Goodman appointed to leadership post on National Conference of State Legislatures committee

 Aaron Barna

Rep. Goodman speaking at a news conference on DUI legislation.

OLYMPIARep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland), an attorney and criminal justice expert, has been appointed vice chair of the National Conference on State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Law and Criminal Justice Committee.

Next week in Seattle thousands of state legislators from around the country will gather at the NCSL’s annual Legislative Summit to discuss a wide range of policy issues.  Rep. Goodman will help lead the proceedings of the NCSL’s Law & Criminal Justice Committee, including panel discussions on police body cameras, the use of DNA evidence and the changing marijuana laws.

In Olympia, Rep. Goodman has chaired the House Public Safety Committee since 2012, focusing on reducing drunk driving, domestic violence and human trafficking.  “We’ve been tough on crime, but also smart on crime here in Washington,” Goodman said. “Our research-based approach has improved public safety and saved the public money at the same time.”

“Washington leads the nation with many innovative strategies to reduce crime and keep communities safe,” said Goodman.  “I’m excited to help lead this national group of legislators on criminal justice and make Washington’s success a showcase for the nation.”

 

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Wylie takes on new responsibility on economic development and international relations

 State Representative Sharon Wylie was recently appointed to the Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations (LCEDIR). While this is a new responsibility for Wylie, her more than 25 years of management, government relations and leadership experience in business, non-profit and government make her an ideal fit for this position.

“I am excited and looking forward to working on ways to help businesses thrive here at home, while also strengthening trade opportunities to continue placing Washington-made goods in the global market,” said the Vancouver Democrat.

The Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations, established in 1985, is a bipartisan, bicameral committee of the legislature which studies and reviews economic development issues. The committee’s duties include special emphasis on international trade, tourism, investment and industrial development, and assisting the legislature in developing a comprehensive and consistent economic development policy. Continue reading

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Rep. Senn honored by King County Coalition for People with Developmental Disabilities

Inspiration Playground, Social Emotional Learning major highlights of her work this year

OLYMPIA – As one of the lead members on developmental disabilities on the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island) has advocated for organizations, projects, and budget advancements important to the developmental disability community. At the annual picnic, the King County Family Coalition of the Arc of King County honored Rep. Senn with the 2015 Champion for Children award “in recognition of your dedication to people with developmental disabilities and their families.”

“We are thrilled to honor Representative Senn, as a champion for children with developmental disabilities. She has been an outstanding leader for children and families, and took a lead in her caucus in ensuring respite and other services were protected for waiting families whose children needed help,” said Joe Cunningham, Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator with the King County Family Coalition.

“As a mother, I know that even under the best circumstances parenting is difficult,” said Rep. Senn. “When a child needs services and extra care to help them succeed, we owe it to them and their families to do everything we can to make sure they’re cared for properly. From developmental screenings to access to care for those with disabilities, there is much more we can and should be doing to ensure the success of all of our children.”

On the policy front, Senn was the lead advocate for social emotional learning in schools, which will help all children gain important skills on responsible decision-making, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and healthy relationships.

Rep. Senn was a strong advocate for state funding toward the construction of Inspiration Playground in downtown Bellevue, which will be receiving $1 million through the capital budget passed by the legislature last week. The playground addresses needs for children of all abilities in the community and is an innovative approach to childhood recreation that engages children in sensory play without barriers and inclusive environments for those mobility issues.

Her advocacy in both the Appropriations Committee as well as the Legislature as a whole helped ensure that vendors who provide care to those with developmental disabilities are paid a competitive wage.  Rep. Senn also supported the Community First Choice Option, which provides an increase in federal funding for home and community-based services ensuring an additional 5,000 people on the waitlist receive services.

 

Rep. Senn at podium

Rep. Tana Senn receiving the 2015 Champion for Children award from the King County Family Coalition for People with Developmental Disabilities on Monday, July 13, 2015.

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House passes transportation investment package

$16.1 billion investment will create jobs, reduce congestion

OLYMPIA – The House of Representatives has passed a package of bills making significant new investments in Washington’s transportation system, following a deal reached between House and Senate negotiators.

“House Democrats have been working for almost three years to pass a transportation package that will provide relief to commuters and help grow our economy,” said House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island). “With this legislation heading to the Governor’s desk, we are finally moving forward.”

The $16.1 billion package would create as many as 100,000 jobs across the state. In addition to funding much-needed infrastructure projects, it includes substantial new investments in maintenance and preservation, Washington State Ferries, and the Washington State Patrol.

The package also represents a landmark investment by the state in public transportation.

“We are putting nearly $1 billion into multimodal projects, more than any previous transportation revenue package,” noted Representative Jake Fey (D-Tacoma). “With the full $15 billion for Sound Transit and other local options for our communities, this is a huge step forward on transit and transportation choices.”

Legislators offered praise for improvements made in communities across Washington.

“These investments offer shovel-ready jobs and will help Eastern Washington farmers, manufacturers, and businesses get their products to market quickly and reliably,” said Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane). “Projects like completing the North Spokane Corridor are critical to strengthening our regional economy.”

House leaders emphasized that not only will the package modernize our transportation infrastructure, it won’t implement harmful policies that Democrats have opposed from the start of negotiations with the Senate.

“It doesn’t take money away from our kids while we continue working to meet our McCleary obligation. It doesn’t raid our environmental cleanup funds, punish workers, or shortchange our local governments,” said House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan (D-Covington).

“This is a good agreement that will make Washington a better place to live and work,” added Sullivan.

Additional details: http://leap.leg.wa.gov/leap/budget/detail/2015/st1517p.asp

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Statement by Rep. Kilduff: Governor’s signature on new law means hope for veterans

There’s exciting news for veterans: Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a law protecting your G.I. Bill benefits here in Washington.

A glitch in federal laws meant up to 20,000 vets and their families could have lost their funding to get a college degree unless Washington state changed how we legally define “resident student.”

It’s wrong that a technicality could have stopped brave men and women from using a benefit they earned through hard work and sacrifice while serving our country.

I’m proud to have sponsored this law in the House of Representatives, where lawmakers from both parties and every corner of the state supported it. They voted House Bill 1825 out of the House four times this year: 98-0, 95-0, 89-0 and 97-0.

 Rep. Christine Kilduff speaking on the floor of the House on National Guard Day

Now that the companion bill finally got out of the senate, Gov. Inslee quickly signed it into law.

With so many veterans at JBLM, Bremerton and elsewhere, this is great news for those heroes and their families, and great news for the economy of our state, because we need more highly skilled, highly motivated workers – which is exactly who our veterans are.

Rep. Christine Kilduff (D-University Place)

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