News

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Outdated and Unfair — talking taxes in Washington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Outdated and Unfair — talking taxes in Washington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

House Focuses on Health Care Improvements

February 9, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

House Focuses on Health Care Improvements

OLYMPIA—Washington’s health care system is continuously evolving and in constant need of review and adjustment to best serve the citizens of the Evergreen State. Today, recognizing that need and working to ensure equal access and appropriate care for all residents, the Washington State House of Representatives passed a series of health care-related bills. These bills address a variety of areas, ranging from the practice of “dry needling” to prescription of hydrocodone. “Equal access to health care is important for all … Continue reading

Rep. Tarleton statement on port shutdown

February 6, 2015 - Rep. Gael Tarleton

Rep. Tarleton statement on port shutdown

“The work that goes on at the Port of Seattle affects tens of thousands of people and businesses in King County and around the state. Our ports generate billions in economic activity and are vital to our thriving community.  “The weekend’s shutdown is disappointing, especially given how trade-dependent we are in the Pacific Northwest. 2014 was a record year for Washington exports. The ports’ continued operation are critically important to getting Washington’s economy moving again.  “I sincerely hope the two … Continue reading

Listen to the 45th District Telephone Town Hall

February 5, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Listen to the 45th District Telephone Town Hall

Last week Representatives Goodman and Springer hosted the State Legislature’s first telephone town hall of the year. Under the format, thousands of constituents received a phone call just after 6pm and had the opportunity to have a live conversation with Representatives Goodman and Springer, and listen to questions from their friends and neighbors. Hundreds of people participated and the representatives answered questions on education, healthcare, public safety and transportation. You can listen to the whole event here. Click to download … Continue reading

Rep. Morris bill would create a pathway for utility companies to close coal plants

February 5, 2015 - Rep. Jeff Morris

Rep. Morris bill would create a pathway for utility companies to close coal plants

OLYMPIA – Washington utilities maintain a diverse energy supply to provide customers with reliable and affordable electric power: hydropower, wind, natural gas and coal. When any one of those energy sources is removed, the reliability and affordability for customers is threatened. Despite state, federal and consumer pressures, the transition for utility companies to end coal-fired energy generation is more complicated than simply closing coal plants. But today, Rep. Jeff Morris (D – Mount Vernon) introduced legislation that would give Washington state utilities … Continue reading

Legislative update from Rep. Cindy Ryu for Feb. 4

February 4, 2015 - Rep. Cindy Ryu

Legislative update from Rep. Cindy Ryu for Feb. 4

Dear Friends of the 32nd District: Greetings to all of you!  I hope that my first electronic newsletter of 2015 finds you and your loved ones well. If you have any ideas to improve our schools, fix traffic or make it easier for middle-class families, I’d love to hear your thoughts or your family’s story. This newsletter is meant to keep you informed about issues important to our neighborhoods. The State Budget Every two years, the Legislature writes the state … Continue reading

Visiting with some of Federal Way’s finest

February 3, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Visiting with some of Federal Way’s finest

I met with several Federal Way firefighters in my Olympia office this week.  They have one of the toughest and most important jobs in our society, and it’s a great privilege to be able to fight for their interests in this year’s legislative session.