state financial aid programs that other students get.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 77-20, with many Republicans in support. We had hoped that given this strong showing of bipartisan support, we would be given a chance to vote on this bill in the Senate. Unfortunately, the chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee refused to allow the bill to move forward despite its broad bipartisan support.

Honoring Vietnam Veterans

Last week, the Legislature passed a resolution declaring March 30th to be Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, joining seven other states in honoring Vietnam veterans on that date. It was on March 29, 1973, that the last United States troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.We held a ceremony at our state’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall on the Capitol Campus with the Yakama Nation and several veterans groups.

It’s important that we recognize the sacrifices that our service members have made for us and that we properly honor them. While ceremonies and proclamations can’t heal the wounds that too many still suffer from, we should never forget what our veterans have done on our behalf and we should make sure that they know we haven’t forgotten.

I work for you!

If you have any questions, or concerns, about legislation and issues that are important to you please feel free to contact my office. During session we are at the capital in the Olympia offices. When session is out you can contact us at our district offices.

Olympia Office:                                                                    

241 John A. Cherberg Building

PO Box 40432

Phone: (360) 786-7662

Email: Maralyn.Chase@leg.wa.gov

 

District Office:

18560 First Ave NE, Room E-750

Shoreline, WA 98155

Phone: (206) 366-2604

FAX: (206) 399-2605

Sen. Chase explains her ‘no’ vote on the Republican budget

April 9th, 2013|

Sen. Chase talks about higher education and the burden of student debt

April 2nd, 2013|