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    Ground broken on housing for veterans experiencing homelessness

Ground broken on housing for veterans experiencing homelessness

October 15th, 2019|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Steve Conway (D-South Tacoma) joined local officials in Orting on Oct. 1 to break ground on a new tiny house village that will provide supportive housing to up to 35 veterans in Pierce County experiencing homelessness.

Located on a five-acre portion of the campus of the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Soldiers Home, the Orting Veterans Village will give veterans access to fully furnished tiny homes, as well as one-on-one staff support and a built-in community, starting in 2020.

Quixote Communities – a non-profit known for Quixote Village, a tiny house village supporting 30 individuals in Olympia – will operate and manage the Orting project, in partnership with the WDVA and the Puget Sound Veterans Hope Center. Community Frameworks, a non-profit affordable housing developer that also worked on Quixote Village, is serving as the contracted developer.

The Veterans Village is being built in part with $3 million in funding that Conway secured as part of the 2017-19 capital construction budget. In addition to tiny homes, it will have a large community building with a double kitchen, dining area, multipurpose room, staff offices and laundry facilities.

Quixote Communities plans to partner with the WDVA and community resources to provide residents services including transportation, care coordination, behavioral health services and life skill classes.

A rendering of the future Orting Veterans Village.

Conway helps kick off construction of SR 167 completion

October 14th, 2019|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Steve Conway (D-South Tacoma) joined Gov. Jay Inslee and other officials at the Port of Tacoma on Oct. 1 to kick off construction on completion of State Route 167 in Pierce County, part of the $1.96 billion Puget Sound Gateway Program connecting ports with manufacturing and industrial centers.

The program, which also includes completion of SR 509 in King County, closes two of the state’s major transportation gaps. It makes critical “last mile” connections to the ports of Tacoma and Seattle, and provides greater transportation choices to move people and goods more reliably through the Puget Sound region and enhance Washington’s national and global economic competitiveness.

It is the biggest project of the state’s 2015 Connecting Washington transportation revenue package, which provides the majority of the program’s funding.

In Pierce County, the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will build four miles of new highway to complete the missing link between SR 167 in Puyallup and I-5 in Fife. WSDOT will also build a new two-mile connection from I-5 to the Port of Tacoma.

Extension of SR 509 will increase connectivity between Seattle and south King County, and provide a much-needed north-south alternative to I-5. It also will create a new southern access point to Sea-Tac International Airport and serve as an alternative to I-5, SR 99 and local streets.

WSDOT is scheduled to complete stage 1 of the Puget Sound Gateway Program in 2026. Stage 2 projects are set for construction between 2024 and 2028.

The project was initially scheduled for completion in 2031, but that timetable was moved up three years after the Legislature authorized WSDOT to accelerate the project schedules.

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    Conway joins commission administering long-term care benefit program

Conway joins commission administering long-term care benefit program

August 7th, 2019|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Steve Conway (D-South Tacoma) has been appointed to serve on the commission that will help administer Washington’s new long-term care benefit program.

The Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Commission will establish rules and policies for the program, which gives residents who need assistance with activities of daily living up to $36,500 for long-term services and supports like caregiving, wheelchair ramps, meal deliveries and nursing home fees.

The Legislature passed House Bill 1087 establishing the first-in-the-nation program during its 2019 session in order to help Washington households deal with the ballooning costs of long-term care. Conway co-sponsored a companion bill in the Senate.

House Bill 1087 passed with bipartisan support and the support of family caregivers, aging and disability advocates, small business owners, long-term care providers, labor unions and consumer rights organizations.

In addition to the newly established long-term care commission, the program will be jointly administered by the Health Care Authority, the Department of Social and Health Services and the Employment Security Department.

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    Franklin Pierce School District unveils state’s first electric school bus

Franklin Pierce School District unveils state’s first electric school bus

June 17th, 2019|

TACOMA – Sen. Steve Conway (D-South Tacoma) was on hand on June 17 as the Franklin Pierce School District unveiled the state’s first electric school bus.

The bus is part of a pilot program intended to lead to the replacement of the district’s fleet of diesel buses, reducing carbon emissions and saving the district thousands in maintenance and fuel costs.

Conway joined Gov. Jay Inslee and others aboard the all-electric Blue Bird school bus for a victory lap around the track at the district’s stadium, cheered on by students, parents and teachers.

Seating 72 and with a range of 120 miles, the bus features a custom educational energy dashboard showing real-time energy use and savings.

The district purchased the bus with help from a grant program funded by TransAlta as part of its agreement to phase out its coal-fired plant in Centralia.

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    Conway hails executive order to help veterans, military spouses find jobs

Conway hails executive order to help veterans, military spouses find jobs

May 14th, 2019|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Steve Conway (D-South Tacoma) has welcomed Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature on an executive order to help military spouses and veterans in Washington find employment and training opportunities as they transition to civilian life.

“Our military spouses and veterans make a lot of sacrifices to serve our country,” said Conway, who was present yesterday as Inslee signed the order at a ceremony in the state capitol building. “When it’s time for them to make the move back to civilian life or to another post, it’s important that we give them the support they need to make that change as smooth as possible.”

Inslee’s Executive Order 19-01:

• Adds more agencies to the Washington State Military Transition and Readiness Council;

• Improves data sharing and evaluation;

• Supports veteran and military spouse-owned businesses;

• Promotes campaigns to hire veterans and military spouses;

• Shortens the paperwork and credential transfer process for veterans or spouses who move to Washington;

• Applies the current veteran employment plan to military spouses;

• Instructs agencies to ensure that military spouses and veterans have equal opportunity; and

• Directs that state employee resource groups be created to promote recruitment, retention and development of veterans and military spouses in state government.

E News: 2019 Budget Update

May 8th, 2019|

Dear friends and neighbors,

We accomplished a lot during this year’s 105-day legislative session. In addition to passing a wide range of bills improving the quality of life in our communities, we finished on time and passed capital construction, transportation and operating budgets for the next two years.

The $4.9 billion construction budget makes investments across Washington in areas like behavioral health, affordable housing, education and the environment. Projects in our district include:

• $1 million for roof replacement at the Marymount Museum/Spana Park Senior Center.

• $773,000 for the Springbrook Park Expansion and Clover Creek Restoration to improve the biodiversity of native and aquatic plants and improve water quality.

• $500,000 for construction work to finish phase I in creating the Stan and Joan Cross Park in Frederickson.

• $1 million for the Pierce Center for Arts & Technology (Arivva) in Tacoma, which provides visual arts programs for youth and postsecondary career training for local workers.

• $500,000 for the McChord Airfield North Clear Zone to mitigate possible public and flight safety risks.

• $2.26 million for the Department of Ecology to implement cleanup remedies around the Lakewood – Ponders Corner superfund site.

• $2.8 million to support the Fire Service Training Center at Bates Technical College.

The $9.8 billion transportation budget includes continued delivery of projects first adopted as part of the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation package.

The $52.4 billion operating budget pays for most state programs, policies and salaries. In addition to making significant investments in K-12 education, we also passed a bill to allow local school districts voters to increase levies to fund programs like athletics, debate clubs, summer learning programs, field trips, mentoring and teacher training.

It has been an honor to continue to serve our communities in the Senate. If you have any questions about the budget or anything else that happened this session in Olympia, I encourage you to reach out to my office.

Best regards,

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    Conway welcomes designation of April 10 as Dolores Huerta Day

Conway welcomes designation of April 10 as Dolores Huerta Day

March 27th, 2019|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Steve Conway (D-South Tacoma) welcomed the enactment of a law designating April 10 as Dolores Huerta Day in honor of the influential Mexican-American social activist and labor leader.

Gov. Jay Inslee last week signed House Bill 1906 recognizing Huerta, who in 1962 co-founded what would become the United Farm Workers and who was instrumental in the adoption of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, granting farmworkers collective bargaining rights.

The Senate passed the bill unanimously on March 18 as Huerta looked on from the chamber’s wings.

Conway to host town hall on March 23 

February 22nd, 2019|

Who: Sen. Steve Conway (D-South Tacoma)

What: Town Hall Meeting

When: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, March 23

Where: Bates Technical College, South Campus Auditorium, 2201 South 78th St., Tacoma

Why: This is an opportunity to speak in person with your senator about issues important to Pierce County and your community. Topics of discussion will include:

  • Fully funding education
  • Mental health services
  • Transportation improvements
  • Protecting the social safety net
  • Answers to your questions

Conway honored for support of Eastside Community Center

February 19th, 2019|

OLYMPIA – Metro Parks Tacoma has recognized Sen. Steve Conway (D-South Tacoma) for his crucial support of partnerships that led to the development of the new Eastside Community Center.

The five-member Board of Park Commissioners presented Conway and three other civic leaders with its Parks Champion Award on Jan. 28.

Conway was honored for advocating for the community center project in the Senate and helping to secure millions of dollars in state grants.

“Sen. Conway and his civic peers were fully committed to listening to the Eastside neighborhood’s concerns and desires, and they worked hard to build support throughout the entire community,” Park Board President Aaron Pointer said. “This center is already proving to be wildly successful, and we could not have done it without the support of many partners. In particular, we honor Sen. Conway and these other community leaders for being outstanding champions for parks and recreation services that improve the lives of everyone in the Tacoma area.”

Conway re-elected Senate vice president pro tempore

January 14th, 2019|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Steve Conway (D-South Tacoma) was re-elected to serve as vice president pro tempore of the Washington State Senate today following a unanimous vote by fellow senators.

As vice president pro tem, Conway will continue to preside over the Senate when the lieutenant governor and the president pro tem, Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, are absent.

“It’s a profound honor to continue representing the Senate as the vice president pro tempore,” Conway said today after he was sworn in to the leadership post again. “I am humbled to receive the unanimous support of my Senate colleagues and thankful for the opportunity to serve in this role.”

Senators approved the nominations of Keiser and Conway to continue serving in the leadership posts today amid the opening of the 2019 legislative session. Both senators were first elected to serve in those roles at the opening of the 2018 legislative session.

The posts are, respectively, second and third in line of succession to the governor.

Conway, who joined the Senate in 2010 following 18 years of service in the State House of Representatives, was re-elected as the senator representing Washington’s 29th Legislative District in November. He is a member of the Senate Labor & Commerce, Ways & Means and Health & Long Term Care committees.