Monthly Archives: March 2015

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    Video Update: Minimum wage, paid sick and safe leave, equal pay and more!

Video Update: Minimum wage, paid sick and safe leave, equal pay and more!

March 26th, 2015|

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    Legislative Update: Thank you for a successful townhall! What’s next?

Legislative Update: Thank you for a successful townhall! What’s next?

March 18th, 2015|

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thank you for a successful town hall!

I want to thank everyone who took time on Saturday to come to the town hall in Renton. We had a great turnout and productive discussion on the state budget, education and other important issues.

If you weren’t able to make it, or we didn’t have time to answer your question, please contact us!

Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-Beacon Hill)

Bob.Hasegawa@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786 – 7616

Home Page: http://sdc.wastateleg.org/Hasegawa/

Rep. Zack Hudgins (D-Tukwila)

Zack.Hudgins@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786 – 7956

Home Page: http://housedemocrats.wa.gov/roster/rep-Zack-Hudgins/

Rep. Steve Bergquist (D-Renton)

bergquist.steve@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786 – 7862

Home Page: http://housedemocrats.wa.gov/roster/rep-Steve-Bergquist/

Senate v. House: Contrasting Values

We are now over halfway through the 2015 legislative session, and have passed an important cutoff where the Senate begins to hear legislation introduced in the House and vice versa. Looking at what has passed through the Republican controlled Senate and the Democratically-controlled House, the differences couldn’t be starker.

On the one hand, the House passed bills to:

The Republican controlled Senate on the other hand:

  • Blocked all of the measures listed above.

 Looking Ahead at Education Funding and the Budget

As the second half of session continues, we will be increasingly focused on writing the budget that will fund the state’s operations for the next two years. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle came into this legislative session in agreement that funding education is our primary duty. There is also a consensus it will be our biggest challenge, as there is a significant ideological divide between where we will find necessary funding.

As you can see from the graph below, there isn’t much of the budget that can be cut – especially because so many services have been cut so deeply already. We will need new sources of revenue to fund our schools and keep the state running, and I am committed to finding that revenue in places that won’t further burden working families in this state. Capital gains taxes on the state’s richest, and taxing Washington’s largest corporate polluters must be on the table if we are going to fund our kids’ education and address our regressive and unfair tax system. Like I say, I am committed to this, and hope you’ll write to lawmakers expressing how you feel the budget process should move forward.

Regards,

Bob Hasegawa

Budget pie

 

  • Permalink Gallery

    Video Update: ‘Communities in Schools’ and the session halfway mark

Video Update: ‘Communities in Schools’ and the session halfway mark

March 18th, 2015|

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    Hasegawa parking mitigation bill a win-win for customers, neighborhoods

Hasegawa parking mitigation bill a win-win for customers, neighborhoods

March 17th, 2015|

OLYMPIA – A bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, that will mitigate impacts to parking in Seattle neighborhoods due to light rail installations, passed the Washington State Senate on Wednesday (SB 5343).

“I see this as a social justice issue,” Hasegawa said following the vote. “Many neighborhoods in South Seattle are low-income and communities of color who can’t afford to be burdened with the new parking fees. Sixty-five dollars per vehicle doesn’t sound like much to a lot of people, but added to rising rents, rising food costs and the need for multiple generations of families to live under one roof to make ends meet, people are getting forced out of Seattle. We’re going to start seeing lost cultural and economic diversity in our city.”

Since the completion of light rail through South Seattle, a situation arose where commuters were taking advantage of free parking in neighborhoods near new light rail stations and staying all day, making it difficult for residents. To deter commuters from parking in residential areas, new Restricted Parking Zones (RPZ) were instituted in many impacted neighborhoods.

The city already offers RPZ passes at a discounted rate for residents who meet a low-income threshold. This bill puts in statute the discounted pass should be no more than $5 per year, and requests must be granted. It also allows for non-profits in impacted areas to qualify for the discounted pass.

“The intent of the RPZ is good, that is trying to make sure residents have spaces to park in their own neighborhoods,” Hasegawa added. “But the result was insensitive to the needs of the people it impacted. I am a huge supporter of public transit, but the reality is many people who live in South Seattle need their cars to get to work. They might work in places that aren’t served by light rail, or they might work night shifts and come home after trains stop running. Allowing residents to receive an affordable permit while keeping the RPZ in place is a win-win. The residents have parking, and commuters have the train.”

 

 

VIDEO: The Pitfalls of Predatory Lending

March 10th, 2015|

 

Senator Bob Hasegawa speaks against a bill (SB 5899) that would expand predatory lending in Washington.

Reforms were passed in 2009 in Washington to restrict some of the loan practices allowable under this bill. These reforms capped the total amount of interest and fees charged, limited the number of loans that someone can take, and converted payday loans into an installment loan if it cannot be paid off in two weeks.

Although billed as a measure to reduce fees, under SB 5899 the fee is only lower if it is paid off in two weeks. Under current law in Washington, a $700 loan paid off in six months would cost an extra $95 in fees. Under this bill, it would cost an additional $450.

 

Join Us For a Town Hall Meeting, Saturday, March 14

March 3rd, 2015|

WHO: Senator Bob Hasegawa, Rep. Zack Hudgins, Rep. Steve Bergquist

WHAT: Town Hall Meeting

WHERE: King County Regional Communications & Emergency Coordination Center (RCECC)

3511 NE 2nd Street

Renton, WA 98056

WHEN: Saturday, March 14th, 1-3 pm

OLYMPIA—How can we fully fund our public schools, fix traffic gridlock and help middle class families in Washington state?

Sen. Bob Hasegawa, Rep. Zack Hudgins and Rep. Steve Bergquist are hosting a town hall meeting to have a dialogue with citizens about those issues.

The event includes a “Balance the Budget” exercise, giving every citizen the chance to tackle the state budget deficit and the challenge of fully funding public schools, per Supreme Court order.

Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-Beacon Hill)

Bob.Hasegawa@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786 – 7616

Home Page: http://sdc.wastateleg.org/Hasegawa/

Rep. Zack Hudgins (D-Tukwila)

Zack.Hudgins@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786 – 7956

Home Page: http://housedemocrats.wa.gov/roster/rep-Zack-Hudgins/

Rep. Steve Bergquist (D-Renton)

bergquist.steve@leg.wa.gov

(360) 786 – 7862

Home Page: http://housedemocrats.wa.gov/roster/rep-Steve-Bergquist/