News

House OK’s Gregory bill easing college bite for many military dependents

March 5, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

House OK’s Gregory bill easing college bite for many military dependents

OLYMPIA – The state House Thursday gave a unanimous thumbs-up to Rep. Carol Gregory’s bill that would make it easier for children of military personnel who are killed, go missing, or become disabled, to attend college in Washington.  Gregory’s HB 1644 revamps current state law to align with a related federal statute, allowing students up to 31 years old to take advantage of a state tuition waiver while receiving a monthly stipend from the federal government. “These are young people … Continue reading

House passes minimum wage and paid sick leave bills

March 3, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

House passes minimum wage and paid sick leave bills

OLYMPIA—This afternoon the House of Representatives passed two middle-class prosperity measures that will strengthen the economy and protect working families. “When recession hits, working families are hit the hardest.  When the economy recovers all the gains go to the wealthy few,” said Rep. Mike Sells, D-Everett, Chairman of the House Labor Committee. “Our economy should work for everyone, so strengthening the minimum wage and providing working families with much needed sick and safe leave are tried and true methods that will … Continue reading

UPDATE: Today’s House vote on Minimum Wage bill likely at 2 p.m. instead of 4

March 3, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

UPDATE: Today’s House vote on Minimum Wage bill likely at 2 p.m. instead of 4

The House of Representatives will consider the minimum wage bill, as well as other middle-class prosperity bills today starting at 2 p.m. instead of 4 p.m. as previously announced.   The House Rules room will be open to members of the media and stakeholders at 2 p.m. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – The House of Representatives will debate House Bill 1355 as well as other middle-class prosperity bills … Continue reading

House passes “revenge porn” bill unanimously

March 3, 2015 - Rep. Sharon Wylie

House passes “revenge porn” bill unanimously

A measure that would allow victims of revenge porn to seek civil liability was passed on a unanimous vote by the House of Representatives yesterday. House Bill 2160 would provide for civil liability against any person who intentionally and without consent distributes an intimate image of another person. “People are very seriously harmed when they become victims of revenge porn,” said Rep. Sharon Wylie (D-Vancouver), the bill’s prime sponsor.  “Images on the Internet can live forever. They can affect somebody’s … Continue reading

House passes Orwall bill to ensure all rape kits get tested

March 2, 2015 - Rep. Tina Orwall

House passes Orwall bill to ensure all rape kits get tested

This morning, on a vote of 82-15, the House of Representative passed House Bill 1068, requiring law enforcement agencies to submit all sexual assault examination kits to the Washington state patrol crime laboratory for testing. It also creates a workgroup to study the issue of untested kits and review best practices for how to respond to victims of sexual assault. “This is a bill about justice for all and about protecting women and children,” said Rep. Tina Orwall, the bill’s … Continue reading

Rep. Gregory’s inaugural legislation helps Washington teachers learn new specialties

March 2, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Rep. Gregory’s inaugural legislation helps Washington teachers learn new specialties

OLYMPIA – It’s no surprise that state Rep. Carol Gregory’s first bill to receive approval by the full House is one geared to put teachers with new skills in Washington classrooms.  Gregory (D-30th District, Federal Way) is a former teacher herself, and was president of the Federal Way School Board when she was appointed early this year to replace the late Rep. Roger Freeman in the House. “Stick with what you know” is almost always good advice, and Gregory knew … Continue reading

Sacajawea students visit Olympia

February 22, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Sacajawea students visit Olympia

Almost 175 students from Federal Way’s Sacajawea Middle School dropped in at the Capitol on February 18.  I’m enjoying almost every aspect of my new position as your representative, but none as much as spending time with the children of the 30th legislative district.  It’s a privilege to welcome them to their Capitol, and I’m very encouraged by the interest they show in how their state government works for their families, their communities, and the entire state.

Navy receives well-deserved tribute

February 20, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Navy receives well-deserved tribute

I was proud to deliver the lead-off floor speech earlier this month when the Legislature saluted members of the United States Navy and Navy families.  I still count myself in that group; my late husband was a decorated Navy man with decades of service, and now I’m privileged to represent so many Navy families and veterans.  One of the highlights of Navy Day was getting to spend time with (from left) Capt. Mike Baretela, Rear Adm. Jeff Ruth, Capt. Garrett … Continue reading

Rep. Jessyn Farrell’s statement on House Appropriations Committee approval of minimum wage bill

February 19, 2015 - Rep. Jessyn Farrell

Rep. Jessyn Farrell’s statement on House Appropriations Committee approval of minimum wage bill

“I applaud the House Appropriations Committee for their support of a fair wage for Washington’s workers. Today’s minimum wage is not enough for a family to make ends meet. “An honest day’s work should be rewarded with a fair wage. The stock market has seen record highs, corporate profits have never been better, but the benefits of the economic recovery has not reached our working class. The income gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow. “By raising … Continue reading

Outdated and Unfair — talking taxes in Washington

February 19, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Outdated and Unfair — talking taxes in Washington

USA Today recently reported that Washington had “by far the most regressive tax system nationwide.” Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D – Seattle) outlines Washington’s broken and regressive tax structure, and explains how Washington’s high reliance on a sales tax has placed an unfair tax burden on its poorest residents. According to the data in the USA Today story, the poorest 20% of Washington families pay nearly 17% of their income in state and local taxes, while the wealthiest 1% in Washington pay … Continue reading

New law would give every person with disabilities a chance at success

February 19, 2015 - Rep. Christine Kilduff

New law would give every person with disabilities a chance at success

OLYMPIA—Parents, advocates, and lawmakers from across the state came to Olympia this afternoon to testify on legislation to expand savings opportunities for individuals with disabilities. “If you believe in pathways to independence, if you believe in incentivizing saving and planning, this is the bill in which we can get that done,” said Rep. Christine Kilduff (D—University Place), author of House Bill 2063. The legislation will provide a state framework to implement the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE … Continue reading

Statement from Rep. Ruth Kagi on report from business community – “Quality Matters Most”

February 18, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Statement from Rep. Ruth Kagi on report from business community – “Quality Matters Most”

“I am delighted to see the business community wholeheartedly supporting Early Start in this new report from ReadyNation called “Quality Matters Most – The business case for investments in high-quality early learning.” The report states: “Quality preschool can have, on average, a net return after subtracting costs, of over $26,000 for every child served. This means better outcomes for our economy and our families, and more effective use of tax dollars.” “I couldn’t agree more. Early learning is the best … Continue reading

Outdated and Unfair — Taxes in Washington

February 18, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Outdated and Unfair — Taxes in Washington

USA Today recently reported that Washington had “by far the most regressive tax system nationwide.” Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D – Seattle) outlines Washington’s broken and regressive #tax structure, and explains how Washington’s high reliance on a #salestax has placed an unfair tax burden on its poorest residents. #taxfairness #taxes #waleg

Proposal to raise smoking age passes House Health Care Committee with bipartisan vote

February 17, 2015 - Rep. Tina Orwall

Proposal to raise smoking age passes House Health Care Committee with bipartisan vote

Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s agency-request bill to raise the state’s legal smoking age to 21 passed a key legislative hurdle today. The House Health Care & Wellness Committee approved the bill in a bipartisan 12 to 3 vote. “This legislation will protect young Washingtonians from the health consequences of a lifetime of addiction,” Ferguson said. “If we do nothing, more than 100,000 kids in our state are currently projected to die prematurely from the effects of smoking. But if we … Continue reading

Gregory bill expands higher-ed for dependents of military personnel killed or disabled in action, MIA, POWs

February 17, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Gregory bill expands higher-ed for dependents of military personnel killed or disabled in action, MIA, POWs

It’s not the first bill sponsored by freshman state Rep. Carol Gregory, but for the children of military personnel who are killed, go missing, or are totally disabled in service to the country, it could be the most important.  The House Higher Education Committee has given a unanimous thumbs-up to Gregory’s HB 1644, which adds hundreds, and possibly thousands, to the rolls of those who will qualify for state tuition waivers at Washington colleges and universities. “This is the kind … Continue reading

Housing Advocacy Day!

February 17, 2015 - Rep. June Robinson

Housing Advocacy Day!

Many thanks to all of the housing advocates that came to Olympia today to show their support for creating safer and stronger communities. All Washingtonians should have opportunities to lead healthy and successful lives. Ensuring access to affordable housing is a key component to reaching that goal. Click on the slideshow below to see pictures from today’s rally.

Rep. Stanford bills would make college a reality for more veterans and active service members

February 16, 2015 - Rep. Derek Stanford

Rep. Stanford bills would make college a reality for more veterans and active service members

OLYMPIA – House committees have passed two bills from Rep. Derek Stanford (D – Bothell) that would make college more affordable for veterans and active duty servicemen and women. “Too often our veterans face a tough battle after they return home,” Stanford said. “By making a college education more affordable and more available for the men and women who serve our country, we can do our part in serving them and helping them build a future for themselves and their … Continue reading

Welcome!

February 16, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Welcome!

Dear Friends and Neighbors, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent you in Olympia. I am honored to carry the message of the 48th legislative district. These first few weeks have been a whirlwind of meetings, hearings and floor action, but it’s been a welcome challenge. I want to hear from you throughout the session and welcome your feedback. Please let me know what is important to you! You can call, e-mail or come visit me in person. … Continue reading

Listen to the 27th District Telephone Town Hall

February 13, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Listen to the 27th District Telephone Town Hall

On February 5th, Reps Jinkins & Fey along with Sen. Jeannie Darnielle hosted a telephone town hall. Under the format, thousands of constituents received phone calls and were invited to ask questions and listen to a live conversation with their legislators. Constituents asked questions about affordable housing, mental health, transportation and teacher compensation. But, the common thread of the call was the need to reform our state’s broken, regressive tax system and to raise revenue for critical services. Stay tuned … Continue reading

Neat not required: bill would allow distilleries to serve mixers in their tasting rooms

February 10, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

OLYMPIA – It should be a sin to drink gin straight up. At the very least, it shouldn’t be the only way to legally sample it. But right now, Washington distilleries have to serve it that way. The same goes for vodka, bourbon, whiskey and any other spirit distilled in Washington. Yesterday the House Commerce and Gaming Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 1903, a bill by Rep. Strom Peterson (D – Edmonds) that would allow Washington distilleries to … Continue reading