Sen. Hasegawa Newsroom

State bank feasibility to be studied at state level

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 3, 2017

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

Budget

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.

Respectfully,

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Hasegawa in Senate Wings

Contact Me

Phone: (360) 786-7616

Email: Bob.Hasegawa@leg.wa.gov

Website: www.sdc.wastateleg.org/Hasegawa

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

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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.

Regards,

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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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Contact Me

Capitol in springPhone: (360) 786-7616

Email: Bob.Hasegawa@leg.wa.gov

Website: www.sdc.wastateleg.org/Hasegawa

April 18th, 2017|E-News|
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    VIDEO: Hasegawa votes ‘no’ on irresponsible Senate Republican budget

VIDEO: Hasegawa votes ‘no’ on irresponsible Senate Republican budget

 OLYMPIA – Sen. Bob Hasegawa speaks regarding his no vote of the Senate Republican operating budget, which makes deep cuts to the social safety net and doubles down on Washington’s upside-down tax structure.

April 17th, 2017|Uncategorized|
  • Permalink Gallery

    VIDEO: Hasegawa offers amendment to study possibility of state bank

VIDEO: Hasegawa offers amendment to study possibility of state bank

OLYMPIA – Sen. Bob Hasegawa offers an amendment to study the possibility of a publicly owned bank, or state bank, and the benefits this could bring to the state of Washington. To learn more about Hasegawa’s efforts regarding the state bank please click here or you can watch a short video about it here.

April 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    VIDEO: Hasegawa votes against sweeping funds for local infrastructure

VIDEO: Hasegawa votes against sweeping funds for local infrastructure

OLYMPIA – Hasegawa speaks against a measure to sweep funds from the Public Works Trust Fund, used for grants to local governments for essential infrastructure including clean water and sewers.

April 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    VIDEO: Hasegawa advocates for progressive funding for education

VIDEO: Hasegawa advocates for progressive funding for education

OLYMPIA – Sen. Bob Hasegawa makes a speech in support of progressive funding for education funding that gives relief to families in the 11th district and throughout Washington.

April 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    VIDEO: Hasegawa offers amendment to provide racial impact statements on certain proposed legislation

VIDEO: Hasegawa offers amendment to provide racial impact statements on certain proposed legislation

 OLYMPIA – Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, offered an amendment to the Senate budget that would have provided funding and/or guidance to agencies for racial and ethnic impact statements on certain proposed legislation, including in areas of criminal justice and education policy. The state already provides fiscal impact statements to proposed legislation upon legislators’ request, allowing lawmakers to know what monetary impacts there would be to the state budget or to agencies’ budgets should a bill pass into law. Racial and ethnic groups are often disproportionately impacted by changes to law, and Hasegawa’s amendment would have provided insight into the impacts on racial and ethnic groups in Washington prior to changes in policy.
The amendment was voted down on party lines, with all 13 Senate Republicans voting against it.
To hear more about the amendment, please click here or you can watch a video of Hasegawa speaking to his amendment below.

April 3rd, 2017|Uncategorized|

VIDEO: Legislator Profile: Senator Bob Hasegawa

OLYMPIA – Sen. Bob Hasegawa is profiled in this short video. He discusses the issues important 11th district and shares highlights of his path to elected office.

March 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    VIDEO: Hasegawa provides an update on the Senate Republican budget

VIDEO: Hasegawa provides an update on the Senate Republican budget

OLYMPIA – Sen. Hasegawa provides an update on the Senate Republican budget, and how Democrats fought to make it better for the working families of Washington state.

March 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|