News

21st LD Telephone town hall on Tuesday, May 26 at 6 pm

May 21, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

21st LD Telephone town hall on Tuesday, May 26 at 6 pm

Sen. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood, Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, D-Mukilteo, and Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, will host a telephone town hall on Tuesday, May 26 at 6 pm to update their constituents on what is happening in Olympia during the special legislative session. Constituents can participate one of two ways: a wide swath of constituents across the district will receive a call a few minutes before the town hall begins, inviting them to stay on the line; or, if they don’t receive … Continue reading

Measure to test all rape kits signed into law today

May 14, 2015 - Rep. Tina Orwall

Measure to test all rape kits signed into law today

This morning, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a measure sponsored by Rep. Tina Orwall to test all rape kits. Under House Bill 1068, law enforcement must submit a request for testing to the crime lab within 30 days of receipt of a sexual assault examination kit. The new law also creates a task force to review best practice models for managing all aspects of sexual assault examinations and for reducing the number of existing untested rape kits. Read more about … Continue reading

Making the special session special

May 13, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Making the special session special

Halfway through the special session, Senate budget leads are still refusing to enter into serious negotiations with the House to produce a compromise budget.  This is frustrating, but I was privileged to put politics aside for a day and host a wonderful group of students and parents from Auburn’s Camelot Elementary School.  Being able to meet the leaders of tomorrow and their families is a genuine honor.  Our future is truly in good hands.

Inslee signs DNA preservation bill into law

May 12, 2015 - Rep. Tina Orwall

Inslee signs DNA preservation bill into law

Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Rep. Tina Orwall’s measure requiring that DNA products secured in connection with a felony violent or sex offense be preserved: throughout the length of the defendant’s sentence when convicted in connection with the case; for 99 years or until the defendant’s death when the defendant was convicted and sentenced to a determinate plus sentence in connection with the case; for 99 years or throughout the period of the statute of limitations when the … Continue reading

Foster youth with medical concerns to receive extended care

May 12, 2015 - Rep. Tina Orwall

Foster youth with medical concerns to receive extended care

Foster youth often face a difficult transition into adulthood when services typically end. Legislation signed into law Monday, sponsored by Sen. Joe Fain and Rep. Tina Orwall, will provide extended benefits to young adults ages 19-21 with medical conditions who do not already qualify for extended foster care, which requires them to be enrolled in school, job training or employed. Services include foster care placement, medical services, transitional living services and help meeting their basic needs.

Governor signs Kilduff law to give every disabled person a chance

May 4, 2015 - Rep. Christine Kilduff

OLYMPIA—Parents and children who’ll be helped by the ABLE Act came to the state capitol to join Gov. Jay Inslee he signed the bill into law. “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 new law provide a state framework to implement the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience Act … Continue reading

Putting all children first

April 27, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Putting all children first

Protecting homeless children Children who live on the streets are at risk of dropping out of school, falling into a life of crime or becoming victims of human trafficking. There are 38,000 homeless students in our schools and over 7,000 of them are alone, on the streets, with no support. The current system has failed them. We must do better. The Homeless Youth Act still reduce child homelessness and allow us to better protect these children and prevent & reduce … Continue reading

Legislature honors the champs

April 23, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Legislature honors the champs

Wednesday, April 22, was Federal Way High School boys’ basketball day in Olympia.  The student-athletes who brought the 4A state hoops championship trophy to Federal Way this year were recognized for their achievement at the state Capitol. In an informal ceremony in the historic State Reception Hall, the boys and their coach, Jerome Collins, were presented with a framed copy of House Resolution 4633, which was sponsored by state Reps. Carol Gregory (D-30th, Federal Way) and Linda Kochmar (R-30th, Federal … Continue reading

Legislature passes Roger Freeman Act to help reunite children and parents

April 21, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Legislature passes Roger Freeman Act to help reunite children and parents

OLYMPIA — A fallen state legislator who prioritized the needs of children and families during his brief tenure in Olympia has been memorialized with the Roger Freeman Act.  Fittingly, the Act makes permanent a rule the Democrat from Federal Way had sponsored in 2013 that was designed to help reunite children and parents who had been separated by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). HB 2140, sponsored by Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-32nd, Seattle), completed its journey through the … Continue reading

Federal Way gets tourism boost from Legislature

April 20, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

The city of Federal Way can celebrate a victory in the state Legislature, and will now have the autonomy and the funding to aggressively promote tourism in the city.  Last week, on the final day for the House and Senate to consider policy bills from the opposite chamber, the Senate gave a 46-3 upvote to HB 1279, sponsored by the city’s two state representatives. As Rep. Carol Gregory (D-30th, Federal Way), co-sponsor of HB 1279, said when the bill initially passed … Continue reading

Inslee signs Wylie’s “foot spa” bill to crack down on human trafficking and prostitution

April 17, 2015 - Rep. Sharon Wylie

Inslee signs Wylie’s “foot spa” bill to crack down on human trafficking and prostitution

OLYMPIA—This morning Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a bill that imposes new criminal penalties on massage and reflexology business owners who knowingly allow unlicensed practice in their businesses.  This bill is intended to solve the problem of massage practice businesses that are a cover for the sex trade industry. “We have this new law thanks to neighbors and city leaders in my community pulling together and speaking up about a problem that the city of Vancouver did not have … Continue reading

Snohomish lawmakers successfully add $152 million in projects to transportation package proposal

April 15, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

OLYMPIA—Last night the House Transportation Committee approved amended versions of both the Transportation Revenue bill, ESSB 5987, on a 17-8 vote, and the Transportation spending bill, ESSB 5988, on a 16-9 vote.  Dozens of amendments were offered in the 3.5 hour executive session; among those approved were projects and improvements sponsored by Snohomish area lawmakers Reps. Mike Sells, Lillian Ortiz-Self and Luis Moscoso, which focused specifically on the Snohomish area, totaling $152 million worth of transportation projects. “These don’t come … Continue reading

Seattle Times Article – State Dems, GOP not far apart on transportation plan

April 14, 2015 - Rep. Jessyn Farrell

Seattle Times Article – State Dems, GOP not far apart on transportation plan

State Dems, GOP not far apart on transportation plan Originally published April 13, 2015 at 12:13 pm Updated April 13, 2015 at 7:47 pm State House Democrats released a transportation plan Monday that is similar to the Republican proposal that already passed the Senate, funding projects with an 11.7-cent boost in the gas tax. “This project list is not all that different from what we had passed out of the House in 2013,” said Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-Seattle. By Joseph … Continue reading

Orwall’s DNA bills headed to Inslee’s desk

April 14, 2015 - Rep. Tina Orwall

Orwall’s DNA bills headed to Inslee’s desk

OLYMPIA—Two measures relating to DNA evidence were approved by the Senate and are on their way to Gov. Inslee’s desk for his signature. Justice isn’t very well served when more than 6,000 rape kits are currently sitting on police department shelves across the state with no testing date in sight. But that’s about to change thanks to a measure requiring that all sexual examination kits be tested going forward. The main reason given for not testing these kits is that … Continue reading

House passes YEAR Act

April 13, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

House passes YEAR Act

OLYMPIA – Today, in a 95-2 vote the House passed Senate Bill 5564, the Youth Equality and Reintegration ACT (YEAR Act). State Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Seattle sponsored the House companion bill. “Being poor isn’t a crime. And it shouldn’t mean a life sentence,” said Kagi on the House Floor. “All children who make mistakes, rich or poor, deserve a second chance. But currently the system is too burdensome, adding thousands of dollars in court fees to a sentence, so only … Continue reading

House Releases Updated Transportation Revenue Package

April 13, 2015 - Rep. Judy Clibborn

House Democrats have released a new plan for transportation revenue and investment, making a handful of changes to the proposal they passed two years ago and setting up a new round of negotiations with the Senate. “A robust, modern transportation system is critical to our economy and our quality of life here in Washington,” said Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island). “This package will create jobs, combat traffic congestion, and connect the communities of our state together.” “This package builds … Continue reading

Bipartisan amendment would provide seed money for bi-state bridge coalition

April 10, 2015 - Rep. Sharon Wylie

Bipartisan amendment would provide seed money for bi-state bridge coalition

The Washington State House of Representatives has approved an amendment that would provide $100,000 for the creation of a bi-state legislative work group to seek solutions for a bridge crossing over the Columbia River between Vancouver and Portland. Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, who worked with Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver, to author the amendment, said it is a new beginning to bring people together two years after some Washington lawmakers rejected the $3 billion Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project. “We knew after the … Continue reading

Rep. Sawyer: Pierce County, Lakewood Councils can no longer ban pot without public vote

April 10, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Rep. Sawyer: Pierce County, Lakewood Councils can no longer ban pot without public vote

OLYMPIA – In 2012, Washington voters passed Initiative 502 to legalize recreational marijuana by a 57 percent vote. In Pierce County, I-502 passed in every district, 54 percent overall. The initiative also passed in every Lakewood precinct in the 29th Legislative District, represented by Rep. David Sawyer (D – Lakewood). But despite strong approval from the people of Lakewood and greater Pierce County, the councils in both jurisdictions decided to ignore the clear will of their constituents by banning recreational marijuana … Continue reading

Great school, great students

April 3, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Great school, great students

In a wonderful coincidence, less than 24 hours after my fellow House Democrats and I approved a state operating budget that fully funds basic education in our K-12 schools, I was privileged to meet here at the Capitol with three classes from Federal Way’s Brigadoon Elementary School — “The Home of Spunky McPaws!”  It was obvious from the caliber of questions the students asked that their parents, their teachers and the whole staff at Brigadoon are doing a lot of … Continue reading

House passes $3.7 billion construction budget

April 3, 2015 - Rep. Hans Dunshee

House passes $3.7 billion construction budget

Builds schools, colleges, mental health facilities OLYMPIA – Democrats and Republicans in the House united behind a capital budget that would put billions of dollars to work for construction projects, with most of that construction focused on education and higher education. “This will build classrooms for kids and computer labs for universities,” said Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-Snohomish), chair of the Capital Budget Committee. “It will also create thousands of jobs for men and women in hard hats while fixing parks … Continue reading