Monthly Archives: February 2017

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    Senate passes Cleveland bill to jumpstart effort on new I-5 bridge

Senate passes Cleveland bill to jumpstart effort on new I-5 bridge

February 27th, 2017|

The development of a new replacement I-5 bridge spanning the Columbia River moved a step closer to reality today with the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 5806, sponsored by Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver.

“The most significant north-south interstate freight corridor on the West Coast is hobbled by a dilapidated, outmoded drawbridge that was not built to withstand a major earthquake,” Cleveland said. “Traffic stands still each time the bridge must be raised to allow river traffic to pass below, hours are lost, and our area’s largest freight facilities — the Port of Portland and Port of Vancouver — struggle to maintain crucial links between the western United States and regional, national and global markets.”

Among other things, Cleveland’s legislation would establish a Joint Oregon-Washington legislative action committee to work on several fronts, including beginning a process towards development for a new bridge. The bill would appropriate $350,000 for the Washington Department of Transportation to sort and amass data related to the construction of a new replacement bridge.

“What this bill represents on a technical level are key initial steps to get this important project moving,” Cleveland said. “What it represents in a larger sense is a hard-earned, bipartisan consensus among nearly all southwest Washington legislators to move forward without the division that undid the last bridge project.”

Cleveland noted that the existing bridge is a choke point that averages 400 collisions a year; by 2030, when the bridge transports increasingly more vehicles and increasingly large pieces of equipment by truck, the number of collisions is projected to double.  In addition to the need for improved safety and reliability, Cleveland sees a new replacement I-5 bridge as being critical for the future.

“I believe our children and grandchildren deserve from us the same willingness to invest in infrastructure for the future as our grandfathers and great grandfathers willingly fought for and invested in for us 100 years ago,” she said.

SB 5806 passed on an overwhelmingly bipartisan, 45-4 vote and now goes to the House for consideration in that chamber.

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    Cleveland: Politics have no place in women’s reproductive rights

Cleveland: Politics have no place in women’s reproductive rights

February 16th, 2017|

Employers would be prohibited from discriminating against women seeking full health care, under legislation introduced by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, and 17 other senators. The Senate Commerce, Labor and Sports Committee will hold a hearing on the bill today.

“The Hobby Lobby decision allowing privately-held employers to discriminate against women by restricting their access to contraception was an outrage and threatened women’s health and women’s rights,” said Ranker. “It remains an attack on our core values and is unacceptable; we will protect contraception and family planning at every opportunity.”

Senate Bill 5760 would ensure women have access to contraception under their health care plans here in Washington state by strengthening the Washington Law Against Discrimination.

“Barrier-free access to birth control should be a choice that remains available to all women, as discrimination against women and women’s health needs is contrary to our values as citizens of this state,” said Cleveland. “This legislation safeguards the right of Washington women to receive essential health coverage.”

“We can and must ensure that Washington women have equal rights and real choice to make their own reproductive health decisions regardless of their employer,” said Keiser. “Now is the time to proactively defend our values from any destructive policies adopted at the federal level.”