Sen. Conway Newsroom

Legislative Update 2/6/17

Dear friends and neighbors,

Last week, the Senate voted on the Republican plan to fully fund our state’s education system. While I am pleased that Republicans have finally put forth a proposal, I have many concerns. I’ve received emails from the Franklin-Pierce and Bethel School Districts expressing their concerns as well.

The bill was passed out of the Senate on Tuesday with a 25-24 vote. I voted against it but I look forward to further work on this critical issue throughout the session.

Bill Update

The first six weeks of session are typically spent working on policy issues in our standing committees. Here are some of the bills that I have sponsored so far this session:

  • Senate Bill 5359 – This legislation would strengthen efforts to help veterans and their spouses get credit for military experience to meet certain state licensing requirements.
  • Senate Bill 5650 – This bill would develop a Safe Streets Pilot Project in Pierce County to expand community policing.
  • Senate Bill 5651 – This would allow the Bethel School District to build a new high school outside its urban growth area.
  • Senate Bill 5639 and Senate Bill 5640 – These two bills would help high school vocational students meet graduation testing requirements.

If you would like more information about these bills or any other issue before the Legislature, do not hesitate to contact my office.

Telephone Town Hall

I want to encourage you to participate in a telephone town hall that I am hosting on Feb. 13.

Under this town hall format, thousands of constituents will receive telephone calls just before 6 p.m. asking if they would like to stay on the line and participate. Participants may ask me questions and hear my answers to other questions as well.

If you would like to participate and do not receive a pre-town hall invitation call, you may call in at 877-229-8493 and enter the ID code 116370.

Keep in Touch

My office is always here to answer your questions and provide you with information. Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime.

Sincerely,

Sen. Steve Conway

February 6th, 2017|E-News, Uncategorized|

Legislative Update 1/23/17

Dear friends and neighbors,

Thank you for taking the time to read my e-newsletter. I will be sending periodic updates throughout session to keep you informed about the issues that impact you and your family.

The 2017 legislative session is underway and I am happy to be back in Olympia representing you and all of the people of the 29th Legislative District.

Fully funding schools

In his annual state of the state address, Gov. Inslee made it clear that the most important issue of the session is fully funding our public education system. Currently, the state is in contempt of court for failing to fully fund our K-12 system. Finding a solution to this problem is going to be the principal challenge for budget writers and the members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, on which I serve.

One of the most challenging tasks we face in resolving this issue is finding a way to cut down on schools’ overreliance on local levies to cover basic operating costs – like paying teacher salaries. The Supreme Court has ruled that this is unconstitutional.

Committee assignments

The first eight weeks of session are largely spent in committees. This year, in addition to serving on the Senate Way & Means Committee, I will be serving on the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee, and the Senate Health Care Committee.

In Commerce & Labor, one issue I am very passionate about is paid family leave. Nobody should have to fret about making ends meet when they have to miss work because they fall ill or have to take care of a sick family member. So far, bills to fund a paid leave program in the state have been introduced by both the labor and business communities. I will keep you posted about this issue as it develops.

As a member of the Health Care committee, one of my main concerns is protecting health care coverage for the thousands of people who have obtained health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the ACA is repealed without a replacement, nearly 750,000 people in Washington state will lose their health coverage. If Congress does repeal the ACA, hopefully they will replace it with a solution that will not undermine the progress we have made in Washington state.

Keep in touch

There are many more issues that I know are important to you. Whether it is finding a way to alleviate traffic congestion throughout South Pierce County, securing funding for the Stan and Joan Cross Park, or helping understand how we spend revenue from marijuana sales, my office is always here to answer your questions and provide you with information. Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime.

Sincerely,

Sen. Steve Conway

January 23rd, 2017|E-News, Uncategorized|

Conway tabbed to head pension policy committee

Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, has been chosen by his colleagues to chair Washington’s Select Committee on Pension Policy. Conway had been serving as the vice chair.

The Select Committee on Pension Policy studies pension issues, develops pension policies for public employees in state and local retirement systems, and makes recommendations to the Legislature.

“I’m honored to be at the helm of this committee at such an important time for pension policy,” said Conway. “Last session, there were proposals floated that would have merged the Leoff 1 and Ters 1 retirement systems as a way to balance the budget. Mergers of this size need to be fully examined and not done in haste, and this is why the select committee is so critical.”

May 23rd, 2016|Uncategorized|
  • Permalink Gallery

    State names highway after prominent port leader Philip Lelli

State names highway after prominent port leader Philip Lelli

A portion of State Route 509 leading into the Port of Tacoma will be named in honor of the late Philip Martin Lelli, longtime President of Tacoma Longshore Union 23 and former Port of Tacoma commissioner.

During the 2015 legislative session, Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, sponsored legislation requesting that the Washington State Transportation Commission rename the highway in honor of Lelli. On Wednesday, the WSTC did just that.

“Phil was a man who knew how to work together for the good of our community and the success of our state,” said Conway. “I am thrilled that the commission has voted to celebrate his contributions by renaming the highway in his honor.”

An advocate for innovation, Lelli was known for his unprecedented role in attracting new businesses to the Port of Tacoma and transitioning it into one of the principal ports of entry on the Pacific Coast.

Lelli was influential in his community as well, organizing Tacoma’s Hospitality Kitchen to provide lunches for the homeless.

“Phil is one of the principal reasons that Tacoma has become one of the busiest and most important shipping ports on the west coast,” added Conway. “It’s wonderful that his efforts will be recognized for generations to come.”

May 19th, 2016|Uncategorized|
  • Permalink Gallery

    Conway visits Fern Hill Elementary to see dropout prevention program in action

Conway visits Fern Hill Elementary to see dropout prevention program in action

OLYMPIA – Sen. Steve Conway, D- South Tacoma, recently visited Fern Hill Elementary School to see firsthand how educators are working to help children graduate on time and overcome academic and non-academic challenges.

Conway’s visit focused on Communities in Schools, a program that places coordinators inside schools to assess students’ needs and provide resources to help them succeed in the classroom and in life.

“I was very impressed by the work Communities in Schools is doing to help all children have access to the services they need to succeed,” said Conway. “These programs are essential if we are going to close the opportunity gap.”

The opportunity gap is a deficiency in educational opportunities for low-income students and students of color. This year, the Legislature passed a bill that will implement policy changes to begin the process of closing this gap.

“Eliminating the opportunity gap should be thought of as a sound investment,” added Conway. “When kids have access to a high quality education they are more likely to get a good paying job and less likely to be reliant on safety net services.”

May 17th, 2016|Uncategorized|
  • Permalink Gallery

    Highway to be named after legendary community and labor leader

Highway to be named after legendary community and labor leader

A portion of State Route 509 will soon be named in honor of Philip Martin Lelli, longtime president of Tacoma Longshore Union 23 and a former Port of Tacoma commissioner, as the result of Senate Joint Memorial 8019 sponsored by Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma.

On Friday, the bill passed the House, clearing its last hurdle in the legislative process. It now heads to the Washington State Transportation Commission for final approval.

“I am proud that this bill has passed the legislature,” said Conway. “Phil is one of the principal reasons that Tacoma has become one of the busiest and most important shipping ports on the west coast. He deserves to be recognized for his efforts by generations to come.”

An advocate for innovation, Lelli was known for his unprecedented role in attracting new businesses to the Port of Tacoma and transitioning it into one of the principal ports of entry on the Pacific Coast.

“He was a man who knew how to work together for the good of our community and the success of our state,” said Conway. “He should be honored for his generosity toward others and the collaborative work he did in making the Port of Tacoma a nationally recognized shipping center.”

Lelli was influential in his community as well, organizing Tacoma’s Hospitality Kitchen to provide lunches for the homeless.

A member of the Lelli family noted that the Port of Tacoma truly meant a lot to Phil and he would have felt honored by this recognition.

March 7th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Conway: Capital budget helps families replace old stoves

OLYMPIA – Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, issued this statement today following the passage of the Senate Supplemental Capital Budget last Friday. The budget includes additional funding to Pierce County agencies to help people replace old wood stoves and other high-polluting heating devices with cleaner, more efficient heating equipment.

Pierce County, which has the worst wood smoke particulate matter problem in the country, will receive $1.3 million to help replace wood stoves.

“I am pleased that the Legislature has continued to meet its commitment to help Pierce County residents replace their wood stoves with more efficient and less harmful heating devices.

“We all have to do our part to tackle air quality issues but the Legislature must also follow through and assist people with the financial burden they face when replacing their wood stoves. I am happy this budget continues to do just that.”

February 29th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Conway’s school siting bill passes Senate

Throughout the state, school districts are struggling to find space to build new schools. This is in large part due to rapid population increases and land development regulations established by the Growth Management Act.

As a way to help school districts find space to build new schools, Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, sponsored Senate Bill 6426 which would allow schools to be sited outside the urban growth area.

“This is especially important legislation for the Bethel School district which has simply run out of options for where they can build new schools,” said Conway. “Bethel has located a site just outside of the urban growth area that has a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier and is the perfect location for a place of learning. With this bill, they will be able to put this land to good use.”

SB 6426 was passed by the Senate on Feb. 16. It now heads to the House for further consideration.

February 23rd, 2016|Uncategorized|

Conway to host town hall on Feb. 20

OLYMPIA – Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, will host a 29th Legislative District town hall meeting at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Garfield Book Co. on the Pacific Lutheran University campus at 208 Garfield St. South.

“Town halls are an excellent way to connect in-person and have conversations about the issues and concerns that are most important to our community and state,” said Conway. “Every year, I look forward to this unique opportunity to gather and meet with my neighbors. Constituent engagement is a critical and crucial part of the legislative process.”

Legislative town halls are typically held during or soon after the legislative session and provide lawmakers and constituents the opportunity to discuss issues important to the district. Conway will provide an overview of the status of important bills that have been introduced during the 2016 legislative session as well as what’s happening with the supplemental capital and operating budgets, and what still needs to be done.

February 15th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Conway bill honoring Philip Lelli passes Senate

OLYMPIA – A portion of SR 509 would be named in honor of Philip Martin Lelli, longtime President of Tacoma Longshore Union 23 and former Port of Tacoma commissioner, as the result of Senate Joint Memorial 8019 sponsored by Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma.

SJM 8019 was passed by the Senate with a unanimous vote on Friday.

“I knew Phil personally. He was one of the major architects of the success of the port and was a critical player in turning Tacoma from a sleepy town in to such an important shipping port,” said Conway.

An advocate for innovation, Lelli was known for his unprecedented role in attracting new businesses to the Port of Tacoma and transitioning it into one of the principal ports of entry on the Pacific Coast.

Lelli was influential in his community as well, organizing Tacoma’s Hospitality Kitchen to provide lunches for the homeless.

“He was a man who knew how to work together for the good of our community and the success of our state,” said Conway. “He should be honored for his generosity toward others and the collaborative work he did in making the Port of Tacoma a nationally recognized shipping center.”

The bill now heads to the House for further consideration.

“Phil was a friend of mine and a counselor to me. It is an honor to be able to celebrate Phillip’s life with this memorial,” added Conway.

 

February 12th, 2016|Uncategorized|