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  • Permalink Gallery

    Caseload forecast depends on policy, budget from the Legislature

Caseload forecast depends on policy, budget from the Legislature

June 18th, 2013|

Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, and chair of the Caseload Forecast Council today issued the following statement after the release of the latest caseload forecast:

"Today’s news was another reality check. Because of the Legislature’s timing and delay of the largest policy bill, the budget, and other smaller policy bills, we are faced with having a forecast that doesn’t have as much information as we would know if we had a budget.

"We will need to have an additional caseload forecast meeting after those policy bills and the budget have been passed so we can figure out what the caseload will actually be.

"For instance, in our prison setting, if we do pass a bill that addresses people who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it has been estimated that we will need about 350 additional beds in our prisons for those who have had more than five DUIs. Shocking as that number sounds, we are going to need to build our caseload to reflect the Legislature’s policies when they pass.

"There are some serious challenges ahead in human services and corrections if no budget is passed. We have a limited amount of time and are swiftly approaching our deadline."

Darneille: Let’s get our job done

June 7th, 2013|

Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D- Tacoma, today issued the following statement after the Republican-controlled Senate majority failed to take any action on the Senate floor:

"Today was the 26th day of the special session and we have yet to hold one vote on the floor. My community and communities across Washington rely on state contracts to keep things going.

"Veterans, families, women, children, the elderly and people living with developmental disabilities are just a few of those who are depending on us to do our job. Time is running out and we need the Republican-majority to quit playing games."

  • Permalink Gallery

    Darneille bill to expand endangered missing persons alerts signed by governor

Darneille bill to expand endangered missing persons alerts signed by governor

May 17th, 2013|

A bill signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee expands the Missing Children’s Clearinghouse to include the Endangered Missing Persons Clearinghouse. People with developmental disabilities or a vulnerable adult believed to be in danger because of age, health, mental or physical disability, inclement environmental or weather conditions or who is believed to be unable to return to safety on their own may have an Endangered Missing Persons Alert issued on their behalf.

"We are all familiar with the Amber Alert system informing the public about child abductions," said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma. "This bill takes this concept and implements public notification systems about vulnerable or endangered missing persons across the state, launching search efforts quickly and efficiently. We need to make sure we utilize all the systems available to us to help return them to safety as soon as possible."

Under Senate Bill 5556, law enforcement will have the ability to send out alerts more quickly for persons who may have a developmental disability or are aged and disoriented, who are unaccounted for and believed to be in danger. It is possible, for instance, for an elderly person with Alzheimer’s disease to wander from a care facility, or a young person with developmental disabilities to become lost at a group outing. An official missing persons file may be created in the state missing person computerized network after the person in question has been missing for six hours instead of 12 as it was previously.

"Time is of the essence when trying to locate someone who may be missing and in danger. The changes this bill offers to the current system ensures that valuable time is not lost or wasted," said Darneille. "Cooperation between broadcasters, cable systems, local and state law enforcement agencies, social media efforts and help from the public is critical after an advisory is issued."

Sen. Jeannie Darneille weighs budget decisions

April 22nd, 2013|

senate sessions

Darneille advocates for families, women and disabled in budget

April 5th, 2013|

The Washington State Senate today met to vote on the Republican majority’s operating budget. Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, offered three amendments to the budget that would have ensured the continuation of critical programs for low-income women, the homeless, and the disabled. All three amendments failed by a one-vote margin.

"I am deeply disappointed that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle could not support these amendments," said Darneille. "Today Republicans swept money from funds that were devoted to ending homelessness, assisting the disabled and low-income women who choose to have a child. These are the values of the majority that has taken over the Washington State Senate."

The first amendment Darneille brought before the body would have restored $6.2 million through the use of the real estate document filing fee for programs in the Affordable Housing Fund, including the Operations and Maintenance of Housing Trust Fund projects, the Emergency Shelter Assistance Program and the Homeless Family Shelter Program. The document filing fee would have restored $18.6 million to programs in the Homeless Housing Program and restored $7.5 million to the Transitional Housing and Rent Program.

Programs to end homelessness were cut by over 50 percent in this budget, which will result in 35,000 additional homeless individuals, and families.

"We already know that 27,000 children attending our public schools in Washington are homeless. That we are adding more children who fear that the dome light in their car will burn out before they finish their homework is unconscionable," said Darneille.

"In my other life, I have spent my career working with nonprofit organizations, working with the poor, the vulnerable and the disenfranchised. I have met people who only own the clothes on their back – and families with children praying for a break. Homelessness affects all our communities, and today we have let these people down."

The second amendment proposed by Darneille would have restored cash grants to current levels for recipients in the Disability Lifeline and the Aged, Blind and Disabled program and would have preserved the Housing and Essential Needs program funding.

"This budget is asking our most vulnerable – our aged, blind and disabled – to live on monthly grants of $97. The cost of living hasn’t decreased, the cost of food hasn’t decreased, yet we are asking them to live with a 50 percent cut in their monthly grant," Darneille said.

The third amendment proposed would have removed a penalty for families that give birth to an additional child while receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits. The grant for these families is equivalent to 31 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The Republican budget denies families an additional $90 if their family grows and freezes their benefits at a much lower level.

"This is an attack on poor women, an attack on children and an attack on families striving to get into the middle class," added Darneille. "The irony in this proposal is that Republicans are punishing a woman for having a child. There is a high cost of being poor – a cost our low-income families should not have to pay."

The Senate budget passed 30 to 18 and must be reconciled with the House budget.

"This is not the final budget and not the final product," said Darneille. "I am counting on my former colleagues in the House of Representatives to have compassion for the least among us. I am counting on them to correct the wrongs that were included in this budget and am counting on them to stand up for women, children, the vulnerable, and the disabled in all our communities."

TVW: Darneille advocates for mental health system improvements

March 29th, 2013|

In a session extra on TVW’s The Impact, Sen. Jeannie Darneille advocates for the need to improve our state’s mental health system.

Darneille’s statement on the passing of former Gov. Booth Gardner

March 18th, 2013|

Sen. Jeannie Darneille released the following statement today on the passing of 27th Legislative District constituent and former Gov. Booth Gardner:

"I first came to know Booth when he was the Pierce County executive. I remember studying a management book which focused on management by walking around. Booth actively lived by this philosophy – if he was driving his car and saw someone filling a pothole, he’d stop and talk to them. He was always very animated, personable and genuinely interested in what people had to say.

"Booth took this approach and philosophy to the governor’s office. When he’d show up at a meeting or at one of our state agencies, he was not there to find out what was bad, but to find out how he could help make it better.

"He never fit into any molds – Booth did things his own way. He recognized the importance of investments in our students and in early childhood education decades before anyone else even considered it. He was also an advocate of expanding critical social services and health reform. His voice on behalf of all Washingtonians will be greatly missed."

Sen. Jeannie Darneille Legislative Update – March 15, 2013

March 15th, 2013|

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

On Wednesday, we reached the halfway mark of this Legislative session.

Good bills die as Legislative cutoff passesfloor
I am disappointed at the number of great policies and bills that didn’t get past the cutoff. As a Democratic caucus, we tried to open up dialogue and create reasonable policies around gun safety, mental health and protecting vulnerable families – however, the Republican majority disagreed. I will continue to advocate for women, children and the vulnerable as we move forward with the budget and move to the second half of the session.

Town Hall Meeting tomorrow!
I encourage you to visit your 27th District delegation at a town hall meeting tomorrow, Saturday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Jason Lee Middle School Cafeteria.

We’re eager to hear your questions, comments and suggestions so that we may continue to serve you, help our state recover and emerge better and stronger. If you intend to speak, please arrive early to sign in. Sign-in and information booths open at 9:30 a.m.

We are pleased to be hosting Walgreens Mobile Health—a service provided to community events with health screenings and information. We will also have a representative from Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Services to provide information at the town hall.

Tacoma Smelter Plume Yard Sampling & Cleanup Program
Public Comment Period begins March 14 – April 29, 2013

The Washington State Department of Ecology’s “Yard Program” will begin sampling and cleaning up  residential yards in some of the most contaminated areas of the Tacoma Smelter Plume — Ruston, west Tacoma and southern Vashon-Maury Island.

For more information to see if your yard may participate in the program, please visit the Tacoma Smelter plume website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/sites_brochure/tacoma_smelter/2011/ts-hp.htm. There you will find separate fact sheets for the different regions the program serves, and a Frequently Asked Questions sheet.If you have comments or questions, please contact Amy Hargrove at Amy.Hargrove@ecy.wa.gov or 360-407-6262.

Comment period information and program service area map:http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/sites_brochure/tacoma_smelter/2013/yard-Sampling.html

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at our town hall meeting. If you are unable to make it, please continue to contact my office either by phone 360-786-7652 or email me at Jeannie.Darneille@leg.wa.gov with any questions or concerns you may have. I look forward to hearing from you.

Take care,

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Sen. Jeannie Darneille

AUDIO: Senate acts on mental health treatment

March 15th, 2013|

While many goals of Senate Democrats were not met in the first half of the 2013 session, one area that was well addressed was the state’s treatment for the mentally ill. Ian Cope reports. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

AUDIO: Sen. Darneille reflects on the first half of 2013 session

March 13th, 2013|

Following the Washington State Senate floor deadline, Sen. Jeannie Darneille spoke about her first session in the Senate.