Monthly Archives: February 2014

Youth makes an impression — and vice versa

February 24th, 2014|

It’s always a joy to meet with the people I represent, but some occasions are more unforgettable than others. One of those occasions came recently when I met with members of the Youth Advisory Council, 22 young men and women from all over our state who present youth issues to the state Legislature.

While you always like to see Washingtonians engaged in the affairs of their government, it’s even more gratifying when they represent the young generations that will one day provide our future leaders. The key to representative government is an informed citizenry, after all, and these young men and women are developing a level of knowledge and experience from which they, and our state, will benefit throughout their lives.

When one of the members, Yoni Kintzer, posted a report on the council’s visit, I was both startled and honored to read as he described his passion for politics and wrote: “A meeting with state Senator Maralyn Chase (D-32) in Olympia reignited my passion.”

That is high praise indeed, and is an intense validation of one of my most rewarding roles as a lawmaker. When you believe government exists to help people and is a powerful force for good in people’s lives, as I always have, then few things can bring you more satisfaction than to learn that something you did or said helped further the civic engagement of another Washingtonian.

You can read Yoni’s full account here.

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    Chase bill to protect ratepayers’ voting rights heads to House

Chase bill to protect ratepayers’ voting rights heads to House

February 21st, 2014|

A bill to ensure that voters in a water-sewer district retain ultimate control over whether a city or town can assume jurisdiction of their district has passed the Senate and awaits action in the House of Representatives.

“We have seen takeovers in the past that have been controversial, divisive and costly,” said Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline and the sponsor of Senate Bill 6008. “It’s time to update the laws to make sure that any changes in jurisdictional authority properly recognize the will of the people.”

SB 6008 would update state laws to ensure that current-day assumptions reflect the values of Article II of the State Constitution, which states that “the people reserve to themselves the power to propose bills, laws and to enact or reject the same at the pools, independent of the legislature, and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or reject at the polls any act, item, section, or part of any bill, act, or law passed by the legislature.”

SB 6008 passed the Senate on a 37-10 vote and is scheduled for a public hearing Monday before the House Local Government Committee.  It provides a referendum clause that, should the Ronald Board of Commissioners agree to the assumption of the sewer district by the City of Shoreline, gives the voting ratepayers who established the Ronald Sewer District the right to put the assumption to a vote of the people if they secure the signatures of 10 percent of those voters.

“This bill will ensure that the democratic process can work the way it was meant to work,” Chase said. “Let the people vote. If it’s truly in the public’s best interest for the City of Shoreline to assume the Ronald Sewer District, then the Ronald Board of Commissioners should have nothing to fear from a vote by the ratepayers.”

Utility taxes are among the most regressive taxes levied on citizens. For example, low-income working families pay 17 percent of their income in taxes compared to wealthy families who pay only 2.8 percent.

“Our state, sadly, has the most regressive system of taxation in the United States,” Chase said. “We are Number 1 in taxing poor people and Number 50 in taxing wealthy people. This backwards policy must be reversed, and this bill is a good first start.”

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    Chase lauds Inslee for ending ‘barbaric practice’ of executions

Chase lauds Inslee for ending ‘barbaric practice’ of executions

February 11th, 2014|

Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, released this statement following Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement today that he is placing a moratorium on death-row executions in Washington.

“We don’t honor life when the state kills. We don’t discourage crime when the state kills. We don’t bring loved ones back or ease the pain of victims when the state kills. We might wish it were so, but it is not. And we accomplish little by pretending differently except to perpetuate a barbaric practice and, worse yet, unwittingly murder men and women who have been wrongly convicted of crimes they did not commit.

“I commend Gov. Inslee for recognizing these incontrovertible realities and acting decisively, immediately and unilaterally to end this horrible and failed exercise we call capital punishment.

“Most of us learn the Golden Rule very early in life. So, too, we learn the Ten Commandments and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And we profess to hold these values dear, only to employ laws that punish those who transgress against us and our moral code with methods that violate that very code.

“Today we move forward as a state, as a people and as a society. I wish we could have gotten here sooner, but progress is often the result of many small steps over time. This is a large step and I am pleased to see it occur in my time.”