Monthly Archives: July 2017

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    Ranker: Unconscionable that Senate Republicans blocked vote on capital budget

Ranker: Unconscionable that Senate Republicans blocked vote on capital budget

July 20th, 2017|

OLYMPIA — Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, released this statement today after Senate Republicans refused to allow a vote on the state capital budget:

“It is incredibly unfortunate that on the final day of the special legislative session, the Senate Republicans placed their political agenda ahead of the wellbeing of our children, mentally ill, homeless, and public and private workers.
“While the capital budget had near-unanimous support in the House, the Senate Republicans refused to allow a vote, blocking $4.2 billion in more than 1,400 projects across Washington.

“The budget would have invested in our children by building new classrooms across the state, which would help satisfy the Supreme Court’s McCleary ruling and is the right thing to do.

“It would have provided for homeless youth and affordable housing to build a safe place for every person and family to call home.

“The budget would have funded critical beds at Western State Hospital and facilities across the state to maintain federal accreditation and provide the care and service for those facing mental health illnesses.

“The budget also would have supported hundreds of public and more than 19,000 private jobs.

“In our district, the capital budget would have funded critical community and recreation programs in North Puget Sound, and finally create the Harriet Spanel State Forest, also known as Blanchard Mountain.

“It is unconscionable that we would go home without voting on this critical budget. Our job as Senators is to do what is best for our communities and state. It is time for us to come together and govern. I remain fully supportive of the agreed upon, bipartisan capital budget and will work tirelessly to get it passed. It is my hope that Senate Republicans will join us.”

Lt. Governor Habib, Sen. Ranker, to host community forum

July 7th, 2017|

Join Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib and Sen. Kevin Ranker for a community discussion Wednesday, July 12, on priority issues in the San Juan region and beyond. The Lt. Governor will discuss the statewide initiatives he has developed since taking office in January, and their potential impact to the San Juan Islands; Sen. Ranker will provide an update on the new budget, its tax implications, and his legislative priorities.

When: Wednesday, July 12, from 3 – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Orcas Senior Center 62 Henry Rd Eastsound, WA 98245

This meeting is an opportunity for constituents to learn about the work their elected officials are doing, and for elected officials to hear from their constituents about the issues affecting their lives. Topics of discussion will include regional economic development, access to higher education, K-12 funding, the operating and capital budgets, and other policy matters.

Late night victories reflect core Democratic values

July 1st, 2017|

OLYMPIA – Working late into the night, the Legislature passed important bills in addition to a major education funding package and operating budget that averted a government shutdown. Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, cited several major victories for Washington state:

Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance: “The most progressive paid family leave program in the country will be right here in Washington state,” Ranker said. “At the critical times working families and individuals welcome new additions or face serious health conditions, they can rest assured their bills can be paid and their jobs will be held.” With strong bipartisan support and key approval from labor organizations and businesses, this portable program funded by employees and employers ensures workers can receive the benefits they need for up to 12 weeks on a progressive scale, with lower-wage earners receiving 90 percent of their wages — the highest rate in the country. “This is a major accomplishment for Washington state and stands as a model for the rest of the country,” Ranker said. SB 5975

Close the Big Oil Loophole: For over 50 years, big oil has taken advantage of a unique loophole intended originally only for the timber industry. “After years of hard work, we were able to close a decades-old loophole saving Washington taxpayers tens of millions of dollars that previously were given away to big oil companies,” Ranker said. HB 2163

Solar Industry Support: A critical solar bill enhances the solar production incentive for renewable energy systems, supporting hundreds of jobs, local businesses and renewable energy for our communities. “After several years of collaboration between installers, manufacturers, utilities and environmental groups, the Legislature passed major support for a local, sustainable solar industry in Washington. This bill provides clear incentives and rules to put renewable energy systems on homes and businesses and in communities,” Ranker said. “This is a great step forward in continuing Washington’s solar industry leadership and supporting family-wage jobs and extending the incentive program into the future.” SB 5939