Sen. Hasegawa Newsroom

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WHEREAS, the taxpayers of Washington state have demanded greater accountability and wiser use of the taxes they pay to benefit Washingtonians, not Wall Street; and

WHEREAS, a state bank owned by and for the people of Washington State would meet those demands by using taxpayer dollars to invest in infrastructure, student loans, create jobs, increase access to capital for small businesses by supporting local community banks, absorb debt capacity, avert long-term debt payments to Wall Street, and keep taxpayer dollars in Washington state; and

WHEREAS, a publicly owned state bank will generate NEW REVENUE WITHOUT RAISING TAXES, and

WHEREAS, Senate Bill 5464– Creating the Washington Investment Trust (2017-18) would streamline and create efficiencies of the State’s numerous existing revolving loan programs and leverage their capacity to work for the people of Washington State while lowering overhead and exercising efficiencies of scale, paying its own operating costs, leveraging our financing capacity, and returning profits back to the state; and

WHEREAS, in 2012 the people of Washington State passed a Constitutional Amendment  (ESJR 8221), which lowered our debt capacity from 9% of state revenues to its current 8.25%, and again down to 8% by 2034, which leads to the conclusion that Washington State’s current crumbling infrastructure is as good as it will ever be under our current bond financing model because we’re already at our full debt capacity, and

WHEREAS, recent Washington State legislative sessions have exposed a serious lack of resources and bonding capacity to deal with the state’s overwhelming capital needs; and

WHEREAS, a state bank can grow in capacity to be an unparalleled resource for future generations of Washingtonians; and

WHEREAS, a successful model of public banking in the U.S. is the Bank of North Dakota, which was established in 1919 and is controlled by the people for the benefit of the people and economy of North Dakota, this year reported it’s 13th consecutive year of record profits for the people; and

WHEREAS, public banking is a bedrock of social development in most high achieving global economies like Germany, Japan, Brazil, Russia, India, and China, who have not yet privatized their banking systems; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that (name of your organization) endorses the creation of a publicly owned State Bank (SB 5464), which shall be governed by an independent public Commission that is accountable and transparent to the people; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that (name of your organization) should work with others to convene a study group to examine the possibility of sponsoring an initiative of the people for the 2020 general election for the purpose of creating a publicly owned state bank; and, be it finally

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the Washington State Governor, House and Senate leadership, Sen. Bob Hasegawa, and other civic-minded stakeholders for further dissemination to, and education of, the general public.

August 16th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Sen. Hasegawa’s Sine Die Update (2018)

March 21st, 2018|Uncategorized|

Senator Bob Hasegawa’s Legislative Update – 2/20/2018

February 20th, 2018|E-News|

Senate passes Hasegawa bill to avoid institutional racism



Senate passes Hasegawa bill to avoid institutional racism


OLYMPIA — Future legislative proposals will be assessed for disproportionate or unintended impacts on racial and ethnic populations, under legislation passed today by the Senate.

“Passing this bill is an important step towards understanding if institutional racism is embedded in proposed bills before we vote on them,“ said Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Beacon Hill and the sponsor of SB 5588. “I have been working on addressing racial disparities for quite some time, and passing this bill off the floor is great news for people of color across Washington.”

SB 5588 would require racial and ethnic impact statements to provide statistical analysis of the effects of proposed legislation on racial or ethnic populations. The legislation focuses on laws with felony implications, but Hasegawa hopes to later expand the scope to include higher education, human services, government contracting, and other areas that often see racial disparities.

“Conversations about race and racial disparities are tough to have but are extremely necessary. We talk a great deal about addressing racial disproportionality at the Legislature, and yet we often have no understanding of how new policies may specifically impact communities of color,” Hasegawa said. “It is incumbent that those with power and privilege understand the needs of communities often left out of the legislative process. The fact that this bill was passed almost unanimously by both Democrats and Republicans shows real progress.”


The bill passed will only one member voting ‘no,’ it now moved to the House for further consideration.




For information: Bre Weider, Senate Democratic Communications, 360-786-7326

February 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Hasegawa’s wrongful death legislation moves off the Senate floor ‘We are now one step closer towards justice for the victims lost in the Ride the Ducks Seattle crash’

Hasegawa’s wrongful death legislation moves off the Senate floor ‘We are now one step closer towards justice for the victims lost in the Ride the Ducks Seattle crash’



Hasegawa’s wrongful death legislation moves off the Senate floor

‘We are now one step closer towards justice for the victims lost in the Ride the Ducks Seattle crash’


OLYMPIA – Sen. Bob Hasegawa’s, D-Beacon-Hill, released the following statement today following passage of legislation to allow residents to receive compensation in wrongful death incidents.


“Washington is one of three states in the nation that excludes non-residents from receiving compensation in wrongful death cases. The current ‘wrongful death statute’ was adopted in 1917 to prevent the wives of Chinese coal-miners from obtaining wrongful death compensation.


“This old statute is a clear example of legislation rooted in anti-immigrant and refugee sentiment. This law was wrong in 1917 and has no place in our society in 2018. Anti-Asian racism should no longer be engrained into the fabric of our legal system. I am proud that this piece of legislation moved off the Senate floor.


“I introduced SB 6015 to overturn this archaic law, a relic from the past rooted in bigotry that still promotes injustice today. I also want to help ensure the parents of victims lost in the Ride the Ducks Seattle crash receive the justice and compensation they deserve. The pain and suffering of the victim’s families should not be exacerbated because of their residency status.


“We all deserve to be treated fairly under the law, no matter what our residency status is. Ride the Ducks Seattle should not be allowed to hide behind this statute to avoid public accountability and responsibility, which should be decided by the courts.


“Passing this law helps remove racist holes in our state laws.”




For information: Bre Weider, Senate Democratic Communications, 360-786-7326

February 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Hasegawa offers testimony in support of overturning I-200

Hasegawa offers testimony in support of overturning I-200

The Senate’s State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee heard a bill Friday that would end Washington’s Affirmative Action ban, which has been in place since 1998. Bill sponsor Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, said that repealing the ban would help undo the racial stratification created by ‘color-blind’ approaches to diversity.


January 29th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Hasegawa to serve on key Senate committees, two as vice-chair

Hasegawa to serve on key Senate committees, two as vice-chair

OLYMPIA – Following the 2017 election, which shifted control of the state Senate from Republicans to Democrats, Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, has been chosen to serve on several key Senate committees.

He will vice-chair both the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee and the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee, and will continue to serve also on the Senate Ways & Means and Rules committees.

“The committees I serve on are central to state government and allow me to give the 11th district a voice where it counts,” Hasegawa said. “As vice-chair of the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee I look forward to continuing my work toward forming a public infrastructure bank, and as vice-chair of Labor & Commerce I expect to be able to help ensure all workers get a fair shake in our state.”

Hasegawa has served on both Ways & Means and Rules for several years. These committees are crucial in the legislative process, as any bill that goes to the floor of the Senate for a final vote must pass through Rules and/or Ways & Means.

November 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|

State bank feasibility to be studied at state level


OLYMPIA – A proviso that was included in the state operating budget and was proposed by Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, funds an interim task force to look at creating a publicly-owned state bank, and make recommendations for the 2018 Legislature to take action on.

“With the state bank, we would keep our tax dollars in Washington and working for the people of Washington, not Wall Street,” Hasegawa said. “A state bank could provide huge financing capacity to fund critical infrastructure like clean water systems, schools and roads, without having to sell bonds through Wall Street brokers. We simply don’t have enough money to keep going into debt to Wall Street to fund the infrastructure that every Washingtonian relies on.”

The Legislature passed a $43.7 billion operating budget late Friday night, appropriating $75,000 for the state bank task force. Hasegawa has been the Legislature’s champion on the issue of a state bank for years, introducing numerous pieces of legislation, most recently Senate Bill 5464.

The task force will examine the financial needs of local governments necessary for constructing public infrastructure, as well as the feasibility of creating a publicly-owned bank, among other objectives. They will provide draft legislation based on their findings to the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2017 for consideration in the 2018 legislative session.

The task force will consist of members of the Legislature from both chambers and parties, members of the public with relevant experience and representatives from certain financial institutions, state agencies and other branches of government.

“A state bank would generate much needed new revenue for the people of our state without raising taxes,” Hasegawa added. “No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, a state bank would be a win for Washingtonians. It allows us to invest our tax revenues in Washington state, not Wall Street.”

To read the proviso click here and go to Section 123.



July 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|

Legislative Update: Budget passes just before shutdown

Hasegawa banner 2017

Budget passes just before shutdown


With only hours to go before the deadline, a state budget passed the Legislature and was sent to the Governor’s desk for his signature – narrowly avoiding a government shutdown.

Unfortunately, I had to vote no on the budget because it relied almost entirely on a regressive property tax increase that would have hit the 11th Legislative District especially hard. Balancing our state responsibilities on the backs of middle- and low-income families and individuals who already pay more than their fair share is simply not good enough.

I am grateful to my colleagues who fought to include essential investments for our mental health system, homelessness assistance, implementation of the Clean Air Rule and the collective bargaining agreements for public employees. It also makes significant investments into our K-12 system, however it doesn’t really address the state Supreme Court’s requirement in the McCleary ruling that the basic education funding come from the state is sustainable and reliable. The new money from property taxes is capped for four years and then subject to growth limitations, which will put us in the same situation in four years that we’re trying to resolve now.

Hasegawa ENews Feb

One bit of good news is that I was able to get a budget proviso for the state to convene an interim task force to look at creating a publicly owned state bank. As you probably know, I’ve been working on this issue for several years now and the concept is really starting to gain traction. With the state bank, we would keep our tax dollars in Washington State, working for Washington State and not send it to Wall Street for them to use to make profit for themselves. It would provide huge financing capacity to fund critical infrastructure without having to sell bonds through Wall Street brokers. We simply don’t have enough money to keep going into debt to Wall Street to fund critical infrastructure.  The added bonus is that it would generate much needed new revenue for the people of our state without raising taxes. It’s a win-win. For more information on that effort, please click here.

As I write this, negotiators are still working on the Capital Budget. At last check, a number of 11th district projects were funded, including for the City of Renton’s No. 1 priority, Sunset Park, and a study to look at the efficacy of electrifying our rail infrastructure. This project is known as Solutionary Rail and can help reduce a major source of carbon emissions. The budget, SHB 1075, passed out of the House early Saturday morning with a vote of 92-1. It is now up to the Senate Republicans to allow the bill a vote.

Despite the positive elements in the budget, I simply could not vote for a property tax increase that isn’t fair or sustainable. The Legislature also just passed a full set of new tax exemptions totaling almost $100 Million, including extending the Boeing B&O tax break to all manufacturers. This is another shift of tax burden from corporations onto the backs of working families.

We only had a few minutes in Ways and Means to review the full budget comprised of 680 pages across 3 books before we voted on it – and only a few hours before voting it off the Senate floor. I encourage you to look at the documents by clicking here.

Thank you for being an engaged constituent. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your thoughts regarding Legislative issues.


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Hasegawa in Senate Wings

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Phone: (360) 786-7616



July 1st, 2017|E-News|
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    Legislative Update: The regular 2017 session is nearing an end

Legislative Update: The regular 2017 session is nearing an end

Hasegawa banner 2017

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April 18, 2017

Dear Neighbors,Hasegawa in committee

The regular 2017 legislative session ends on Sunday, and although we have operating budget proposals from the House Democrats and Senate Republicans, negotiations have stalled.

Despite multiple attempts by Democratic budget negotiators to initiate talks, Republicans are refusing to come to the table. While this is very frustrating, talks on education funding are progressing and I am hopeful the rest of the operating budget will begin making progress as well.

In this legislative update, I will share with you how different the priorities are that are laid out in the two state budgets. On the one hand, Democrats propose revenue from progressive sources that begin to right our upside-down tax system, while on the other hand Republicans make deep cuts to the social safety net and rely on a $5.6 billion statewide property tax hike to fund education that includes a levy swap proposal that would provide significant tax cuts for some major corporations and force major tax hikes in Seattle while providing less to our students.

As always, I will continue to fight for working families, progressive tax reform and social justice for our community and state.

Please contact me with any comments, concerns or questions.


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Three State BudgetsBudget

There are three separate budgets that fund all the responsibilities of the state. They are passed on a biennial basis, or every two years, with smaller supplemental budgets passed in alternating years.

1.     Operating Budget

The operating budget is the main budget for the state, with proposals this year ranging from $43 – $46 billion. It funds everything from higher education to state agencies to the mental health care system.

I offered an amendment to the budget to appropriate funds to begin the process of studying the possibility of a state-owned bank. While the amendment received a majority vote, it still failed because of a 60-percent rule the majority Republicans invoked for amendments to the budget and so narrowly failed.

On the bright side, support for this idea increases each year – in great part due to those of you who have been speaking up. I still haven’t given up hope for us to make progress on a state bank this session as I continue this fight. To learn more about my state bank proposal, click here.

You can read the state bank amendment by clicking here, or watch my floor speech by clicking here.

To watch my floor speech on the operating budget vote, please click here.

2.     Transportation BudgetSenate cap budget projects 2017

The transportation budget funds everything from pedestrian safety, traffic improvement projects, bridge repairs, ferries and avalanche control.

Negotiations are ongoing with the House of Representatives to pass a transportation budget, and how to deal with major outstanding issues like HOV/Hot Lanes/tolls, and MVET taxes.

3.     Capital Budget

The capital budget funds a variety of building and maintenance projects throughout the state. From affordable housing grants to schools to community and arts centers and parks, the capital budget is critical to building and expanding public spaces throughout Washington state.

I teamed up with our budget negotiators and the other members of the Senate Members of Color Caucus to advocate for key projects and investments in our districts.

Key priorities include the Housing Trust Fund, Building Communities Fund Grants, Dental Capacity Grants, and hazardous/toxic material cleanup money. Specific projects include Sunset Neighborhood Park, Museum of Flight, the Multicultural Community Center, Renton Technical College and many more. I will continue to advocate for these and other 11th District projects as the final capital budget is negotiated with the House of Representatives.

I also offered an environmental and job-creating amendment to the capital budget (the only Democratic amendment accepted by the Republican majority) that studies the feasibility of electrifying our railroads, a project known as Solutionary Rail.

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Fighting for you in OlympiaHasegawa speaking 2017

Finally, I’ve been fighting for racial justice issues, speaking on the Senate floor to various issues that are otherwise swept under the carpet. These issues include legal financial obligations reform, police use of deadly force, racial impact statements for any proposed legislation, and emergency notifications in languages other than English where appropriate.

This is only a taste of the breadth of issues we’re dealing with this legislative session. As you can see there are no shortage of fronts to be fought for our community. Please know that I am here in Olympia fighting for you.

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Differences in the Budgets

Budgets are really a statement of values – what is funded and what is cut shows what each party thinks is a priority and what they don’t. As you can see from the comparisons below, there are stark differences in priorities between Democrats and Republicans in this year’s budget proposals.

D v R policies 2017 Budget updated

D v R policies 2017 budget

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Capitol in springPhone: (360) 786-7616



April 18th, 2017|E-News|