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  • Permalink Gallery

    Darneille appointed to Inslee’s Blue Ribbon Children’s Commission

Darneille appointed to Inslee’s Blue Ribbon Children’s Commission

April 15th, 2016|

Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, has been appointed to Gov. Inslee’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the Delivery of Services to Children and Families.

“I’m honored to be appointed to Gov. Inslee’s commission as we seek to improve services and outcomes for our children and their families,” said Darneille.

The Commission will recommend to the Legislature the organizational structure of the new cabinet-level agency, cost estimates for IT and capital development, and will create measurable benchmarks for assessing the effectiveness of the new department.

“The idea to have a separate children’s department is a good one,” Darneille said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the coming months on this very important issue of helping to create a better future for our state’s kids and their families.”

Darneille will join the 16 member commission which includes legislators, state agency leaders, tribal representatives, and experts in child welfare, education and economic issues.

The Blue Ribbon Commission will meet monthly beginning on May 10 and must deliver its findings to the Legislature by Nov. 1, 2016.


To read Gov. Inslee’s Executive Order issued in February 2016, click here.

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    Darneille: On International Women’s Day we must keep the momentum going

Darneille: On International Women’s Day we must keep the momentum going

March 8th, 2016|

OLYMPIASen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, issued the following statement in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2016:

“International Women’s Day is always a wonderful day to celebrate the remarkable women of our past, our present and a potent reminder to support all girls who will become women leaders of the future.

“This year’s theme is focused on gender equality and a pledge for parity, which has been a central element of the women’s movement since its birth. Women have made significant contributions to our social, economic, cultural, political, and scientific and technological communities across the globe. Without the contribution and bravery of these women, we would not be as advanced as we are today. We must keep the momentum going.

“Women in the United States continue to earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man. This economic disparity grows larger for women of color. At the current rate, women are not expected to achieve economic parity with men until 2058. Washington State has an equal pay act that has not been updated since 1943. I can safely say that a few things have changed since then. Efforts to update our state’s equal pay act over the last two years have continuously stalled in the Republican-led Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.

“The State of Washington is currently ranked fourth in the nation for having the largest number of women serving in elected office. For over a decade our state was ranked first in the nation between 1993 and 2004. Both of our U.S. Senators are women, as are three of our 10 Congressional delegates. In the Legislature, women represent 34 percent of the lawmakers.

“The 27th Legislative District has a long history of women representation in the Senate. Sen. Debbie Regala served before me and the great Sen. Lorraine Wojahn served for many years before her. Sen. Wojahn was the first woman President Pro Tem of the Senate to preside during a session adjourning sine die. She was a trailblazer and pioneer for women senators during a time when women serving in state government was not the norm.

“No celebration of International Women’s Day would be complete without recognition of my son, Will, who was born today. I have worked for 29 years to successfully “grow” a feminist and am very proud of the man my son has become.

“I hope you will all join me in celebrating the accomplishments and achievements of all of the great women who have contributed and who will make a difference in our lives and our world.”

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    Lawmakers urge thorough examination of proposed methanol plant in Tacoma

Lawmakers urge thorough examination of proposed methanol plant in Tacoma

February 19th, 2016|

Sen. Jeannie Darneille, Rep. Laurie Jinkins, and Rep. Jake Fey have asked the City of Tacoma to broaden the scope of its environmental review process for Northwest Innovation Works’ proposed methanol plant at the Port of Tacoma.

In a letter to the City’s Planning and Development Services Department, the lawmakers outline issue areas that need to be addressed before the methanol plant is approved. The letter also urges the City to study, not just the impacts the proposed project will have on the cities and counties surrounding the project, but the potential state and global impacts as well.

“We’ve spent 35 years cleaning up our city – from Asarco to cleaning up Commencement Bay and the Thea Foss Waterway,” said Darneille, who has become a strong voice in opposition to the project. “We have invested billions of dollars in our infrastructure and have worked to recapture our downtown museum district, which has become a regional and national draw. All of that progress could be in jeopardy with this development. Deciding to put a methanol plant right in the center of the Tacoma tideflats could have devastating impacts and consequences to our state’s natural resources, our infrastructure, the safety of our citizens, and our state’s quality of life. We need all the answers we can get before this project is permitted.”

Some of the far-reaching effects the letter asks the City of Tacoma to look into include potential on-site impacts including air and water pollution and community safety. The cities of Federal Way, Fife and Tacoma and The Puyallup Tribe of Indians would be most directly impacted by the proposed methanol plant; however, the impact on the state’s resources could be much larger. There are also grave concerns about the 1,500 people in the federal Northwest Detention Center and the hundreds of employees that work there.

“Many members of our community, myself included, have grave concerns about this project and the impact it will have on our health, our environment and our way of life,” Jinkins said. “That being said, I believe in a fair, balanced process that rigorously examines this proposal and addresses the concerns of every person in our community. That needs to happen before any steps are taken to move this project forward.”

The lawmakers’ letter also questions the methanol project’s effect on shared resources like the region’s transportation infrastructure system, water and electricity sources, the increase in marine traffic of shipping vessels, and environmental justice for those who live in the low-income communities in the vicinity of the project.

“The issues raised in our letter and by many people in the community must be fully addressed because of the unprecedented size and scope of the project,” said Fey. “To do anything less than that would be a travesty.”

Northwest Innovation Works, the company that has proposed Tacoma’s methanol plant, is also proposing smaller methanol facilities on the Columbia River in Kalama and in Clatskanie, Ore. Methanol for use in plastics, explosives, paints, solvents and many other chemicals is currently in high demand.

The lawmakers wrote their letter with the intention that it will be a part of the public record. They expect their questions to be addressed during the environmental review process, which is expected to take about a year before the permitting process begins.

To read a copy of the letter, click here.

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    Senate honors 125th Anniversary of the Washington State Historical Society

Senate honors 125th Anniversary of the Washington State Historical Society

February 16th, 2016|

The Washington State Senate on Tuesday, passed Senate Resolution 8721, honoring the 125th Anniversary of the Washington State Historical Society. Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, sponsored the resolution and issued the following statement:

“I am incredibly proud to be able to honor the accomplishments of the Washington State Historical Society and to help celebrate its 125th Anniversary. Founded in our state in 1891, it is a rare gem and an incredible asset to learners of all ages studying the varied and rich history of our state.

“Researchers, scholars and more than 16,000 students per year take part in programs sponsored by the Washington State Historical Society. The collection of personal, local, national and regional stories has become the repository of our comprehensive history and heritage of our people and our state.

“I have had the opportunity to take part in many of the programs that are offered by the Historical Society. Each year look forward to the ‘In the Spirit’ show of contemporary Native American art and National History Day and Washington State History Day inspires our students and emphasizes the importance of comprehensive historical research and education. The Washington Women’s History Consortium has created an extensive collection and sources of information about women’s history in Washington through partnerships with higher education institutions across our state.

“The State History Museum in the heart of downtown Tacoma was at the forefront of the revitalization of Pacific Avenue. Today, it is a vibrant hub of historic, educational, cultural, and entrepreneurial activity. I cannot imagine Pacific Avenue, or Tacoma without the Washington State Historical Museum.

“The Washington State Historical Society and our State History Museum remain a critical asset and historical treasure to my community, our region and our state. I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations on their 125th anniversary.”

News from Sen. Jeannie Darneille

February 10th, 2016|

Darneille banner

News from Sen. Jeannie Darneille                              Feb. 10, 2016
 Dear friends and neighbors,

Tuesday marked the half-way point for this year’s 60-day legislative session, and was also the second major legislative deadline, the fiscal cutoff. This means that any bills referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee had to pass out of the committee to move on in the legislative process. Many bills died that day, including some I sponsored, but that is the nature of the timeline in a short 60-day session.

As I am sure you have seen on TV, or read in the newspaper or on social media, we have had interesting recent developments in the legislature and in state government. Senate Democrats remain focused on and committed to finding a solution to fully funding our K-12 education system for our one million public school kids, addressing rising rates of homelessness across our state, improving our state’s mental health care system, and continuing to work on the many issue areas that impact the people who call our state home.

Save The Date – Town Hall Meeting

Please join the 27th Legislative District delegation at our annual Town Hall Meeting from 10 to noon on Sat. Feb. 20, at the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus, 1210 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. We hope that you will be able to join us for a brief overview of what’s happening in Olympia, and be there to ask questions, and voice your comments. Sign-in will begin at 9:30. I hope to see you there!

Methanol Plant Proposed for Tacoma

I have taken a strong public stance against the methanol and liquefied natural gas plants proposed for Tacoma. I have deep concerns about these projects and the safety of our community. The environmental impact and consequences of projects of this scope would change the future of our city and roll-back many of the steps we have taken to move our community and our region forward.

I invite you to attend the second and third Environmental Impact Statement Public Scoping Meetings. The second meeting is TONIGHTWed. Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, 1500 Broadway, 5th Floor Exhibit Hall. The doors will open at 5 p.m. for speaker sign-up.

The third meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Meeker Middle School, 4402 Nassau Ave NE. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for speaker sign-up.

These meetings will help shape the future of our community. I encourage you to attend the meetings to learn more about the proposal.

New Video Update – Human Services, Mental Health & Housing

Carlyle video photo

Video updates can offer a quick glimpse into what we’re working on in Olympia. In my most recent video update, I give a general overview of the Senate Human Services, Mental Health & Housing Committee, where I serve as the highest ranking Democrat. This committee oversees a wide-range of issue areas, from our state juvenile justice system, to our Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, to Mental Health and Housing. Click the photo or here to watch the update.

2016 Legislative Photo Gallery

Senator Darneille with Communities in Schools students, January 29, 2016.

I invite you to visit my 2016 Legislative Photo Gallery that gets updated regularly with the different constituent groups that visit my office during session. I was pleased to meet with a student group of kids from Community in Schools. They were in Olympia to learn more about the legislative process…they asked some great questions!

I am still working on a number of bills that are moving through the legislative process. As we move away from our committee meetings and begin to take more votes on the floor I will be advocating for my bills as they advance.

Please keep in touch by calling my office, or sending me an email if you have a question about state government or have a question about a state agency.

Take care,




27th Town Hall Meeting – Feb. 20

February 9th, 2016|

Mark your calendars, the 27th Legislative District Town Hall Meeting will be from 10 a.m. to noon on Sat. Feb. 20 at the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus, 1210 6th Ave, Tacoma, Wa, 98405.


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    Bipartisan bill will allow DNA testing upon arraignment for violent crimes

Bipartisan bill will allow DNA testing upon arraignment for violent crimes

January 15th, 2016|

Bipartisan legislation, Senate Bill 6366, introduced on Friday in the Washington State Senate will allow DNA testing upon arraignment for certain crimes against a person, which can include murder, rape, robbery, arson, kidnapping, assault, and burglary.

“DNA has been used to help solve crimes and exonerate the innocent since the technology and science became more available within the criminal justice system during the late-1980s,” said Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, and the prime sponsor of the bill. “Our state now has the option to use science to identify perpetrators of violent crimes, help protect women and children from becoming victims of violent crime, exonerate the innocent, solve cold cases, and offer justice to survivors.”

Under the proposal, adults who have been lawfully arrested for crimes against a person, will have their DNA collected upon arrest by the city or county jail as a part of the booking process. The DNA sample will not be analyzed or uploaded into the national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) until charges are read and confirmed by the court. Only after arraignment will the sample be sent to the forensic lab to be analyzed against DNA evidence found at crime scenes. If there are no charges filed by the court, the DNA sample must be immediately destroyed and notice given to the person and their defense counsel that this has been completed.

“DNA testing and technology has greatly improved law enforcement’s ability to protect people in recent decades. It’s important for the Legislature to ensure state law enables investigators to best utilize that information,” said Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, co-sponsor of the legislation. “DNA samples must also be used responsibly respecting people’s right to privacy – this legislation recognizes that important balance.”

Currently, 30 states in the U.S. have already passed legislation approving DNA collection upon arrest.

The United States Supreme Court weighed in on this issue in June 2013 in its ruling of Maryland v King. The majority opinion states that “taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee’s DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”

As of August 2014, CODIS had produced nearly 260,000 DNA matches, assisting in more than 250,000 investigations nationwide.

The bill will be heard in the Senate Law & Justice Committee at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, in Senate Hearing Room 4.

Darneille hosts 9th Annual Korean American Day

January 13th, 2016|

It was my pleasure to honor and welcome members of our Korean American community to Olympia for the 2016 Korean American Day celebration.

In 2007, as a member of the House of Representatives, I was proud to support legislation that officially established January 13th as Korean American Day in our state. Each year, I look forward to meeting with this group as we gather to celebrate on this day.

On Jan. 13th, we join other communities and states across the nation in commemorating the arrival of the first Korean immigrants who arrived 113 years ago. Since then, the hard work and determination of all Korean-Americans has not gone unnoticed. Korean-Americans have made and continue to make significant contributions to our communities, our state, and our country.

I would like to extend a special thank you to the members of the organizing committee whose hard work helped to make the 9th annual Korean Day possible.

Final Conversation Hours, Thursday Dec. 3!

November 30th, 2015|

Please join me during our final Conversation Hours of the 2015 legislative interim from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3, at the Bay Terrace Conference Rooms, 2550 South G Street, Tacoma, WA, 98405

We have had excellent conversations within our community this fall and I hope you will be able to join me to continue these discussions.

See you soon,


Conversation Hours on Tuesday, Nov. 10th!

October 28th, 2015|

Conversation Hours on Tuesday, Nov. 10!

As a member of your 27th Legislative District delegation, I welcome you to join us during our November Conversation Hours from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Salishan Family Investment Center, 1724 East 44th Street, Tacoma, WA 98404

These conversations allow us to meet with you and talk about how we can make our community, our district and our state a better place to live.

I hope to see you there!