Monthly Archives: May 2016

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    Ranker: Court’s voiding of minority tax initiative protects democracy

Ranker: Court’s voiding of minority tax initiative protects democracy

May 26th, 2016|

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, issued the following statement today after the Washington State Supreme Court voided in its entirety Initiative 1366 which would have forced a constitutional amendment that would likely have reduced resources for services critical to Washingtonians.

“This is a crucial affirmation of the principle of majority rule that empowers our democracy. Requiring supermajority votes on legislation is the reverse of democracy because it would allow a minority to dictate policy to the majority.

“Our tax structure needs to be reformed in ways that move our state forward, not backward. We need to explore responsible ways to reduce our state’s unhealthy overreliance on sales tax, which has saddled Washingtonians with the most regressive tax system in the nation. We need to develop and enact reforms to make our entire tax system more equitable, fair and progressive so that the greatest obligation no longer falls on those least able to shoulder it.”

Ranker: Army’s rejection of coal terminal a step forward

May 9th, 2016|

Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, issued this statement on today’s decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers against the proposal to build the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point to ship coal brought in from Montana to mainland China.

“This is an incredible victory for human health, environmental health, clean energy and the sovereign rights of the Lummi Nation, which rightly challenged the project on the basis of its threat to their air, water and land.

“Today we move forward, past coal and towards healthier communities and the more sustainable path of renewable energies and green jobs.

“It makes far more sense to focus our infrastructure and training and employment efforts on family wage jobs that can serve Washingtonians for decades to come.”

Ranker proud to have helped save 400 local jobs

May 2nd, 2016|

OLYMPIA — Today’s agreement to keep the Intalco Works aluminum smelter open in Ferndale will preserve more than 400 family wage jobs that would have been lost if Alcoa had curtailed their operation, Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, said.

“I’m extremely honored to have helped lead the bipartisan effort at the state level that, combined with the work from U.S. Sen. Murray’s office, were able to keep Alcoa’s Intalco Works plant open,” Ranker said. “During the session, we invested $3 million into training for the workers. Now, combined with new power agreements in place, it is my hope we can keep these men and women employed in good, family wage manufacturing jobs in Washington.”

Ranker commented after lightweight metals leader Alcoa announced it had reached an agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to improve the competitiveness of its Intalco smelter. As a result, the smelter will not curtail at the end of the second quarter as previously announced by the company.

The amendment to the power contract is effective July 1, 2016, through Feb. 14, 2018, and provides for additional access to market power during this period.

Alcoa officials said the agreement with BPA, combined with the state of Washington’s $3 million budget proviso for workforce training, were key factors in helping Intalco remain competitive. The company credited the efforts of Gov. Jay Inslee, U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene and Rick Larsen, and state Sens. Ranker and Doug Ericksen as well as the BPA.

“Keeping these jobs in Whatcom County was a priority for me as soon as I heard Alcoa might be shutting its Italco plant down,” Ranker said. “These state and federal efforts should keep Washingtonians in these jobs for years to come.”