Monthly Archives: April 2017

Saldaña’s first bill signed into law

April 19th, 2017|

Saldaña bill to improve HOV lane access for blood-donation vehicles signed into law

OLYMPIA – A bill by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle, to expand access to HOV lanes for blood donation vehicles was signed by Governor Jay Inslee today.

Gov. Inslee signs Substitute Senate Bill No. 5837, April 19, 2017. Relating to expanding high occupancy vehicle lane access to blood-collecting or distributing establishment vehicles. Primary Sponsor: Rebecca Saldaña

“Blood donation, as well as plasma and tissue donation, is vital to helping those who are critically ill,” Saldaña said. “My father became a blood donor as a child so he could help his sister, and has continued to be a donor in Washington state. With increased technology, better blood-type matches are possible – making the quick transport of life-saving blood ever more important. This is an issue that has touched many of us, and this bill will help ensure blood donation vehicles can continue to do their best work as we evaluate how HOV lanes can better serve Washingtonians.”

Senate Bill 5837 creates a two-year period for the Washington State Department of Transportation to reexamine its rules surrounding access to HOV lanes. This will be done through a public process, specifically looking at impacts of allowing vehicles that deliver or collect blood, tissue, or blood components to use the HOV lanes. Bloodworks Northwest testified in favor of the bill. They deliver more than 600,000 units of blood to nearly 90 hospitals throughout the Northwest and Alaska.

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    VIDEO: ¿Cómo funciona la legislatura en el estado de Washington?

VIDEO: ¿Cómo funciona la legislatura en el estado de Washington?

April 17th, 2017|

Pt. 2

 

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    Saldaña: Transportation budget keeps our region moving forward

Saldaña: Transportation budget keeps our region moving forward

April 7th, 2017|

OLYMPIA – Following the unanimous passage of the Senate Transportation Budget, Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle, released this statement:

“Ensuring transportation funding that moves our state forward is one of the most critical issues in our district. Being stuck in traffic in our cars is about time away from our families, missed economic opportunities for our state, and pollution that increases asthma and other problems in children.

“I was extremely disappointed Senate Republicans rejected a measure that would have dealt with the car tab price increases without risking the buildout of light rail in our region. However, a lot of work went into the budget to ensure our state can maintain the infrastructure we have, increase investments in transit options and reduce traffic for the people of our region. It funds important projects like Interstate-405/State Route167 interchange, I-5 express lanes and RapidRide enhancements and traffic safety improvements.

“The generation before us missed the mark in investments in transit options that would have reduced traffic and increased mobility for our region. I am glad to have been able to vote for a transportation budget that makes investments in a clean and healthy transportation system that our district can count on in the future.”

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    Bill to help survivors of human trafficking on its way to becoming law

Bill to help survivors of human trafficking on its way to becoming law

April 5th, 2017|

OLYMPIA – A bill to help survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday and is on its way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

“Everyone deserves a fair chance and everyone deserves justice,” said Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle, the bill’s prime sponsor. “Survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation in our state need every possible barrier removed from their path to a better life, and this law will help do that. No matter what has happened to them in the past, these girls, boys, women and men deserve a chance to move on.”

Senate Bill 5272 allows a person to vacate a conviction for prostitution even if he or she has committed other crimes since the date of conviction, provided those crimes were the result of a prostitution-related offense or being a victim of trafficking. This bill clarifies steps to vacate a conviction not made plain in previous legislation. Without this clarity, all attempts to vacate convictions by survivors to date have been denied. The ability to vacate these convictions is a key component in fighting trafficking, as barriers to necessities like employment and housing put survivors at a higher risk of being exploited further.

“Sadly, the average sex trafficking survivor is 15,” said Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, sponsor of the companion bill in the House (House Bill 1112). “These young girls and boys are doubly victimized, first from having to recover from the horrific nightmare of being abused in the sex industry, and then from having to face numerous barriers as they try to rebuild their lives. We need this bill to help remove hurdles so they can obtain housing and employment, and begin to heal as they find their place in the community.”

Criminal records, even for those who have been exploited or trafficked, can often make it difficult to find a job, rent an apartment or apply for essential services. More than a quarter of trafficking victims globally are children, and roughly 55 percent are women and girls. Data shows most individuals involved in prostitution start as teenagers, some estimates as young as 13.

The bill passed the state Senate unanimously and the House nearly unanimously. Once signed by the Governor, the law will take effect within 90 days.

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    Roosevelt High School student serves as page in state Senate

Roosevelt High School student serves as page in state Senate

April 4th, 2017|

OLYMPIA – Ritzy Davidson, 15, served as a page in the Washington State Senate during the week of March 27, the 12th week of the 2017 Legislative Session. Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle, sponsored Davidson’ week in the Legislature.

“Ritzy brought a great energy to the office,” said Saldaña. “It was nice meeting her and having her help for a week. I hope she enjoyed being a page as much as we enjoyed having her.”

The Senate Page Program is an important opportunity for civics education for 14 to 17 year old students in Washington state. During their week at the Capitol, pages learn about the legislative process while assisting senators and staff. They hear lectures from guest speakers, and attend page school where they create their own bills in a mock committee setting. Davidson proposed legislation that would expand transgender education.

“I loved mock committee,” said Davidson. “I really liked hearing other people’s ideas and being able to do what senators do.”

Pages have many responsibilities during the week that take them all around the Capitol campus and give them access to places restricted to the general public. Davidson is in the ninth grade at Roosevelt High School.

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For more information about the Senate Page Program, contact SenatePageProgram@leg.wa.gov.