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Veterans gain college credit for military service under new law – governor signs O’Ban bill

Published on April 2, 2014

attachmentSenator O’Ban calls college credit law ‘one of the most important things we can do to help veterans transition into civilian life.’

Washington’s veterans have a new way to gain recognition for their service while accessing the benefits of a college degree. Governor Jay Inslee today signed into law Senate Bill 5969  which grants academic credit for military training. State Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-Pierce County, who sponsored the legislation, called the new law a major benefit for veterans, “who often face hardships as they transition back into civilian life and need to build new careers.”

The law now requires Washington’s colleges and universities to adopt policies on awarding academic credit to individuals for certain military training courses or programs by the year 2016. There are currently 22,000 veterans, active-duty personnel and their dependents enrolled in Washington’s community and technical colleges and the University of Washington has 1,344 enrolled veterans alone. Read more…


Foster kids get new protections as governor signs O’Ban bill to provide legal representation

Published on March 28, 2014

gov signedStarting today, Washington’s foster children have new legal protections in a system known for letting kids without parental or guardian connections fall through the cracks. Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Senate Bill 6126 that guarantees legal representation for any foster child who no longer has his natural parents. Primary sponsor of the bill, Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-Pierce County, called the new law a, “major step forward for the 10,000 foster kids in Washington.”

“Many of our most vulnerable kids now have a voice to help protect them from the worst kind of predators” says Pierce County lawmaker Read more…


Parlette says outgoing Senate Majority Leader ‘will be missed’

Published on April 15, 2014

Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, R-Wenatchee, offered this statement after Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom announced Monday he will not seek re-election to another Senate term. Tom, D-Bellevue, has been leader since the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus formed in December 2012 and assumed leadership of the state Senate the following month.

“Senator Tom was very candid about how he is stepping away from public office for reasons related to health and family – and there can be no better reasons than those. While it is a loss for the people he has served for more than a decade, and for me as chair of the Majority Coalition Caucus, I completely understand and support his decision.

“Senator Tom shares my belief that bipartisanship can succeed in Olympia, not just with a particular bill or within a certain committee but on a much larger scale. While there is still much work to do, families and college students and school districts and employers across Washington are already reaping the benefits of the changes he has helped to make in state government’s course.

“Each time the MCC was challenged these past two years, Rodney responded by focusing on the shared principles that brought our mix of Republicans and Democrats together in the first place: jobs, education and a sustainable budget. He was willing to put his personal preferences on the shelf when the situation required it and remained a gentleman when things got tense, as they so often do when critical decisions are needing to be made. We need more leadership like that in Olympia, not less. He will be missed.”

Sen. Linda Evans Parlette with Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, March 3, 2014

With Senate Majority Leader Tom on March 3, 2014 in the Senate chamber in Olympia.


Senate Republican Leader remarks on Majority Leader Tom’s Announcement To Not Seek Re-election

Published on April 14, 2014

“While Senator Rodney Tom’s decision not to seek re-election is a great loss for the 48th Legislative District and for the State of Washington, choosing family and your health first is always the right decision.

I can truly say that Senator Tom’s leadership has had a historic impact on Washington. The Senate’s first bipartisan coalition and formation of the Majority Coalition Caucus has always been about putting people above party politics in Olympia. The accomplishments are many and in just two years the Majority Coalition has ensured that Washington is the first state in the nation to complete a 4-year balanced budget, has given our middle-class families and students the first college tuition freeze in 26 years, added important education opportunities for veterans, and guaranteed a $1.6 billion down payment toward our K-12 education obligations.

On a personal level, Senator Tom has my admiration for bringing real change to Olympia. I consider him a trusted partner and true public servant, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to work side-by-side with him in our leadership roles for the Majority Coalition Caucus. He will be missed.”

Mark Schoesler

Senate Republican Leader


Parlette disappointed by governor’s block of enhanced school funding, better health-care oversight

Published on April 9, 2014

Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, R-12Sen. Linda Evans Parlette says the governor let timber-country school districts down by vetoing a funding enhancement approved by lawmakers this year. The Wenatchee Republican is also disappointed that the same partial veto of budget changes weakened the Legislature’s effort to learn more about the costs of taxpayer-supported health-care coverage.

“The supplemental budget we approved a month ago is still good for taxpayers and students, but Governor Inslee has taken some of the luster off it,” said Parlette. She is chair of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, which for the second straight year led the way to a budget that increases support for K-12 education and state-run colleges and universities without relying on tax increases. Inslee signed the budget Friday. Read more…


On Air: Holmquist Newbry discusses Gov. Inslee’s drone bill veto

Published on April 8, 2014



Washington Medal of Honor recipients recognized in Olympia

Published on April 7, 2014

Today Washington State honored three resident Medal of Honor recipients in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry, Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter, and Capt. William D. Swenson had their names inscribed on the Medal of Honor monument on the Capitol Campus.

Also Governor Inslee signed House Bill 2397 that allows Medal of Honor recipients to receive special license plates without additional fees or taxes. The companion Senate Bill 6150 was sponsored by Sen. Barbara Bailey, R- Oak Harbor. Read more…