Sen. Dhingra Newsroom

Education Funding on the Eastside

Sen. Manka Dhingra is joined by Sen. Lisa Wellman and Sen. Patty Kuderer to discuss the importance of education funding for Eastside school district including: Bellevue, Issaquah, Lake Washington, Mercer Island, North Shore, Renton, Riverview, and Snoqualmie Valley.

 

February 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Senate passes Dhingra bill to provide property tax relief for seniors, veterans

Senate passes Dhingra bill to provide property tax relief for seniors, veterans


OLYMPIA – The Senate today unanimously passed legislation introduced by Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond, to provide property tax relief to those who can least afford an increase—senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and veterans who reside in areas with a high cost of living.

“Affordability is a huge problem in the 45th Legislative District and surrounding communities,” Dhingra said. “Seniors and people on fixed income, many of whom have called the 45th home for decades, are being priced out of their homes.” 

Under current law, the senior property tax exemption is calculated based on statewide income thresholds, which do not account for the disparate cost of living in different counties. Senate Bill 6251 will change eligibility to be based on each county’s median household income.

“Current exemptions do not account for regional difference,” Dhingra said. “This bill fixes that.” 

Senate Bill 6251 passed with a vote of 47-0.

 

February 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Senate passes Dhingra bill to protect children from young mistakes

Senate passes Dhingra bill to protect children from young mistakes

OLYMPIA – The Senate today passed legislation introduced by Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond, to bring state law into the 21st century and help protect our children.

Washington law currently makes no distinction between minors who make, send or possess sexually explicit images of themselves and minors who maliciously send images of others. The result is that penalties are severe. Under current law, any minor sending an image of themselves to another person his or her own age could face felony charges, up to five years in prison, and mandatory sex offender registration.

As every parent knows, kids sometimes make mistakes,” Dhingra said. “We hope the mistakes they make become opportunities for learning and growth. Children today face a new set of challenges as evolving technologies have opened the door to mistakes that can haunt them for the rest of their lives.”

Senate Bill 6566 does not alter existing safeguards like harassment protections or a prosecutor’s ability to make a special allegation of sexual motivation. Additionally, it directs the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs to establish a workgroup to study the harms caused by the exchange of intimate images by minors and report its findings to the Legislature.

Teenagers should not be labeled sex offenders and felons for sending intimate pictures of themselves to someone they know,” Dhingra said. “This bill ensures that kids are held responsible but have the opportunity to learn and recover from their mistakes, while still holding accountable those who distribute explicit photos of others.”

Senate Bill 6566 passed with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 31-16.

February 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Senate votes to increase protections for victims of domestic violence

Senate votes to increase protections for victims of domestic violence

OLYMPIA – The Senate today passed legislation introduced by Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond, to increase protection for victims of domestic violence.

Senate Bill 6298 would add harassment to the list of domestic violence crimes that prohibit a convicted batterer from possessing a weapon.

“More than half of all women murdered with guns in the United States were killed by intimate partners or family,” Dhingra said. “We are helping to protect survivors of domestic violence and ensuring they don’t become causalities.”

In the state of Washington, in most cases, individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses lose their right to possess a firearm until that right is restored by a court of law. SB 6298 will ensure the state holds all perpetrators of domestic violence equally responsible, including those convicted of harassment.

“Crimes of domestic violence are some of the hardest to prosecute, and the most deadly call that law enforcement officers respond to,” Dhingra said. “This bill will help us keep weapons out of the hands of those who are likely to misuse them. The legislation is very narrowly tailored to impact only those individuals who have been convicted in our courts.”

The legislation is supported by the City of Seattle, the City Attorney’s Office, the Washington Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

SB 6298 passed in the Senate by a strong bipartisan vote of 34-13.

February 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Dhingra introduces resolution honoring Republic Day of India

Dhingra introduces resolution honoring Republic Day of India

Sen. Manka Dhingra introduced a resolution in the Senate to honor and celebrate Republic Day of India on Friday, Jan. 26. She delivered the following remarks:

“Thank you, Madam President.

“I rise today to honor the 69th Republic Day of India, celebrating the day in which India implemented its Constitution, taking the final step toward full independence.

“The nation of India defeated colonization and achieved independence through a peaceful, nonviolent resistance.

“Today we honor and celebrate the journey, which led to the establishment of the world’s largest, and one of the most diverse, democracies in the world—with over 300 languages and dialects spoken throughout the country.

“America shares many values with India including the constitutional tenants, which ensure dignity and liberty for its constituents and equality in the eyes of the law.

“Washington state also shares deep cultural and economic ties with India.

“Thousands of Indian-Americans live in Washington state and enrich every facet of our society—from the classroom, to the boardroom, to the battlefield.

“Indian-Americans are small business owners, entrepreneurs, and CEOs of Washington companies, including the founding officers of many tech companies, like the businesses in the 45th Legislative District.

“Madam President, I am proud to stand before you today and honor Republic Day 2018 as a symbol of the shared values of democracy and liberty, between the nation of India, our nation and our state.

“Thank you.”

January 26th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Senate approves capital budget, community projects for 45th District

Senate approves capital budget, community projects for 45th District

OLYMPIA – The long-delayed, $4 billion dollar state construction budget passed today by the Senate includes $1.8 million for local community projects in the 45h Legislative District.

Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond, said the budget will fund construction of the Northshore Athletic Fields in Woodinville and the Willows Road Regional Trail Connection in Kirkland. Statewide, the budget will fund the largest-ever investment in K-12 school construction – about $1 billion.

“We did it!” Dhingra said. “Budgets are value statements. This budget shows that we are committed to fulfilling the state’s promise of fully funding public education and building new facilities for Washington’s 1.1 million school-aged children. This takes us one-step closer to ensuring that every student in Washington has access to a quality education and an individualized plan for success.”

Additionally, more than $112 million will go toward mental health services including $65 million for community mental health beds, and about $20 million to both Eastern and Western state hospitals for patient safety enhancements and renovations.

 

January 18th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Senate votes to rename cancer research endowment in honor of the late Sen. Andy Hill

Senate votes to rename cancer research endowment in honor of the late Sen. Andy Hill

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate voted today to rename the Cancer Research Endowment Authority and Cancer Research Endowment (CARE) Fund in honor of Sen. Andy Hill.

This legislation, SB 5375, passed with overwhelming support.  

“Sen. Hill was a dedicated legislator,” said Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond and Hill’s successor. “He was a champion for the communities of the 45th and served our district energetically. I was proud to support this legislation.”

Hill died in 2016 after a recurrence of lung cancer. The currently named CARE Fund is a public-private partnership that supports cancer research in Washington. In January, they announced $2.5 million in awards to researchers in Washington, including a grant to Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center that will focus on methods to improve diagnosis and treatment of lung metastasis.  

A full list of this year’s recipients can be found here.

 

January 18th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Organizers hope 2nd annual Women’s March will encourage widespread activism

Organizers hope 2nd annual Women’s March will encourage widespread activism

Q13 Fox / Jan. 14, 2018

SEATTLE — Spurred by months of frustration over stories of sexual assault, a huge crowd is expected to march in Seattle this Saturday (January 20) in the second annual Women’s March, which they’re calling March 2.0.

This year, the march will happen exactly a year after President Donald Trump took office.

Organizers hope it will encourage widespread activism beyond the streets by those who advocate for civil rights, women’s and LGBTQ rights, as well as other causes.

On Sunday,  volunteers created posters for the march at The Riveter — a shared, workspace in Seattle that focuses on supporting women.

“We love that people are having conversations about what inspires them. And they’re thinking about what they want to do in the coming year,” organizer Jonna Bell told Q13 News.

“Everybody that I know that marched last year, kind of did something different this year, whether they wrote letters, or whether they did phone banking or they volunteered. I mean, it sort of inspired people to take real action,” Janine Brunyee with Be the Change Network said.

One of the speakers this year will be state senator Manka Dhingra.

Last November, she helped flip the state Senate to Democratic control by winning her district in Kirkland.

“This is about actually making sure that people have a voice. This is about defining a new normal. About making sure we are talking about respect, dignity and equality,” Dhingra said Sunday.

The march will begin with a rally at Cal Anderson Park beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The march to the Seattle Center will begin at 11:30 a.m. and there are events scheduled for Sunday, as well.

Participants are encouraged to use public transportation.

 

January 15th, 2018|Uncategorized|

#MeToo moment reaches politics, Hollywood, and beyond

K5 News/ Jan. 8, 2018
By Natalie Brand

The first day of Washington state’s 2018 legislative session started with a new majority in the Senate. Senator Manka Dhingra’s win in November gave Democrats a one-seat advantage in the upper chamber and full control of state government.

“Go get ’em,” Governor Jay Inslee told Dhingra while delivering flowers to her desk on the Senate floor Monday.

Dhingra, of Redmond, says she was inspired to run in large part because of President Donald Trump’s surprise upset in 2016, and also encouraged by her teen children who led Monday’s pledge of allegiance before their mom took the oath of office.

“To me, you have to look at next generation to see where we’re at,” said Dhingra.

It’s a generation that she says values respect and equality, whether in politics or the workplace.

“I think the #MeToo movement and women coming up and speaking out about the way they have been treated was the next thing bound to happen after the women’s march,” said Dhingra. “I think it really has been awakening that we’ve seen in last few years, and I hope it will continue.”

Oprah Winfrey captured the emotion of the moment with her speech at Sunday night’s Golden Globes, proclaiming “a new day is on the horizon.”

Her speech elicited a standing ovation from Hollywood and caused social media to speculate whether she’ll run for president in 2020.

While Oprah’s longtime partner told the LA Times “it’s up to the people,” a source told NBC News she “has no intention of running.”

“I think there’s lots of people who might get in race—might be Oprah, might be The Rock (Dwayne Johnson),” said State Senator Dough Ericksen (R-Ferndale). Ericksen, who worked on President Trump’s 2016 campaign and said he would be interested in working for his reelection campaign, downplayed the possibility of a Trump-Oprah matchup in a couple of years.

However, the larger issue of MeToo — a movement that Hollywood is now transitioning into “Time’s Up” — is one that has bipartisan support and attention, even in Olympia.

“It’s time to change the discussion from #MeToo to Not Me,” said Senator Ann Rivers, R-La Center. “We need to send the message that this is not OK and we need to empower individuals, be they male or female, of any persuasion that this is not OK.”

Both senators Rivers and Dhingra sit on a task force seeking to address the issue of sexual harassment in Olympia. Among ideas being considered are more regular anti-sexual harassment training for members as well as potential training for lobbyists.

January 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Senate Democrats take early aim at gun legislation

Peninsula Daily News / Jan. 7, 2018
By Alex Visser

With a newfound majority in the Washington Senate, state Democrats have found an early target in firearm regulation as the 2018 legislative session gets set to begin.

Senate Bill 6049 would regulate the ownership and manufacturing of large capacity magazines and make them all but illegal in most cases. “Large capacity” refers to any magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds.

The bill was requested by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who cited a motivation in mass shootings across the country, including a 2016 shooting at a house party in Mukilteo in which three were killed and one was injured.

The bill was introduced by Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, and is sponsored by three other democratic senators: Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond; Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma; and Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle.

Currently, eight states and the District of Columbia have introduced some kind of restriction on large capacity magazines. In Colorado and New Jersey, the limit is 15 rounds, and in Hawaii the ban pertains only to handguns.

Such magazines were previously banned on a federal level under the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which also banned semi-automatic weapons before expiring in 2004.

Pedersen said he feels confident the bill will pass, and that the key is to receive support from rural Democrats and more moderate Republicans. The senator added that he has received at least some vocal support from both parties.

“We’ve obviously had a series of high-profile shootings across the country,” Pedersen said. “This is a small step to take.”

But Dave Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag, said he doesn’t find such a ban necessary, arguing that large capacity magazines haven’t proven to be a problem. Workman said he expects a flurry of opposition from gun owners across the state, many of whom own firearms that would be affected by the ban.

Workman’s sentiments were echoed by Joe Waldron, legislative chairman of the Washington State Rifle and Pistol Association, who said his organization is firmly against the potential legislation.

Waldron said the bill emphasizes the role of guns, while legislators should be taking a look at potential societal problems that lead to mass shootings.

The legislative chairman pointed out that many pistols carry large capacity magazines, but the bill doesn’t differentiate between handguns and the assault weapons Waldron believes the bill is targeting.

Waldron called the bill “meaningless” and “unenforceable,” and said it would force Washington citizens to give up private property that is arguably protected by the Second Amendment.

“The bottom line is we oppose the bill because it’s a waste of time,” Waldron said. “They focus on the inanimate object; what they need to be focusing on is the behavior.”

The senate plans to hear SB 6049 on Jan. 15.

January 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|