Monthly Archives: April 2015

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    Sen. Ranker: Capital Gains proposal funds education, battles income inequality

Sen. Ranker: Capital Gains proposal funds education, battles income inequality

April 16th, 2015|

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, released a plan to tax 7,500 of the wealthiest in the state in an effort to solve Washington’s school funding crisis and combat income inequality.

He also introduced a constitutional amendment which will prevent the capital gains threshold from dropping below $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a household without a vote of the people.

Ranker’s high earners tax is part of a larger plan by Senate Democrats to fully fund Washington’s schools.

“Without question, and we have the research to support us, Washington’s tax system is the most unfair in the country,” Ranker said. “We also must significantly increase funding to our schools. This plan asks the wealthiest among us – not even the top 1 percent but the top 0.1 percent – to help Washington’s one million school kids receive the world class education they deserve.”

The plan taxes Washington’s multi-millionaires and billionaires a modest seven percent on the sale of stocks and bonds. The average capital gains of those who will be taxed is $1.6 million. The plan also exempts homes and other gains.

All but 41 states already have a capital gains tax.

Ranker also made public a letter signed by more than 100 Washingtonians asking to pay a capital gains tax.

“Many of the wealthiest Washingtonians, the top 0.1 percent, want to do more to give back to the great state they love,” Ranker said.

Ranker: Our No. 1 job should be to protect the public

April 16th, 2015|

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, released the statement below following Wednesday’s passage of an oil train safety bill that falls short of critical protections for communities and valuable information for first responders:

“Someone said that Washingtonians will be safer under this bill. The truth is Washingtonians won’t be as safe as they should be under this bill.

“Our No. 1 job should be to protect the public. Today we missed that opportunity.

“We had the opportunity to actually secure the safety of our communities and give our first responders the information they need to respond if there is an accident.

“A failed amendment would have allowed people and first responders to know the type of oil being transported. This is of serious concern because the much more volatile Bakken crude is consistently at the center of the most catastrophic oil disasters.

“This bill also ignores protections which must be in place for oil transported on Puget Sound, despite a continued increase in tanker traffic.

“Oil spills and train disasters happen seemingly all the time. Literally millions of gallons of Bakken crude rumbles through our cities and towns daily.

“We must give our communities and first responders every chance to prepare themselves for a disaster. Today we failed to do that.”

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    Sen. Ranker: If you serve our state as a teacher, your college debt should go away

Sen. Ranker: If you serve our state as a teacher, your college debt should go away

April 13th, 2015|

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, proposed bipartisan legislation Thursday to revive a program which will address Washington’s growing demand for teachers as class sizes shrink. Senate Bill 6097 would provide student loan forgiveness for teachers who pursue a career in K-3 classrooms throughout the state.

Data from the Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board estimates the state will have a shortage of nearly 4,000 teachers by the start of the 2018 school year.

“As we begin to address class sizes, all day kindergarten and fully funding education in our state, we are going to need more teachers,” Ranker said. “We know that one reason people decide not to teach is because their salaries don’t allow them to pay down college debt. This will address that and make sure that debt no longer prevents our best and brightest from leading our state’s classrooms.

“The bottom line here is that if you serve your state as a teacher, your college debt should go away,” Ranker said. “We have a dramatic shortfall of teachers in our state. If we are going to provide our children with the best education possible, we have to attract great teachers and encourage our best to teach.”

The Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program was last funded in 2010. That year the program received $1 million which funded approximately 100 scholarships for future teachers.

“I am committed to finding a way to fund this very worthwhile program,” Ranker said. “Our kids deserve to have the best and brightest lead Washington’s classrooms and we are losing our best to other careers. A modest investment can help reverse that trend.”

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    Ranker: “We are not Indiana but we are following their lead.”

Ranker: “We are not Indiana but we are following their lead.”

April 2nd, 2015|

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, released the statement below Thursday following the defeat of an amendment which would have simply required vendors who do business with the state to be in line with state and federal anti-discrimination laws:

“Tonight I had to walk off the senate floor. I’m disgusted and deeply saddened by the actions this institution of which I am a part.

“We just voted to allow discrimination.

“All this amendment said was you cannot discriminate. You cannot discriminate against gay people, you cannot discriminate against pregnant women, you cannot discriminate.

“If we cannot protect our citizens from discrimination then what are we doing here?

“I am astounded that in 2015 we still have to fight for basic civil rights. Even now, we read headlines about state governments making it legal for businesses to discriminate against their own citizens.

“We are not Indiana but we are following their lead.

“We must continue the fight every day and in every corner to ensure that Washingtonians can shop where they want and marry who they love without persecution.

“It was made crystal clear today on the floor of the Senate that the fight continues. We saw firsthand why we must remain vigilant against those who remain on the wrong side of history.

“Unfortunately we also realized this evening that this institution is broken and does not represent the values of the citizens of Washington state.
“The fight continues and I will continue to do all I can to lead that charge.”

WATCH: Ranker fights for equality on Senate floor

April 2nd, 2015|