News

Joint committee for drought preparedness can only meet after drought begins

January 29, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Joint committee for drought preparedness can only meet after drought begins

Currently in Washington, the Department of Ecology is at the ready to establish a Joint Legislative Committee on Water Supply During Drought in the event of a water shortage. The point of the committee, which is comprised of four state senators and four representatives, is to allow the state to prepare for a drought. The problem is that under current law the committee is not allowed to meet until a drought has been officially declared. Rep. Derek Stanford (D – … Continue reading

Bipartisan support to create Citizens’ Initiative Review board for 2016 elections

January 29, 2015 - Rep. Sam Hunt

Bipartisan support to create Citizens’ Initiative Review board for 2016 elections

OLYMPIA – Next time an initiative appears on the ballot, Washington voters could count on an independent citizen review of both arguments under new bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Sam Hunt (D – Olympia). House Bill 1364 would establish a pilot Citizens’ Initiative Review board to provide nonpartisan, independent summaries of ballot initiatives. The board — comprised of 20 Washington citizens randomly selected and demographically balanced to match the state’s electorate — would select up to two initiatives on the ballot in … Continue reading

The Columbian Editorial: Raise Smoking Age to 21

January 27, 2015 - Rep. Tina Orwall

The Columbian Editorial: Raise Smoking Age to 21

Washington should be first state in U.S. to take further step to promote health Published: January 27, 2015, 6:01 AM One of the strongest arguments in favor of raising the legal age for tobacco purchases inadvertently comes from the tobacco industry itself. In 1986, in a confidential memo, an executive for Philip Morris wrote, “Raising the legal minimum age for cigarette purchase to 21 could gut our key young-adult market (17-20).” It’s no secret that tobacco companies target young smokers, … Continue reading

Bipartisan group of lawmakers seeks to replace death penalty with life in prison without parole

January 26, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Bipartisan group of lawmakers seeks to replace death penalty with life in prison without parole

OLYMPIA – A bipartisan group of state lawmakers introduced a bill today that would replace the death penalty in Washington state with a sentence of life in prison without parole. House Bill 1739, sponsored by Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) and co-sponsored by Reps. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla), Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines) and Chad Magendanz (R-Issaquah), would also require the convicted individual to work to pay restitution to victims and their families. “We realize this is a painfully difficult and profoundly serious public … Continue reading

Mental Health, Child Abuse, Disasters, Lawsuits…

January 23, 2015 - Rep. Ross Hunter

Mental Health, Child Abuse, Disasters, Lawsuits…

OLYMPIA – The House Appropriations committee will have a public hearing on Monday, January 26 to discuss an early action supplemental operating budget proposal. The bill deals with a small handful of items that need immediate attention. The committee expects to adopt a more typical supplemental budget later in the session. Issues addressed in the bill are limited to the following: Mental health: More mental health treatment capacity is created to resolve the emergency room boarding lawsuit and an expected … Continue reading

Victims of revenge porn could seek civil liability under Orwall & Padden bills

January 22, 2015 - Washington State Legislature

OLYMPIA—A couple of bills introduced in the Washington State House and Senate could give victims of revenge porn some restitution by making a person civilly liable for distributing intimate images of another intentionally and without consent. Revenge porn is the online posting of explicit images of people without their permission. The identical measures were introduced simultaneously earlier today by Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, in the House, and by Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, in the Senate. “Back in the … Continue reading

Orwall bill would increase smoking age from 18 to 21

January 21, 2015 - Rep. Tina Orwall

Orwall bill would increase smoking age from 18 to 21

New bill would make Washington the nation’s first state to raise legal age for tobacco and vapor products to 21 OLYMPIA — Washington has long been at the forefront of the fight to protect youth from the dangers of smoking. Continuing that leadership role, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced a bill that would make the state the first to raise the legal age for purchasing and possessing tobacco and vapor products to 21. The harmful consequences of tobacco … Continue reading

Wine, public policy and jobs – a trifecta!

January 21, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Wine, public policy and jobs – a trifecta!

If there are two things State Representative Larry Springer knows, it’s good wine and good public policy. And he knows that in order to make good wine, or good beer or good spirits for that matter, you must be able to taste them. This is why Rep. Springer introduced one of the very first bills of the legislative session, HB 1004. This new legislation will allow alcohol tasting for students at colleges or universities in our state training in specifically … Continue reading

Rep. Tarleton: Give fish a chance

January 21, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Rep. Tarleton: Give fish a chance

OLYMPIA – Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard) introduced a bill, HB 1162, that would limit the use of suction dredging in Washington rivers and streams. Suction dredges are aquatic vacuums used by miners to collect and sort precious metals at the bottom of river beds. The practice can harm fish habitats and their spawning grounds. Suction dredging is mostly unregulated in Washington state. Tarleton’s bill would require the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to establish a workgroup and study the … Continue reading

Bills to raise minimum wage, require paid sick days introduced in Olympia

January 20, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Bills to raise minimum wage, require paid sick days introduced in Olympia

The Seattle Times By Walker Ornstein OLYMPIA — Washington already has the highest minimum wage of any state in the country, but a packed hearing room at the Capitol was filled with supporters of a new minimum-wage bill saying it’s just not high enough. “Income inequality is as  bad as it has been since my grandmother was a small girl in 1929,” said Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-Seattle. “We know that we can do better than that.” The bills sponsored by … Continue reading

Rep. Strom Peterson challenges lawmakers to honor MLK with deeds, not words

January 19, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Rep. Strom Peterson challenges lawmakers to honor MLK with deeds, not words

OLYMPIA – Freshman Rep. Strom Peterson (D-21) used his first speech on the floor of the House of Representatives to ask his colleagues a simple question: what would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. see if he were alive today? Peterson said Dr. King would find the quality of Washington state schools still largely divided by race and class. “Today, it’s not enough to honor Dr. King with words,” Peterson said. “Fifty years ago it was separate drinking fountains, and today it’s … Continue reading

Families are where education starts

January 19, 2015 - Rep. Hans Dunshee

Families are where education starts

Click on the photo to read the rest of the oped, or on this link below: Oped in The Everett Herald: Schools not only duty state has    

Minimum wage, paid sick and safe leave bills introduced in Legislature

January 15, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Minimum wage, paid sick and safe leave bills introduced in Legislature

OLYMPIA – A group of lawmakers in Olympia introduced bills that would work toward ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed by raising the state’s minimum wage and requiring some employers to provide sick and safe leave to their employees. Bills introduced by Rep. Jessyn Farrell (D – Seattle) and Sen. Pramila Jayapal (D – Seattle) would raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour over the course of four years. After that, the wage would again be tied to the … Continue reading

Orwall’s bill could bring justice for rape victims in Washington

January 15, 2015 - Rep. Tina Orwall

Orwall’s bill could bring justice for rape victims in Washington

Back in November, KING 5 reported that Seattle Police Department’s records show that in a little over a decade, 1,641 rape kits were booked into evidence. But only 365 were tested, just 22% of the total. These figures prompted Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, to write a bill requiring every rape kit gets submitted for testing within 30 days. House Bill 1068 was heard in committee yesterday. Special Investigations Prosecutor Rick Bell flew in from Ohio to tell lawmakers in … Continue reading

Media Advisory: Minimum Wage & Paid Sick Leave

January 14, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Media Advisory: Minimum Wage & Paid Sick Leave

MEDIA ADVISORY Who: State Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma (27th Legislative District) & Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-Lake Stevens (46th Legislative District) What: Press availability on raising the minimum wage and paid sick days When: Thursday January 15, 2015 12-12:30 PM Where: House Hearing Room B Why: Legislators Jinkins and Farrell will ask colleagues to join as co-sponsors of bills to raise the state minimum wage to $12/hour and establish a minimum standard for paid sick days. Legislators, poverty-wage workers, community business owners, and others … Continue reading

Lawmakers elect Tarleton, Bergquist, Ryu, Riccelli and McBride to leadership

January 14, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Lawmakers elect Tarleton, Bergquist, Ryu, Riccelli and McBride to leadership

OLYMPIA — House Democrats elected a wide mix of lawmakers to posts in leadership: three women and two men, an experienced lawmaker from Spokane and a freshmen from Federal Way. Deputy Floor Leaders: Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard) and Rep. Steve Bergquist (D-Renton). As deputy floor leaders, Tarleton and Bergquist will help shepherd legislation on the floor the House of Representatives, where all 98 lawmakers have the final say on bills before they go to the Senate or to the governor’s … Continue reading

Statement from Rep. Judy Clibborn on Governor Inslee’s State of the State

January 13, 2015 - Rep. Judy Clibborn

House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) has issued the following statement in response to Governor Inslee’s remarks on transportation issues during the State of the State address: “I appreciate the Governor’s forward-thinking remarks today about the critical need to pass a transportation investment package. The new funding mechanisms he has proposed, such as a cap-and-trade-system or a tax on carbon emissions, deserve serious consideration by members of the legislature. These tools should be part of our discussions moving forward as … Continue reading

Wylie on TVW’s “The Impact” on opening day

January 13, 2015 - Rep. Sharon Wylie

Wylie on TVW’s “The Impact” on opening day

TVW carried out several interviews on the first day of session for The Impact. Watch Reps. Sharon Wylie and Cary Condotta talk about the issues they’ll be working on in the new Commerce and Gaming Committee:

Rep. Derek Stanford elected to chair bipartisan Legislative Accountability Committee

January 13, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Rep. Derek Stanford elected to chair bipartisan Legislative Accountability Committee

Bothell third-term Representative Derek Stanford was recently elected as the head of the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee, the bipartisan committee charged with carrying out performance audits, program evaluations and other significant reviews of the legislature and state government. Among JLARC’s responsibilities are reviewing and reporting on the value and effectiveness of tax preferences – tasks with increasing importance and impact as the legislature prepares to balance the budget while increasing funding for education. “Now more than ever we have … Continue reading

Rep. Elect Strom Peterson sworn in as new lawmaker

January 12, 2015 - Washington House Democrats

Rep. Elect Strom Peterson sworn in as new lawmaker

OLYMPIA – On the opening day of the 2015 legislative session, Representative-Elect Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds) was sworn in to the Washington State House of Representatives. Rep. Peterson represents the 21st Legislative District, which includes Edmonds, North Lynnwood and Mukilteo. Peterson comes to the House after six years of service on the Edmonds City Council. “It has been an honor to serve the people of Edmonds since 2009,” Peterson said. “I am humbled to represent the 21st District and continue working on … Continue reading