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Fraser delivers keynote speech at Thurston County’s 2013 swearing-in ceremony

January 5th, 2014|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Olympia, recently gave the keynote speech at Thurston County’s 2013 swearing-in ceremony at South Puget Sound Community College’s Minnaert Center for the Arts.

Fraser spoke about the significance of the oath of office at the event where elected officials from cities, fire districts, school districts and the Port of Olympia were sworn into office.

Fraser, who represents the 22nd Legislative District, was recently elected to her sixth term in the state Senate.

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    AUDIO – Sen. Fraser on ’Celebrating 100 Years of Women in the Legislature’

AUDIO – Sen. Fraser on ’Celebrating 100 Years of Women in the Legislature’

February 13th, 2013|

Sen. Karen Fraser speaks about her resolution honoring the centennial of the first female members of the Washington State Legislature and the panel discussion “Celebrating 100 Years of Women in the Legislature.”

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    Seattle Times Op-Ed: Don’t call the state Senate’s Majority Coalition Caucus bipartisan

Seattle Times Op-Ed: Don’t call the state Senate’s Majority Coalition Caucus bipartisan

December 17th, 2012|

The following Op-Ed written by Sens. Karen Fraser and Ed Murray appeared in the Seattle Times over the weekend:

IT’S a general rule in politics: If one side of the aisle says it’s bipartisan and the other side says it’s not, then it’s not.

Earlier this week, when twenty-three Republicans plus two breakaway Democrats announced plans to seize control of the state Senate from Democrats, they did so in the name of bipartisanship and collaboration.

But it’s a curious kind of bipartisanship that has no room for consultation with the other side. When majority Republicans put forward their idea to radically restructure the Senate, absent was the opportunity for input from the other 24 members of the 49-member body. And when the Republicans said their plan would “put aside party dynamics and focus instead on the needs of all Washingtonians,” it’s clear that the only party dynamics they wish to set aside are Democratic ones.

The Seattle Times editorial page applauded the move as a necessary check against the Democratic House and governor [“State coalition caucus a promising change,” Opinion, Dec. 12]. This argument looks flimsy after Washington voters overwhelmingly selected Democrats for president, senator, a majority of our congressional delegation, governor, all statewide offices except one, and majorities in the state House and Senate.

The fact is, though, the public expects us to work together to move the state forward, no matter who is in charge. This is especially true in the Senate, a diverse body with an unstable balancing point that shifts from issue to issue. After the election, majority Democrats knew that the Senate would descend into dysfunction if we tried to govern with a strict 25-vote strategy, the bare minimum number of votes necessary. […]

Cleaning work on Capitol building returns sparkle to iconic landmark

September 25th, 2012|

Sen. Karen Fraser speaks about the importance of the cleaning and restoration work being done on Olympia’s historic Legislative Building.

Sen. Fraser’s e-newsletter – Apr. 26, 2012

April 26th, 2012|

Dear Constituents and friends,

The End…

At 7:30 am, Wednesday, April 11, the final gavel came down on the very difficult 2012 legislative session.  We were "on the Floor" for about 22 hours the last day, as final negotiations on remaining controversial bills and budget items took place. 

I would describe that all-night session as an "ordeal" and "grueling."  But, we were determined to get DONE—and we did! 

Here’s a quick report on legislative action.

Capital Budget — Jobs Budget

Projects funded in our area include:

$

778,000

Safe Place – new building

$

[…]

Sen. Fraser’s e-newsletter – Feb. 13, 2012

February 13th, 2012|

Dear Friends,

Deadlines, deadlines…

The Legislature is moving quickly through a series of major deadlines, and the pace is truly intense. 

Fiscal bills deadline. Tuesday last week was the cut-off for bills to be reported out of fiscal committees.  As a member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, I can report that we were exceptionally busy considering so many bills—-ranging from modest spending increases, spending cuts, spending reprioritization, improved cost-effectiveness of services, and assistance for local governments. 

The exception to this fiscal deadline is bills “necessary to implement the budget” (NTIB), which will be considered after the new state revenue forecast coming out Thursday, February 16. 

Chamber of Origin deadline.  The next big deadline is tomorrow, Tuesday, February 14, at 5 pm.  This is the deadline for bills to pass their “Chamber of Origin”—meaning the deadline for Senate Bills to pass the Senate and House Bills to pass the House.  Again, NTIBs are exempt from this deadline. 

Bills passed to date.  So far, the Senate has passed about 140 bills and the House has passed over 200 bills.  We are working steadily as the February 14 deadline approaches, so these numbers will increase.

The next deadlines.  After Tuesday’s deadline, two processes will take center stage: 

(1) Consideration of the other Chamber’s bills.  Each Chamber’s policy committees will be considering bills that passed the other Chamber—-Senate Committees will consider House Bills and House Committees will consider Senate Bills.

The deadline for this Committee action is:  Friday, February 24. If any bills coming out of Committee have fiscal impacts, fiscal committees have until Monday, February 27 to act on them.

(2) The budgets.  The state’s operating, capital, and transportation budgets and bills related to them, which are exempt from all cut-off dates.

Friday, March […]

Sen. Fraser’s e-news update 2/8/12

February 8th, 2012|

Sen. Fraser’s e-newsletter – Feb. 3, 2012

February 3rd, 2012|

Dear friends,

This has been a major week in the Senate.  We passed two major pieces of legislation, and today is the first major deadline of the Session-the deadline for bills to be reported out of policy committees.

Marriage Equality

As you likely learned through the news media, the Senate passed SB 6239, which allows “same sex” marriage. Attached is a summary of the bill.   The bill emphasizes separation of church and state, and independence of churches, in a variety of ways.  The vote was 28-21.  I voted in support because I think community life is better with more people in committed, caring relationships. 

I was proud of the high caliber of the debate in the Senate on this issue.  Senators demonstrated great respect for each other, and for arguments on both sides of the issue.  Senators truly lived up to the highest of standards of respectful debate on this issue which generates such strong emotions, and which draws on such great diversity of Members’ and their constituents’ life experiences.

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The debate was watched on Television Washington (TVW) by thousands of people not only here in Washington, but also throughout the world.  To view the debate, here is a LINK to TVW archives.  


Redistricting

The Senate also voted to approve EHCR 4409 which adopts the new Congressional and Legislative District boundaries, as recommended by the State Redistricting Commission. 

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The US Constitution requires adjustment of these, and some local jurisdictional election district boundaries, every 10 years, following compilation of National Census data.  This year, because Washington’s population is growing faster […]

Sen. Fraser’s e-newsletter – Jan. 27, 2012

January 27th, 2012|

The legislative session is proceeding at an exceptionally active pace. Legislators have been busy finalizing and introducing bills, participating in legislative hearings on important issues, considering options to address the revenue and budget crisis, and meeting with and hearing from constituents on a wide variety of issues.

With the "Snowmageddon" storm last week, in spite of transportation and electrical power problems, the Legislature did continue to meet and make progress. The snow and ice storm was definitely disruptive, but also added some special beauty to the Capital Campus. Employees of the Department of Enterprise Services and the Legislature did great jobs keeping the Campus as accessible as possible and helping visitors. Legislative staff did outstanding work keeping the legislative process progressing in spite of all.

Here’s a representative photo of what the Campus looked like.   

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Thank you to each of you who have contacted me on issues before the Legislature.  I appreciate very much your caring about the future of our community and state, your opinions, and your helpful information.  Be assured that I get all of my messages every day, thanks to my capable staff.  It’s essential to doing my job to know what constituents think.

You might be interested to know on which issues I’ve received the greatest amount of input from constituents.  They include:  the need for revenue to reduce devastating budget cuts; making the tax structure more fair for middle and lower – income people; preserving Basic Health Plan and other health care support for low-income people; marriage equality; fair treatment for state employees; K-12 education funding; ending the death penalty; dental practitioners licensing; and banning plastic bags.

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