Sen. Ranker Newsroom

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    Over 550 legislators representing 45 states commit to state action on the Paris Climate Agreement and oppose Trump’s withdrawal

Over 550 legislators representing 45 states commit to state action on the Paris Climate Agreement and oppose Trump’s withdrawal

OLYMPIA – Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker, California State Senator Kevin de León, Massachusetts State Senator Michael Barrett, and over 550 state legislators from across the country issued a statement today committed to maintaining U.S. leadership on fighting climate change and adhering to the Paris Climate Agreement.

“Climate change is not a conspiracy, a hoax, or a partisan cause. Climate change is real and caused by human activity,” said Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker, who initiated the sign-on statement. “Now more than ever, in the wake of the short-sighted decision by the Federal Administration to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, it is important that state and local governments come together to strengthen our resolve to achieve the carbon pollution reductions agreed to in Paris in 2015.”

California State Senate Leader Kevin de León highlighted the importance acting on climate for the wellbeing of future generations. “By pulling out of the landmark Paris Climate Accord, President Trump demonstrated he doesn’t have what it takes to lead the world in the face of an existential threat like climate change. Now, likeminded leaders from legislatures across the country are coming together to chart a new course for our nation, and the rest of the world. We will continue to honor the goals set by the landmark Paris Agreement to protect the futures of our children, and our children’s children and build the clean energy economy of tomorrow,” said de León.

Signed by President Barack Obama in 2016, the Paris Climate Agreement was designed to combat climate change by keeping global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius. The signers signaled their intent for their states meet the goals established in the Agreement, and in many cases, move well beyond them.

“Realizing our state-level commitments is important precisely because Paris is — and always was — intended as a foundation, not as a finish line. After 2025, the angle of descent in carbon reductions needs to point more sharply down. We’re intent on getting ready, because the states must lead the way,” said Massachusetts State Senator Michael Barrett.

“These state legislators are committed to continuing the United States’ leadership in working toward a clean energy economy and lessening the impacts of climate change,” said Jeff Mauk, Executive Director of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. “Working together, states can continue the country’s global leadership on fighting climate change.”

The statement can be viewed at statelegislatorsunitedforclimateaction.org.

June 21st, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    Ranker: With Trump administration’s lack of leadership, it is up to Washington to fight climate change

Ranker: With Trump administration’s lack of leadership, it is up to Washington to fight climate change

OLYMPIA — Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, released the following statement following President Trump’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord:

“Today, the president announced his ill-advised decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord, an international treaty designed to combat climate change by keeping global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

“This reckless action cedes leadership to other nations, and combined with the president’s proposed budget, shows a continued lack of leadership in protecting the environment and economy for future generations. Now, more than ever, states must step up. In Washington state, we can continue our global leadership in cleaning up and protecting habitat, investing in clean and renewable technology and educating our children about the environment, but now we must do even more. It is time for our state to put a price on polluters and meet our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 and further reduce emissions 25% by 2035.

“People from across Washington state, from every community, are demanding action now to protect the next generation by working to create healthy communities, sustainable energy, green jobs and protection of our beloved, outdoor areas. We cannot wait longer to address this global threat. With the Trump administration’s lack of leadership, it is up to us here in Washington to lead the way in the fight against climate change.”

June 1st, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    325 bipartisan state legislators representing 44 states oppose Trump executive order

325 bipartisan state legislators representing 44 states oppose Trump executive order

OLYMPIA — A bipartisan group of 325 state legislators from 44 states sent a letter to President Trump today raising strong concerns with the unprecedented action to review public lands under an executive order signed late last month. The diverse group of legislators urge the president not to rescind or shrink the lands currently designated as national monuments under the Antiquities Act.

“This action puts our heritage at risk here in Washington and across the country. While a select list of national monuments, including Hanford Reach and San Juan Islands in Washington state, could be under immediate review, the order is a first step that puts all public lands at risk,” said Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, who drafted the letter. “The president’s action serves the needs of some special interest groups while ignoring the needs of millions who enjoy our nation’s most special places and the jobs that depend on them.”

“National monuments hold an important place in our history and culture in the United States. No president has attempted to revoke a national monument before,” said Jeff Mauk, Executive Director of NCEL. “We urge the president to work with Congress and state legislators to increase funding for public land management and boost the surrounding local economies.”

“Public support for protecting special places is strong, and many small communities increasingly depend on tourism and the growing outdoor recreation economy,” said Ranker. “The effort to eliminate or shrink national monuments risks $45 billion generated nationwide by public lands, including national monuments. State legislators will fight for our communities, our heritage and our values to keep public lands in public hands.”

May 15th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Inslee signs Ranker’s outdoor preschool pilot bill

OLYMPIA — Sen. Kevin Ranker’s bill to allow for outdoor preschools was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee today with supporters, teachers and children in attendance.

“I am very excited to create this opportunity to license full-time outdoor preschools, allowing children to learn and explore in the environment around them,” Ranker said. “This program will help children get outside at an early age, letting them learn and thrive outdoors while preparing for their future.”

Based on a Scandinavian model, outdoor preschool educators lead children through exploration and hands-on learning for hours a day, entirely outside. The pilot puts these in-demand programs in Washington on track to offer full-day programs and expand access to families that might not be able to afford outdoor preschool.

“Outdoor preschools are also a great way for families struggling to afford childcare to get their children into the outdoors with exceptional science and early education. This program sets children on a path to enjoy science, exploration learning and become stewards of the environment,” said Ranker.

May 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    Ranker disappointed Senate Republicans refuse to negotiate final budget

Ranker disappointed Senate Republicans refuse to negotiate final budget

OLYMPIA — Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, released this statement today after Gov. Inslee said he would call the Legislature back for a special session beginning on Monday, April 24.

“The Legislature has not come to a compromise on the operating budget, leaving schools, our most vulnerable, local communities and thousands of state workers in doubt for critical state funds. We need to work together to find a solution for education funding and the entire state operating budget.

“Unfortunately, the Senate Republican leaders have literally refused to negotiate. Worse, they seem to have no interest to meet us at the table to finish on time.

“In the end, Republicans do not have support from Democrats for their $5.5 billion property tax increase, and Democrats do not have support from Republicans for our proposal. Now is the time to seriously get to work and begin thoughtful negotiations on a compromise budget.

“We need leadership, not politicking. We need to finish what the people sent us here to do, negotiate in good faith and pass a final, go-home budget that will fully fund our children’s future and the most vulnerable in our communities.”

April 22nd, 2017|Uncategorized|

Ranker, Senate honor WWU women’s soccer champs

OLYMPIA — The state Senate honored the Western Washington University Women’s Soccer team today by passing a resolution recognizing their outstanding season and NCAA Division II championship.

“The Western Women’s Soccer team exemplified what it means to be student-athletes by achieving both academic and athletic success in the 2016 season. It is an honor to recognize their national championship for the state of Washington,” said Sen. Ranker, D-Orcas Island and the sponsor of Senate Resolution 8657.

“The players and staff are really looking forward to our trip to Olympia to celebrate the national championship with the Legislature,” said Head Coach Travis Connell, who appeared in the Senate chamber with the team and staff. “This was not accomplished by one person alone. This was a collaborative effort that included our team, our university and our state. It is fitting that we will be celebrating it together. ”

“Earning a national championship in team sports requires a unified team effort, hard work and determination; something the Legislature should emulate in our own work,” said Ranker. “The team’s accomplishments and sportsmanship on the national stage is a point of pride for the university, alumni and communities throughout Washington. The entire state congratulates them and wishes them the best of luck defending their championship next season.”

April 20th, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    Ranker: the Senate must act to ensure online transparency and consumer protection

Ranker: the Senate must act to ensure online transparency and consumer protection

OLYMPIA — Following the Washington state House of Representatives passing SHB 2200, protecting internet privacy, with a vote of 87-10, sponsor of the Senate version SB 5919, Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, released the following statement:

“People expect their online, personal information to be kept private and protected. With a lack of leadership in D.C. and uncertainty of any federal action in the near future, the state must step in to keep consumer’s information safe.

“Legislators from across the aisle of both chambers hear the public outcry over Congress’ recent actions to make personal data available for sale; the state Senate must now do its part and act on this legislation to ensure online transparency and consumer protection.

“The bill clearly requires opt-in approval for consumer information to be used, sold or accessed for profit and ensures specific customer information is protected under the Consumer Protection Act.”

April 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    Ranker outdoor early learning pilot passes House, heads to Governor for signature

Ranker outdoor early learning pilot passes House, heads to Governor for signature

OLYMPIA — Sen. Ranker’s bill to start a four-year pilot program for outdoor early learning passed the House of Representatives today and is on its way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

“This bill will help children get outside at an early age, letting them learn and thrive outdoors while preparing for their future,” Ranker said. “We’re giving existing programs the opportunity to become fully licensed, full-time programs, allowing children to learn and explore in the environment around them.”
Senate Bill 5357 will pilot all-day, outdoor preschool. Based on a Scandinavian model, educators lead children through exploration and hands-on learning for hours a day, entirely outside. The pilot puts these in-demand programs in Washington on track to offer full-day programs.

“Early learning outdoor programs are a great way for families struggling to afford childcare to get their children into the outdoors with exceptional science and early education to improve their learning and become stewards of the environment,” said Ranker.

April 7th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Ranker introduces Washington Internet Privacy Act

OLYMPIA — Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, introduced Senate Bill 5919, known as the Washington Internet Privacy Act, following a vote of Congress to suspend FCC rules protecting internet privacy. Sen. Ranker released this statement:

“The Trump administration and Congress may not have any regard for American’s internet privacy but in Washington state, we can ensure internet customers are safe. We value free and open access to information and clear transparency and privacy of our online activity.

“So much of our daily lives now depend on the internet — paying bills, making appointments, purchasing products and discovering new information. With a total lack of leadership in DC, it is critical that we protect Washingtonians privacy here at home.

“The recent action by Congress to suspend FCC rules means that internet providers can save and sell your online activity, including financial and medical health information, to the highest bidder. This bill ensures we protect Washingtonians privacy. It will block internet providers’ ability to collect identifiable, personal information without the customer’s permission.”

April 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    Ranker: Senate capital budget invests an historic amount in education and community programs

Ranker: Senate capital budget invests an historic amount in education and community programs

OLYMPIA — Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, released this statement following the passage of the Senate capital budget today:

“Today the Senate passed a bipartisan capital budget that invests an historic amount in improving our schools for the 1.1 million schoolchildren in Washington. With nearly $1.1 billion invested in the K-12 system to build new schools and new classrooms around the state, we have made a major investment in our children’s future.

“Additionally, critical community and recreation programs in North Puget Sound were funded, including the science building and labs at Western Washington University, the new Skagit Valley Family YMCA, the Lopez Island Pool, Moran Summit Learning Center and several other wildlife and recreation areas around the islands and coastlines of North Puget Sound.

“However, the Senate capital budget missed an opportunity to create the Harriet Spanel Forest in what is now known as Blanchard Mountain. This $7.7 million investment would finish the project to permanently protect an incredible outdoor recreation area as an economic driver for Skagit and Whatcom Counties and purchase better forestland to fund our children’s schools.

“The capital budget does include other important investments in the environment — $60 million for stormwater improvements, $30 million for the Clean Energy Fund, and $80 million for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program around the state.

“I am pleased to work across the aisle with my Republican colleagues to protect the environment, fund school construction and important infrastructure and facilities for people in our communities. I will fight for funding Blanchard Mountain for the communities in Skagit and Whatcom that have worked hard to see this fully funded before we leave Olympia.”

March 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|