Monthly Archives: January 2014

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    Sen. Ranker: “Finally, all kids in our state will be judged solely on the merits of their academic achievements”

Sen. Ranker: “Finally, all kids in our state will be judged solely on the merits of their academic achievements”

January 31st, 2014|

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, issued the statement below following the Senate’s passage of the DREAM Act, which will allow children of undocumented immigrants the same opportunity to qualify for college tuition that their peers have always had:

“Finally, all kids in our state will be judged solely on the merits of their academic achievements.

“The DREAM Act is about fairness, opportunity and access to higher education. With our actions today, kids who have been unfairly denied these inalienable rights will finally have the same rights and opportunities their classmates have always enjoyed.

“Passage of the DREAM Act will end the roadblocks to higher education for some, but there are still many other kids in our state who are being priced out of college or are leaving our universities with crippling debt.

“Hurdles were cleared today, but many remain. We cannot rest until all our state’s kids truly have access to a world-class education.”

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    Sen. Ranker bill will have cable, internet, landline and cellular providers paying you

Sen. Ranker bill will have cable, internet, landline and cellular providers paying you

January 16th, 2014|

OLYMPIA – A bill sponsored by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, will bring fairness to the relationship between consumers and their telecommunications providers.

Under the Telecommunications Consumer Fairness Act, which is sponsored by Ranker and cosponsored by a broad bipartisan group of 24 fellow lawmakers, telecommunications companies will be required to provide a credit on a consumer’s bill for service outages caused by the company that total more than 12 hours in a monthly billing cycle.

“If a person is late paying their bill, you can bet their cable, internet, cell phone or landline provider will let you know about it,” Ranker said. “Isn’t it only fair that if those same providers fail to provide a service consumers have paid for that the consumers are compensated when that service isn’t provided? I think so and that’s what this bill is about.”

Under the bill, the amount of the credit consumers receive is based on monthly billing and is pro-rated based on the number of days or portions of days of the outage. Failure to provide the billing credit will be a violation of the Consumer Protection Act.

 

Ranker hosts PNWER members from Idaho, Canada

January 15th, 2014|

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, served as legislative host Wednesday to visiting members of the Pacific North West Economic Region (PNWER) who were visiting Olympia to meet with legislators and other elected officials.

Ranker was elected President of PNWER earlier this year. The group is a non-partisan, public-private partnership that includes Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon and the Northwest Territories in Canada; and Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Montana in the United States.

The regional partnership of 10 U.S. states and Canadian provinces works to increase the economic well-being, coordinate energy, economic and environmental strategies and enhance the competitiveness of the region. The partnership represents a combined regional GDP of $1 trillion.

The delegation was in Olympia as part of a tour across different areas within PNWER’s jurisdiction. The purpose of their trip is to educate people about PNWER’s priorities and functions.

“The 10 PNWER jurisdictions literally make up an economic force that is a world economic force,” Ranker said. “We have shared destinies – whether it be environmental destinies, economic destinies or energy destinies.”

“Unfinished business” to get done in 2014

January 14th, 2014|

Greetings from Olympia and welcome to the first week of the 2014 legislative session.

I’m excited to get started this year in my new position as the No. 2 Democrat on our budget committee. Serving in this new role is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility. We have so many critical decisions to make regarding our budget; first and foremost being the need to continue our work toward fully funding K-12 education.

The Supreme Court ruled last week that we are still falling well short of our constitutional responsibility to fully fund education in this state. This is a problem that needs to be acted upon. We must think in terms of kids who are going to school now. What happens to them if we delay action on education?

I was also extremely pleased to see the House of Representatives move forward today on passage of the Dream Act. This bill received bipartisan support in the House with 16 Republicans voting yes. I hope the Senate Republicans will abide by the will of the people and of their colleagues in the House and allow the Dream Act a vote on the Senate floor. The bill gives high school grads who happen to be the children of undocumented immigrants the same chance to earn access to college financial aid as every other Washington high school grad.

Dream Act is a commonsense piece of legislation, but it could mean the difference in whether or not a kid goes to college. The Senate must pass the Dream Act.

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    Ranker appointed No. 2 Democrat on powerful budget committee

Ranker appointed No. 2 Democrat on powerful budget committee

January 9th, 2014|

The Senate Democratic Caucus unanimously voted Thursday to appoint Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, as the assistant ranking Democrat for the operating budget and as the second-highest ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Ways and Means Committee.

Ranker will also remain a member of the Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee, but will no longer serve as ranking member.

“I’m honored to have been selected by my peers to take on these new challenges,” Ranker said. “Constructing a state budget which represents the values of our state and our local communities is of the utmost importance to us all.”