Washington State House Democrats


Tuesday, May 23


Editorial: Shrink WA foster care safely with investment in social safety net
True change in a government system doesn’t happen often. It’s even rarer when it occurs in just a few years. But that is exactly what’s going on in the under-examined world of foster care. Today, there are about 6,130 children being raised by state-supported caregivers who are not their parents, one of the lowest numbers in 40 years. That is no accident. The drumbeat behind this change has been accelerating, in Washington and nationally, because the adult-life outcomes of foster youth — increased likelihood of incarceration, poverty and homelessness — are generally miserable. And they are visited disproportionately on Black and Indigenous children. So it’s long past time to step back and reassess just who goes into the system and why. A new state law taking effect this summer will likely push the numbers even lower. But its success depends on the availability of a robust, responsive safety net of high-quality services. That’s the rub. Continue reading at Seattle Times. (Donna Grethen)

Washington funded 19 projects to expand access to broadband internet throughout the state.

$121 million awarded to broadband projects across Washington
Nineteen construction projects that will expand access to broadband internet in Washington are set to receive federal funding from the State Broadband Office. The office announced more than $121 million in grants to projects that will help deliver high-speed internet to communities across the state where it’s nonexistent or lacking. Though about 91% of households in Washington have a broadband subscription, the state estimates that about 248,000 households currently do not use broadband services. State law lays out goals that the State Broadband Office must meet to get all Washington businesses and residences access to broadband services with at least 150 megabits per-second download and upload speeds by 2028. For this round of funding, Commerce said demand exceeded what was available by 261%, with 50 different project sponsors requesting more than $316 million. Continue reading at WA State Standard. (Michael Bocchieri)

Chum salmon swim upstream to spawn in the waters of Pipers Creek in Carkeek Park on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021.

Washington slates $50M for trees to shade salmon streams
Washington state is putting more money into a low-tech approach to help salmon thrive. State officials are hoping to plant millions of dollars’ worth of trees along rivers and streams to cool the water and protect the fish. Gov. Jay Inslee and Democratic and Republican lawmakers wanted to tackle warming streams this past legislative session as a way to combat some of the effects of global warming. Inslee’s office and the Ecology and Fish and Wildlife departments met with farming groups, business interests, environmental organizations and several tribes to come up with a system to address the problem. Originally, Rep. Mike Chapman, D-Port Angeles and chairman of the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee, introduced two similar bills — House Bills 1215 and 1720 — to create two grant programs to provide money for rivershore and creekside tree plantings and other riparian improvements. But the heavy lifting happened during budget negotiations. Continue reading at Gazette Tribune. (Grant Hindsley)


U.S. lawmakers OK’d more pro-gun bills than safety measures since Uvalde

Capital Press
Horse Heaven solar, wind project foes seek report before hearings

Expect more bridge lifts on Interstate 5
Vancouver Police Department boosts hiring efforts
Vancouver Police Department vacancies impact response to 911 calls
Editorial: Airport siting speaks to infrastructure concerns

The Daily News
Cowlitz County expects drug court to remain stable as district court plans to start its version

Everett Herald
Letter: Expand the SNAP food aid program

Gazette Tribune
Washington slates $50M for trees to shade salmon streams (Chapman, Tharinger)

News Tribune
Professor touted racist theories. Now Tacoma university will remove his name from museum 

Port of Olympia didn’t have a signed contract to bring large ship here, commissioner says
WA lawmaker rejoins Republican caucus after ‘issues’ with leadership caused her to leave 

Peninsula Daily News
Grant would fund childcare

Seattle Medium
Non-Profit Farms Support Food Insecure Communities In Long-Term Ways

Seattle Times
Seattle Amazon workers plan walkout over return to office, layoffs
Proposed pumped-storage energy project on sacred Yakama Nation site gets key permit
Editorial: Shrink WA foster care safely with investment in social safety net
Opinion: Renew regional commitment to preventing homelessness

Vancouver Business Journal
Housing bill signed by Inslee will create more housing (Bateman)

WA State Standard
$121 million awarded to broadband projects across Washington
Western states agree to Colorado River water-sharing agreement
State roads chief: Transportation system is on ‘glidepath to failure’ (Liias)
Disaster aid has arrived, but Western Alaska’s salmon and crab problems continue


‘Cottage housing’ proposal to be considered by Shoreline City Council
Train derailments in Washington have more than doubled in the last ten years

State tribal leaders address escalating opioid crisis

KUOW Public Radio
Washington is about to dive deeper into the world of psychedelic research

Spokane sermon goes viral for violent anti–trans message
Gov. Inslee appoints Breean Beggs to Spokane County Superior Court
Liberty Lake Mayor vetoes contentious library ordinance
Is it time to add fluoride to Spokane’s drinking water?


Within the Salish Sea, Samish divers research kelp forests
Mushroom farm to pay $3.4M settlement in WA discrimination case (Orwall, Wilson, C.)