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    News Tribune: Kids are hurting. The Legislature needs to do away with the onerous ‘supermajority’ rule

News Tribune: Kids are hurting. The Legislature needs to do away with the onerous ‘supermajority’ rule

January 21st, 2019|

Sen. Lisa Wellman (D-Mercer Island) spoke with the News Tribune about legislation that would allow school bonds to pass with a simple majority. The article focuses on Bethel High School and the myriad capital updates needed in the aging building.

“There are districts that haven’t been able to get bonds passed to do anything for years. It’s heartbreaking at times,” Wellman acknowledged.

You can read the full article here.

Wellman to lead Senate Education Committee in 2019

November 28th, 2018|

OLYMPIA – Sen. Lisa Wellman (D-Mercer Island) will retain her role as chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee when the Senate convenes for the 2019 legislative session.

Wellman, a former educator, was first chosen by her colleagues in 2018 to lead the committee responsible for crafting policy that affects more than 1.1 million school-aged children in the state.

“We need to focus on the entire education continuum and I am excited to be part of an effort to re-structure education from the inside out so it aligns with our 21st Century economy,” Wellman said. “We need to make sure we are integrating new career pathways for our kids to succeed and prosper right here in Washington state. I also look forward to working with our state’s dedicated educators to make progress on school safety, student mental health, and support for our students with special needs.”

For the past eight months, Wellman has served with the state task force responsible for recommending policies to increase the career and college readiness of public school students: Career Connect Washington. This summer she visited all nine Educational Service Districts across the state to meet with educators and discuss strategies to improve school safety, student outcomes and digital parity.

Wellman, a former Apple executive, will also serve on the Higher Education & Workforce Development and Labor & Commerce Committees.

“We need think about the whole system and integrate that learning continuum from birth through to career. We need to review every touchpoint and make sure it’s working,” Wellman said.

Democrats will likely hold a 28-21 majority in the Washington State Senate next year, giving Senate Democrats the power to set the agendas of Senate committees and floor action, determining which bills will be heard and brought up for votes. Wellman will also continue on the Energy, Climate and Technology committee.

The 2019 Legislature convenes on Jan. 14.

Wellman honored for her work supporting the arts

November 16th, 2018|

OLYMPIA – State Senator Lisa Wellman, D-Mercer Island, has been recognized for her leadership and support of arts and cultural heritage in Washington state.

Wellman received the 2018 Cultural Advocacy Award from the Washington State Arts Alliance in Olympia this week as senators returned to the capitol for Assembly Committee Days.

During her tech career, Lisa headed the creative markets for Apple worldwide and has developed her own art as a photographer. She is a longtime supporter of regional arts and culture in Washington.

“Arts and culture have always been an essential part of my life. We have a talented and dedicated arts community here in the Northwest and with our focus on STEM, it’s ever more important that we recognize and foster creativity,” Wellman said.

Wellman was appointed to serve as a commissioner on the Washington State Arts Commission in 2017. Created in 1961 to promote the public value of art, the commission focuses on nurturing new leaders, strengthening arts education, and building community participation.

“We know how beneficial arts education can be for our students and in our communities,” Wellman said. “I’m so proud to be on a team dedicated to such a worthy goal. We must continue to remind each other of the power of art, especially for young developing minds.”

Wellman will likely return as chair of the Senate Education Committee when the 2019 legislative session begins Jan. 14.

Wellman honored by state’s principals

November 2nd, 2018|

Sen. Lisa Wellman, D-Mercer Island, was honored by the state’s school principals for her leadership at the state level. The Torch of Leadership Award honors individuals serving in the Washington state government who have demonstrated outstanding support of principals. The award was
established in 2009.

Senator Lisa Wellman is the winner of AWSP’s 2018 Torch of Leadership Award. Senator Wellman is a Democrat representing the 41st Legislative District which serves Mercer Island, Bellevue, Newcastle and parts of Issaquah. Each year, AWSP’s Advocacy Committee has the opportunity to select a state-level public servant who has demonstrated support of principals and the principalship in the education of all students.
Senator Wellman’s commitment to education is reflected in her connection to her local school districts as well as to the attention she pays to issues across our state.
Senator Wellman serves as the chair of the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee as well as on the Economic Development & Trade Committee; Energy, Environment & Technology Committee; and the Transportation Committee. She gets high marks from her community for being supportive of her schools and programs since she regularly attends district events and legislative linkage sessions with the School Board. Senator Wellman stays in touch with her constituents and uses social media to provide others with an inside view of what’s going on in Olympia. This spring and summer, she has been on a listening tour around the state on the topic of school safety.
Prior to her work as a legislator and as an executive in technology and marketing, Senator Wellman was a public school teacher. She is a thoughtful, kind, and dynamic person to work with as well as a passionate advocate for students.

Wellman speaks in support of Career Connect Washington

October 25th, 2018|

Sen. Lisa Wellman, D-Mercer Island, spoke at the Career Connect Washington kickoff in Renton on Thursday.

Wellman, chair of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, voiced her support for connecting Washington’s 1.1 million students with real work experience.

Career Connect Washington is an initiative that brings government and the private sector together to offer programs that allow students to explore and discover jobs and careers that inspire them to grow and succeed. Learn more about CCW here.

Sen. Wellman’s full remarks:

The state of Washington has long recognized the value of “hands on” education of “work integrated learning”. We’ve had Skill Centers since the 1970’s and have an established program of registered apprenticeships.

But these have been targeted initiatives and localized programs.

Now to respond to the needs of the 1.1 million students in our elementary schools, the time has come of invest in operationalizing these avenues to participation in a 21st Century economy. We need to build a new integrated SYSTEM from within our current education system.

I’ve visited a number of career connected operations and have seen the buy-in by parents, educators and especially students.

The work that Maud and her team have done is exceptional. They listened.

I particularly commend them on paying attention to those barriers that affect our rural students and making sure this effort is directed at and will make a difference for those across our state for whom it is most needed and will be most significant.



Women’s Commission holds first meeting

October 17th, 2018|

The new Washington State Women’s Commission met on Wednesday to discuss a number of issues of focus, including sexual harassment, economic opportunity, and gender based violence.

Under the direction of Michelle Gonzales, the commission was formed through legislation earlier this year to focus efforts on improving the wellbeing of women in Washington state.

“I feel extremely fortunate to work with such talented group of women who are passionate about addressing issues that impact women’s lives every day,” said Sen. Lisa Wellman, one of four legislators appointed to the commission.

The Commission will focus its work on issues such as domestic violence, child care, child support, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, equal compensation and job pathways opportunities in employment, and the specific needs of women of color.

  • Permalink Gallery

    Wellman talks with Q13 about mental health resources in schools

Wellman talks with Q13 about mental health resources in schools

September 27th, 2018|

Sen. Lisa Wellman recently sat down with Q13 reporter Hana Kim to discuss work on a comprehensive safety package for schools, including an emphasis on mental health resources.

Wellman on school safety in Seattle Times

September 26th, 2018|

Sen. Lisa Wellman, chair of the Senate Education Committee, recently wrote an op-ed for the Seattle Times outlining school safety priorities Democrats plan to pursue in 2019:

As a new school year begins, one issue remains high on every parent’s mind — keeping our kids safe. With so many high-profile tragedies last year, it’s heartbreaking but understandable that many students don’t feel safe in their classrooms. Current surveys show more than one third of parents fear for their children’s safety in school — the highest rate since the nation grappled with the Columbine, Colorado, shootings two decades ago.

That must change. It is our job as lawmakers to make sure every student has access to a healthy, safe and supportive learning environment — and every parent feels comfortable sending them to school.

Over the summer, Senate and House Democrats reached out to educators, parents, law enforcement, students and others with expertise in school safety to develop comprehensive solutions. We took a hard look at policies already in place in Washington, gaps in these policies and best practices we can learn from other states

Read the entire op-ed here.

Wellman discusses ‘Keep Washington Working’ legislation

July 15th, 2018|

Sen. Lisa Wellman, D- Mercer Island, recently sat down with Stephan Cox of Indivisible Washington to discuss her legislation to protect our economy from reckless federal immigration policies. Listen to the full interview here.

  • Permalink Gallery

    Senators: Treatment of asylum seekers is inhumane, deplorable

Senators: Treatment of asylum seekers is inhumane, deplorable

June 11th, 2018|

OLYMPIA – State Senators Lisa Wellman, D-Mercer Island, and Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, issued the following statement regarding asylum-seekers who were separated from their children and recently moved to a Bureau of Prisons detention center in SeaTac:

“We condemn the treatment of these mothers separated from their children and currently being held here in SeaTac. The Trump administration’s new family separation policy is both deplorable and inhumane, and these immigrant families fleeing legitimate violence and persecution do not belong in federal detention.
“Families with valid claims for refugee and asylum status deserve dignity and respect – this treatment in no way aligns with our Washington values.
“Washington has worked hard to earn a reputation as a welcoming state, which is why our economy depends on the energy and talent of immigrants. In 2018, Senate Bill 5689 was introduced to protect the state and our economy from reckless federal immigration policy. The treatment of these families is just another example of the damage these policies are having on the country.
“It also sends a troubling message of intolerance to immigrant families already living in Washington state. We worry that these actions will have detrimental effects on our communities, discouraging immigrant families from reporting crimes, seeking social services or going to work. This is simply not who we are in Washington state.”