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    Chase will chair Senate Economic Development & Trade Committee

Chase will chair Senate Economic Development & Trade Committee

November 13th, 2017|

OLYMPIASen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, was selected by the Senate Democratic Caucus to serve as the chair of the Economic Development & Trade Committee for the 2018 Legislative Session.

“Economic development and trade are critical industries in our state that must not be ignored,” said Chase. “I am pleased that these issues will once again have their own committee. We have thousands of Washingtonians working every day to provide for their families, their communities, and our state. We need to ensure that we create a climate that will encourage more economic development and growth in trade. This committee has always been bipartisan and I plan to continue that collegial, working partnership. I am honored to serve as chair of the committee.”

Chase will also be a member of the Senate Transportation Committee and the Rules Committee.

After winning a critical special election in the 45th Legislative District earlier this month, Democrats gained a one-seat majority in the Senate. In the majority, Democrats will set the agenda of Senate committees and will determine which bills will be brought forward for votes.

Chase to speak at AWB Rural Jobs Summit

October 23rd, 2017|

Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, will speak at the Association of Washington Business’ Rural Jobs Summit on Tuesday, Oct. 24, in Moses Lake.

“I am pleased to be participating in this year’s summit,” said Chase. “Economic development across our state needs to be smart, fair, and sustainable for all communities. We are all in this together and need to collectively propose solutions to make sure everyone has an opportunity to thrive in our state’s economy. Your zip code should not dictate your future.”

Chase serves as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Agriculture, Water, Trade and Economic Development Committee. She is passionate about creating and cultivating economic development policies that thrive in both metro and non-metro areas of the state.

“Economic development is much more than a rural versus urban divide,” said Chase. “When this issue is framed in this way it becomes an Eastern Washington versus Western Washington debate. The truth is there are both rural and urban areas on both sides of the Cascades. To pit one side of the state against the other is not fair and not an accurate portrayal of our overall economy. We need to examine the state as a whole and see where we need improvements and investments.”

The Association of Washington Business held the first Rural Jobs Summit earlier this year in Olympia. This summit produced a legislative Rural Caucus that includes members of both sides of the aisle in order to help advance legislation that benefits all of the non-metropolitan areas of the state.


Chase will participate in the Legislative Leadership Report at 4:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24. TVW will livestream the event.

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    Chase: Landmark education bill adds $7.3 billion to Washington schools at a price

Chase: Landmark education bill adds $7.3 billion to Washington schools at a price

August 9th, 2017|

OLYMPIA – In the final hours before a state government shutdown, the Legislature passed a landmark education bill that will add billions of dollars to public schools in Washington state over the next four years. Passage of this bill addresses the chronic underfunding of K-12 schools called out in the state Supreme Court’s McCleary case.

“This budget makes large investments in education and reflects the core values and principles that Democrats have advocated for over the last five years,” said Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds. “This education plan ensures more equity between low- and high-income districts and students and provides additional funds for students with individual needs. That being said, the investments made to our state’s education system do not come without a price. The insistence by Senate Republicans on a statewide property tax to pay for the plan will hit people at home the hardest. It was not what Democrats wanted but unfortunately, a property tax increase was all the Republicans would consider. While I support many of the positive changes the education plan makes, I could not support the bill with its current funding mechanism. The investments made to education come from somewhere and robbing the already empty pockets of home owners is not a fair way to fund education.”

House Bill 2242 takes numerous steps toward closing the opportunity gap including increasing salaries and salary equity for educators, providing additional funding for special education and for low-income districts. The bill also increases funds for career and technical education and ensures locals may retain control of their levies while also adding common sense transparency and accountability measures to how levies are spent.

“We have 1.1 million school kids, thousands of educators, and families who are counting on the legislature to do its job and fulfill the promises it has made,” said Chase. “When our kids are able to reach their fullest potential, our state, economy, and society benefit as a result.”

The education bill passed with bipartisan support out of both chambers of the Legislature (67-26 out of the House of Representatives, and 32-17 out of the Senate).

Another piece to the K-12 education puzzle is addressing the overcrowding of classrooms across the state. The legislature adjourned for the time being without adopting a capital budget, which had over $1 billion allocated for school construction.

“The capital budget is not only vital for local infrastructure projects and providing jobs all across our state, it is critical to making sure new classrooms and schools are upgraded and built,” said Chase. “We have lost major progress in creating smaller class sizes without the ability to build new classrooms. This is a problem that must be remedied.”

At the end of the third special legislative session, Senate Republicans refused to move forward on the capital budget without a fix for a rural water rights issue known as the “Hirst decision.” While the legislature is not currently in session, negotiations are taking place to try to find a solution so a capital budget may move forward.


To view a summary of impacts of the bill, please click here.
To review estimated school district tax impacts of the bill, please click here.


Seattle Met Magazine: A Single-Payer Plan in Washington?

July 13th, 2017|

The following “Explainer” appeared on Seattle Met’s website on July 13, 2017 and appears in the August 2017 issue:

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    Commentary: Compromise needed now on state water rights bill

Commentary: Compromise needed now on state water rights bill

July 6th, 2017|

The following op-ed originally appeared in the Everett Herald, June 29, 2017:

Commentary: Compromise needed now on state water rights bill

  • Thu Jun 29th, 2017 1:30am
  • Opinion

By Maralyn Chase

Water is life. Plants, animals, people and cities depend on water to survive. In 2016, the state Supreme Court ruled in Whatcom County v. Hirst, et al., that the county had failed to comply with Growth Management Act requirements to make sure there is enough water, physically and legally, to protect water resources.

Thus far, the Hirst decision has been framed as an urban vs. rural, east vs. west, Republican vs. Democrat issue. Making sure there is enough water for all living things to thrive is sound environmental policy. Senate Republicans’ insistence on a “my way or the highway” approach to this statewide problem is a reckless game of chicken that cannot have any winners, only losers.

It is time for Senate Republicans to stop taking bills hostage, especially the capital budget. There is too much at stake. Our communities are suffering and need the infrastructure investments offered in the capital budget. No community is without its share of problems, from homelessness, to the opioid epidemic, to the need for increases in mental health services. The capital budget cannot be the Hirst decision’s collateral damage.

Let us also not forget the more than $60 million appropriated for “big water” in the capital budget. “Big water” is how our state’s farmers irrigate their 36,000 farms for more than 300 crops each year. By contrast, the Hirst decision is “small water,” affecting developers drilling wells without permits for domestic use into a diminishing aquifer. Without a capital budget, none of the “big water” projects move forward, and the farmers’ crops may not receive the water needed to survive. With a capital budget and the Senate Republican Hirst solution, “big water” and “small water” are satisfied but senior water rights and those held by tribes, referred to as “ancient water,” and water law are in chaos.

The Legislature is no stranger to fundamental disagreements over issues involving water. Central to the Hirst decision are instream flow rules and senior water rights. In the mid-1970s, the state began adopting instream flow rules to protect rivers, streams and other bodies of water from excessive withdrawals of water. The proposed Senate Republican “fix” to this issue would essentially bust water law wide open and subject the state to another lawsuit, and property owners with further delays. We need a compromise that considers the classic interrelationship of land and water. We need integrated efforts at the state and county levels to solve this problem, like those that have been previously reported in this paper.

Water is a precious resource, and the stakes are high for those who are in control of it and those who are in need. There is a long list of powerful stakeholders involved in this issue. Some may truly want a solution that fixes the problem; however, to some it is likely that the problem is worth more than the solution. It is far easier to point the finger of blame when there is no solution, than come to the negotiating table in good faith.

State Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, is the ranking Democratic member on the Senate Agriculture, Water, Trade &Economic Development Committee.

Chase: Property tax plan hits middle class hardest

July 6th, 2017|

Sen. Maralyn Chase speaks against the Senate Republican property tax plan to fund K-12 basic education.

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    Chase: Family vacations at state parks cancelled without state budget

Chase: Family vacations at state parks cancelled without state budget

June 26th, 2017|

OLYMPIASen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, issued the following statement four days ahead of a state government shutdown and after more than 11,000 state park reservation, cancellation notices were sent out last week:

“Summertime in Washington’s state parks is the busiest time of the year. Thousands of families have planned, sometimes months in advance, to reserve space in our state parks for weddings, family reunions, and vacations. Without a state budget by July 1, those plans could have been all for naught as our state parks will be closed. Senate Republicans are unnecessarily causing thousands of families stress and anxiety as they scramble to find a backup plan.

“With over 30 million visitors to our state parks annually, their visits contribute more than $1.4 billion to the state’s economy and $64 million in state general fund tax receipts. The tourism industry in our state relies on state parks and public lands to provide jobs, especially in small, rural towns. A state government shutdown and subsequent closure of state parks could have devastating short and long-term impacts to local economies relying on tourism. A recent report itemized out the fiscal impact on the local economies in all 49 legislative districts. The potential revenue loss in each district for recreation, in state park lands alone, is staggering.

“With four days ahead of a state government shutdown, there is still time to adopt a two-year budget. Washington’s families with reservations at our state parks are counting on us to not ruin their Fourth of July.”


Impacts of a state government shutdown would be damaging

June 23rd, 2017|

Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, issued the following statement seven days ahead of the end of the state’s fiscal year on June 30:

“With July 1 right around the corner, the state legislature appears to be unable to perform its legal obligation of passing a two-year budget. If the state legislature cannot agree upon a budget by the said date, the government will shut down, furloughing tens of thousands of public employees across the state. In fact, most of the layoff notices have already gone out. Our state workers provide for their families, serve their communities, and contribute to their local economy with their government jobs and salary. Thus, a state government shutdown affects not only the individual, but endangers the health of the state’s communities and economies.

“A state government shutdown will not only cut crucial services to each legislative district, but hinder all the local economies. Furloughing our government workers could lead to the suspension of the delivery of vital services to citizens, and delay the construction of capital projects. The employees who perform these duties provide for their families and contribute to their local economy with their salaries. A state government shutdown could halt or potentially cripple economic activity statewide.

“As we approach the fiscal cutoff, I believe it is important to look at the number of government employees in each of the legislative districts. These are the state workers who will not be able to reliably put food on the table, pay rent, or have access to their health care.

“Allowing our state to go over the fiscal cliff without an operating budget and furloughing thousands of state workers from their jobs without pay because the legislature is unable to do its job is immoral.”



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    Chase: “This matters now; reliance on property tax perpetuates the pain of unfair tax system”

Chase: “This matters now; reliance on property tax perpetuates the pain of unfair tax system”

June 21st, 2017|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, is working on a set of bills focused on limits to the state’s property tax rates and removing the tax exemptions on intangible property, like stocks and bonds.

“These bills show that there are additional sources of revenue out there that we haven’t even begun to consider,” said Chase. “We need to have a real conversation about our state’s unfair tax system. To have a multi-billion dollar property tax hike pushed through the legislative process at the last possible second by the Senate Republicans is no way to govern. The Senate Republican plan to increase property taxes to fund our schools is irresponsible. We already know that our state is dead last in the nation when it comes to our tax structure, so why would we even consider placing the majority of the tax burden on our low-income and working families with an increase in property tax?”

Chase’s slate of bills include:

  • Senate Bill 5948, Restoring intangible property taxation;
  • Senate Bill 5959, Establishing a capital gains tax;
  • Senate Bill 5960, Taxing intangible personal property;
  • Senate Bill 5961, Changing the business and occupation tax from a gross receipts tax to a net receipts tax; and,
  • Senate Bill 5962, Lowering the property tax levy limit from one percent to zero to prohibit certain annual property tax increases.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy has consistently ranked Washington state as having the most upside down tax system in the United States. This means that the lowest 60 percent of earners pay the highest percentage of their income in overall taxes. How did our state develop this unfair tax system? Over time, the legislature has allowed exemptions of certain types of property, by removing some property from the tax base, and from confusing types of tax procedures. For example:

  1. Property taxation:
    1. The State of Washington taxes all property unless the Legislature or the State Constitution specifically exempts the property. (Currently stocks and bonds are exempted by the Legislature but there are many more examples of these exemptions such as, churches, non-profits, etc. are exempted by the Constitution.)
  2. Tax Shifts:
    1. An exemption means some owners of property are not required to pay property taxes, which results in a tax shift to people who do not have an exemption.
    2. The Legislature has created two classes of people: people who pay property tax and people who do not pay property tax.
    3. This has been accomplished by simply removing some property from the tax base.

All taxpayers are permitted to own property but the Legislature is not always going to tax it: Taxpayers can buy all the stocks and bonds and other intangible property they want: it will no longer be taxed as called for in the State Constitution, Article 7, Section 1: Taxation

  1. When the Legislature repeals the intangible property tax exemption, the total property value in the tax base increases causing the property tax rate to decrease. This shifts taxes back to the exempt property owner causing other taxpayers to pay less but usually results in no potential revenue gains for the state. This is a more equitable model for taxpayers.

“This debate matters right now,” said Chase. “Our state has an opportunity to not only make our tax system fairer, but also pay for our kid’s education as is our state’s paramount duty. The people who don’t currently have a property tax exemption should not have to shoulder the tax burden for the entire state. We would not be making progress if that’s the only option we are presented.”

More than property tax…

June 20th, 2017|

Sen. Chase

June 20, 2017

Dear friends and neighbors,

 Sen. Maralyn Chase



Phone: 360-786-7662

Legislative Hotline: 800-562-6000


Agriculture, Water, Trade & Economic Development

(Ranking Member)


Tomorrow marks the end of the second 30-day special legislative session. We are quickly running out of time. If the legislature does not have an operating budget by the end of June 30, the end of the state’s fiscal year, state government will shut down. The Senate Republican Majority needs to stop obstructing the operating budget process and come to the negotiating table.  

The people of Washington state have a right to know that there are other sources of revenue in our state than increases in property taxes, sales taxes or utility taxes to pay for constitutionally mandated government activities.

Senate Bill 5948 – Proposes to repeal the 1997 tax exemptions (SB 5286) in which the state legislature removed intangible property (stocks and bonds, etc.) from our state property tax base. Currently, our state taxes tangible property, (family homes), at a rate of 1% per year. By contrast, thanks to the 1997 tax break, intangible property, such as stocks and bonds, are not taxed at all.

Currently, if a person were to invest $300,000 in stocks and bonds, they would not be taxed on that investment in intangible property. However, if the same person were to use that $300,000 to purchase a home worth say $500,000, on which they would owe $200,000, they would pay tangible property tax on their $300,000 equity in the home and on the $200,000 in home value owned by the bank. How is that fair?

Repealing the tax exemption for intangible property would create a more just and fair system of taxation in our state. If we increase the size of the taxable base by putting the intangible property back into play, the taxes on wealthy people and people of modest means will be computed by the value of their property in the tax base. A larger tax base spreads the burden across all property as intended in the Washington State Constitution, Article VII, Section 1. TAXATION.            

Washington state is a progressive state in many areas, however, tax policy is not one of them. We rank dead last in the nation.

I am proud to introduce this bill and several others identifying most of the additional options the legislature has to pay for the mandates required by the Constitution. A statewide property tax should not be the only source of revenue we seriously examine.

Best regards,