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    Sen. Chase: Washingtonians continue the fight for women’s rights

Sen. Chase: Washingtonians continue the fight for women’s rights

February 1st, 2018|

Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, issued the statement below following the passage of Senate Bill 6219, the Reproductive Parity Act:
“Washington state has a long, rich history of fighting for women’s rights. The state Senate continued that fight today by passing the Reproductive Parity Act. I’m proud to be a cosponsor of the bill.”
“People throughout our nation have fought for decades to limit, and even remove, a woman’s right to choose. Today Washington lawmakers affirmed the rights of our residents to make their own choices.”
Chase said that passage of the Reproductive Parity Act reminds her of these events in Washington history:
• In 1910, Washington was the fifth state in the union to grant women the vote.
• In 1972, Washington state ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, which provided that legal rights cannot be denied on account of sex.
• In 1991, our voters passed Initiative 120, affirming abortion rights in Washington state.

“Change is hard, and it takes a long time. But Washingtonians have shown for decades that they’re willing to change for the better.”

Senate considers bill to repeal affirmative action ban

January 29th, 2018|


OLYMPIA —Repealing Washington’s affirmative action ban would open up educational and employment opportunities for underrepresented minorities, enable schools to recruit and hire the best available faculty, and send a message that Washington values diversity, Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds, said today.
“In our country, a person’s success is often determined by the opportunities they are given, whether they be opportunities in work and education,” said Chase, the sponsor of Senate Bill 6406. “Unfortunately, our history has shown us time and time again that people of color in this country aren’t given a fair chance. This bill would take a step toward righting that wrong.”
SB 6406, heard today by the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee, would repeal Initiative 200, which outlawed the use of affirmative action. The initiative, enacted in 1998, was proposed to prevent discrimination in college admission based on race. It has instead prevented the state’s higher education system and agencies from making progress with regards to diversity.
“Our society benefits the most when people of all races and ethnicities are in community together,” said Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle. “What we have seen with the implementation of initiative I-200 is revisionist history. Racial discrimination did not end in 1998. You cannot aspire for racial equality and not examine the historical wrongs people of color have faced. Righting those wrongs take time, we still have work to do.”
Washington is one of eight states that ban affirmative action — the others are California, Arizona, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Michigan, Florida and New Hampshire.
“In 1998, I-200 was promoted as a way to ensure a colorblind society, a vision attractive to all of us. But the reality on the ground is much different,” said Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, D-Seattle, a longtime champion of the issue. “Our economy is growing, and our state is investing billions into communities, creating hundreds of jobs and opportunities. Sadly, however, I-200 prevents these jobs and opportunities from benefiting all in our society. I-200 has entrenched and enshrined discrimination in Washington state as a policy; it must be repealed.”
As University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce explained, I-200 puts Washington universities at a disadvantage when trying to recruit top faculty and when trying to enroll the highest achieving, underrepresented minority students. The measure sends the message that the university, and Washington as a whole, does not welcome or value diversity.
“Every demographic analysis indicated that the future of our state and nation will be increasingly diverse and it is incumbent on us to nurture students, regardless of their background, who can collaborate and succeed within an ethnically and racially diverse environment,” Cauce said.

Chase celebrates capital budget passage

January 19th, 2018|


OLYMPIA — Passage of the capital budget on Thursday night directs much needed funding to the 32nd Legislative District, and to Washington as a whole, said Sen. Maralyn Chase. The budget will invest more than $4 billion in necessary, life-changing projects statewide.
“Passing a capital budget is a great thing for the 32nd District, and for Washington as a whole,” Chase said. “Our residents deserve better schools, more mental health funding and funding to alleviate homelessness. This capital budget includes all of those things.”
Chase, D-Edmonds, jointed senators from both sides of the aisle in passing the measure.
For the first time in decades, the Legislature failed to pass a biennial capital budget in 2017 after Republicans tied it to an unrelated issue. But after less than two weeks of Democrats’ control of both the House and Senate, lawmakers were able to move the vital budget forward.
The budget will fund the largest-ever investment in K-12 school construction — about $1 billion . About $861 million will go to higher education projects. About $106 million will go to the Housing Trust Fund, the second highest such investment in state history.
More than $65 million will go to community mental health beds, and about $20 million will go to both Eastern and Western state hospitals for patient safety enhancements and renovations.
About $15 million in the capital budget will fund a dramatic expansion in dental care, benefitting people who previously couldn’t afford treatment.
In Edmonds, the Edmonds Waterfront Center project will receive about $2 million.
In Chase’s own 32nd district, the following projects are funded:
• $37.8 million for the Science, Engineering and Technology building at Edmonds Community College
• $3.5 million for Allied Health, Science & Manufacturing in Shoreline
• $2.5 million for an addition to a newborn screening wing
• $2.2 million for the South Snohomish County Community Resource Center in Lynnwood
• $605,000 to increase dental clinic capacity at International Community Health Services in Shoreline

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    Minority business group honors Chase as Legislator of the Year

Minority business group honors Chase as Legislator of the Year

January 18th, 2018|

OLYMPIA —The National Minority Business Advisory Council honored Sen. Maralyn Chase on Monday by naming her 2017’s Legislator of the Year. This is the first time the Seattle-based organization has issued such an award.

Chase, D-Edmonds, was chosen for her work on the Small Business Bonding Relief bill, which brought Washington state’s government contracting provisions into compliance with federal law governing small works bonding requirements.

“As a former small business owner, I understand the challenges these companies face on a daily basis,” Chase said. “I’m proud to accept this award, and will continue to work hard for small, minority businesses statewide.”

Senate Bill 5734 passed unanimously in both the state House and Senate. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the measure into law on April 20, 2017.

Frank Lemos, president of the National Minority Business Advisory Council, explained in a letter that the SB 5734 provided much-needed help to small, minority businesses.

“The law will aid our small, disadvantaged businesses with much-needed bonding relief. It will also serve as a catalyst to greatly improve the business climate for small minority owned businesses all across our state who are up against record levels of inequity in public contracting,” Lemos said.

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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.