news

Brown’s nuclear SMR, hydropower bills passed by Senate

Published on March 07, 2017
Today the Senate advanced two measures sponsored by Sen. Sharon Brown aimed at encouraging and expanding the use of carbon-free power and emerging energy technologies – including incremental hydropower, nuclear power and small modular reactors. “We all support clean energy, but the key is doing so in a way that works for employers, energy consumers... Read More

Brown measures on emerging technologies clear Senate energy committee

Published on February 09, 2017
Four bills would recognize clean-power advantages of nuclear energy, make geothermal exploration and SMR manufacturing easier in Washington Today the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee advanced a package of bills aimed at encouraging and expanding the use of emerging energy technologies – including geothermal exploration, nuclear power and small modular reactors. Sen. Sharon Brown,... Read More

VIDEO: Charter Local Edition NW w/Sen. Sharon Brown

Published on August 02, 2016
Sen. Sharon Brown (R-Kennewick) discusses nuclear power, small modular reactors and economic development with Charter Local Edition’s Dana Cowley. Read More

Bailey water-storage and family-caregiver planning bills become law

Published on April 04, 2016
After the conclusion of a 20-day special session, two bills sponsored by Sen. Barbara Bailey, R- Oak Harbor, were signed in a formal ceremony Friday morning. Senate Bill 6589, which was approved near-unanimously, directs state agencies in charge of water management to study the feasibility of water storage to recharge the Skagit River basin so that users... Read More

A session that rewrote history, not always accurately

Published on July 22, 2015
This post originally appeared on the leadership blog of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, Exit 105. I was reading the other day that this year’s Legislature raised taxes by $480 million. This was news to me and I think to just about everyone on my side of the aisle, mainly because it isn’t true. That... Read More

Padden’s felony-DUI bill moves to House for third time this year

Published on June 24, 2015
For the third time since lawmakers convened at the state Capitol in January, the Washington state Senate has unanimously passed Sen. Mike Padden’s bill to make a fourth DUI conviction in 10 years a felony. “We have only a few more days to act before the end of the current legislative session, and it is... Read More

Federal government stalls recreational fishing, Pearson calls for action

Published on May 29, 2015
After over a decade of stalled progress, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced yesterday that recreational fishing will once again take a hit as “early winter” steelhead salmon will be released in inland lakes rather than state rivers due to continued delays by the federal National Marine Fishing Service. Nooksack, Stillaguamish, Snoqualmie, Green... Read More

Angel: “No more excuses” for House failure to pass budget

Published on May 29, 2015
With one 30-day special session completed, Sen. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, is still waiting for the House of Representatives majority leadership to get the votes they need for their budget. House budget leaders assumed $1.5 billion of tax increases in their spending plan but lacked the votes to pass the tax proposals either out of... Read More

Time to get over the tax-increase obsession

Published on May 27, 2015
This post originally appeared in the leadership blog of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, Exit 105. As time runs out on our overtime session in Olympia, I think it’s a good moment to ask an important question. What on earth is keeping us here? Last week should have settled things. State economists told us we... Read More

Pearson joins domestic-violence survivor to toughen law

Published on May 21, 2015
OLYMPIA… Six years ago police went to Barbara Holland’s home and arrested the man who had tortured and threatened to kill her. She would learn that due to a change in state law approved just days after the assault, her attacker – a first-time domestic-violence felony offender – would not be supervised after being released... Read More

Will this governor cause a government shutdown?

Published on April 14, 2015
This post originally appeared in the leadership blog of the Majority Coalition Caucus, Exit 105. Jay Inslee dropped a bomb Thursday. Pass a tax increase, the governor told us, or he won’t sign the budget. No one is sure if he is threatening to veto the budget. Maybe he’s saying he will allow the budget... Read More

VIDEO: Senate honors those with Down syndrome

Published on April 10, 2015
Watch a video featuring comments from Sen. Padden and some of the Down syndrome self-advocates who attended today’s reading of Senate Resolution 8657, honoring those with Down syndrome and recognizing those individuals and organizations who advocate on their behalf. Read More

House technology committee schedules hearings for Brown nuclear power-related bills

Published on March 20, 2015
On Thursday the House Technology and Economic Development committee announced that on March 25, it will hear public testimony on four energy bills sponsored by state Sen. Sharon Brown, including three measures dealing with nuclear-energy education and economic development. “We worked extremely hard in the Senate to produce bipartisan bills and included several amendments by... Read More

Rivers seeks to clarify guardian ad litem rules

Published on February 18, 2015
When Vancouver resident Tina Toth phoned state Sen. Ann Rivers’ office over three years ago, she had hit the bureaucratic equivalent of a brick wall and didn’t know where to turn. Toth had just lost custody of her two boys through a stunning decision to place them with her physically abusive ex-husband. A family-court commissioner... Read More

Padden continues work to end human trafficking

Published on February 16, 2015
Saying that there is still work to be done, today Sen. Mike Padden oversaw the Senate Law and Justice Committee’s review of several bills aimed at addressing human trafficking. “The Washington State Legislature has an excellent history of dealing with the issue of human trafficking,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley and chairman of the committee. “Shared... Read More

Padden bill to help new small businesses clears Senate panel

Published on February 12, 2015
On Wednesday, a bill sponsored by Sen. Mike Padden that would provide tax relief for Washington’s new small businesses was approved by the Senate Trade and Economic Development Committee. “We know that the first three years are the most critical to a small business being able to survive,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley. “Reforming the business-and-occupation... Read More

Senate work session examines importance of STEM education

Published on February 04, 2015
  Delta High School students among those testifying via ground-breaking technology live from Columbia Basin College     A work session held this morning by the Senate Trade and Economic Development Committee examined the importance of having a skilled and well-educated workforce and took an in-depth look at the role of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)... Read More

Ericksen releases Senate plan to promote new energy and reduce carbon emissions

Published on February 04, 2015
OLYMPIA… State Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, outlined a comprehensive energy plan Feb. 4 that will be advanced through policy committees in the Washington Senate this year – a bold vision of new-energy promotion and innovation unleashed, aimed at creating and retaining jobs in Washington state while reducing carbon emissions. And one key point: No taxation... Read More

Key Senate panel unanimously approves Padden’s felony-DUI bill

Published on February 03, 2015
Momentum and support continue to grow for Sen. Mike Padden’s bill to make a fourth DUI conviction in 10 years a felony. Today the state Senate Law and Justice Committee voted unanimously to approve Senate Bill 5105, which now moves one step closer to a vote of the full Senate. “These repeat-DUI offenders are the... Read More

Brown measures to expand use of nuclear power clear Senate energy committee

Published on February 03, 2015
Today the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee approved a package of bills aimed at encouraging and expanding the use of nuclear power as part of the state’s carbon-reduction strategies. Sen. Sharon Brown, a member of the committee and the Legislature’s leading advocate for nuclear power, introduced the four measures, which are now one step... Read More

Senate panel considers Brown bills to modernize renewable energy mandate

Published on January 29, 2015
Measures would include ‘incremental’ hydro and nuclear power The public weighed in today on three bills sponsored by Sen. Sharon Brown, which would expand the options for utilities seeking to meet the state’s clean-energy mandates. “It’s really important that as we look at energy going forward, we take an all-of-the-above approach,” said Brown, speaking in... Read More

Sen. Baumgartner targets cargo crunch at ports

Published on January 28, 2015
OLYMPIA…  A memorial introduced Wednesday by state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, seeks federal assistance in resolving a long-running labor dispute that appears to have slowed traffic at Pacific-coast ports and snarled international trade for Washington importers and exporters. Senate Joint Memorial 8009 asks the feds to help longshoremen and shippers reach agreement on a master... Read More

Bailey and Pearson introduce bills addressing local water-access issues

Published on January 27, 2015
Two north Puget Sound lawmakers have introduced a package of bills aimed at improving public access to water. Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, and Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, introduced the legislation to address restrictive interpretations of instream-flow laws.  Restrictions on water flow have led to many people, especially those in the Skagit River Basin, being... Read More

Pearson bill would help identify the next Oso or Mount Saint Helens

Published on January 23, 2015
On Thursday the Senate Natural Resources and Parks Committee held a public hearing on a measure sponsored by Sen. Kirk Pearson that would establish the Department of Natural Resources as the official depository for a library of LiDAR mapping, which would be accessible to municipalities, disaster-relief workers, builders and the general public. “It wasn’t long... Read More

Padden: Time for Washington to get tough on repeat DUI offenders

Published on January 22, 2015
Law and Justice Committee hears testimony on Padden measure to make fourth DUI a felony When a father, mother, grandfather, husband or friend is ripped away by the actions of a drunk driver, the pain and impact caused by that can reverberate through a family and a community. The demand for justice and the desire... Read More

Good news about employment not shared statewide, Baumgartner says

Published on January 22, 2015
Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, chairman of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, issued the following statement following the announcement Jan. 22 by the state Employment Security Department that Washington employment has exceeded its pre-recession peak by nearly 100,000 jobs. “It’s great to hear that we have finally caught up to where we were before the... Read More

Panel hears support for trio of Brown bills to encourage job growth

Published on January 21, 2015
Measures would expedite permitting and help create new manufacturing and construction jobs  Sen. Sharon Brown, chair of the Senate Trade and Economic Development Committee, has made attracting and retaining employers in Washington and helping them create new jobs her top priority since coming to the Senate. Today, three of her bills aimed at encouraging economic... Read More

Pearson pushes for new laws dealing with disaster mitigation, domestic violence, and financial crimes

Published on January 21, 2015
By: Chris Hendrickson, Monroe News | Valley News   Disaster mitigation, domestic violence, financial crimes and marijuana processing in residential zones are just a few of the items on Washington State Senator Kirk Pearson’s agenda going in the 2015 legislative session. Pearson (R-Monroe) represents the 39th Legislative District, which includes most of Snohomish and Skagit counties... Read More

Pearson bill goes after illegal ‘skimming’ of personal information

Published on January 21, 2015
On Tuesday the Senate Law and Justice Committee held a public hearing on a measure sponsored by Sen. Kirk Pearson that would make it harder for identity thieves to use increasingly-sophisticated “skimming” technology to acquire access to victims’ personal financial information. “Identity theft is a horrible crime that can follow a victim for years,” said... Read More

In The News: Lawmakers push for wider scope in disaster mobilization

Published on January 20, 2015
OLYMPIA — Fire officials this week are rekindling their effort to make sure a law that lets them mobilize resources to fight wildfires also applies to major emergencies such as the Oso mudslide. Public hearings are planned in the House and Senate on bills that would revise the state wildfire mobilization law to make clear... Read More

Padden introduces parental-notification bill

Published on January 19, 2015
Bill supporters to gather tomorrow at 37th annual March for Life in Olympia Calling it a common-sense measure to respect the rights of parents, Sen. Mike Padden today announced legislation to require that an underage girl’s parent or guardian be notified before she may have an abortion. Padden, R-Spokane Valley, plans to discuss Senate Bill... Read More

In the News: Lawmakers look for solutions as negotiations at port cripple economy

Published on January 16, 2015
Puget Sound Business Journal Two Washington state senators are making a plan that would stop negotiations from causing traffic at ports to slow the next time a labor contract needs renewal. Sen. Sharon Brown (R-Kennewick) and Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) want to provide recommendations soon. …Brown is chair of the legislature’s Trade and Economic Development... Read More

Senate work session examines economic impact of slowdown at ports

Published on January 14, 2015
A joint work session held this morning by the Senate Trade and Economic Development and Commerce and Labor committees took a detailed look at the reduction of trade volume at 28 West Coast ports that is crippling Washington’s agricultural community and other trade-dependent businesses. “Washington ports have been losing market share, and it is critical... Read More

Energy independence done safe and done right is focus for Senate energy panel, Ericksen says

Published on January 06, 2015
Energy independence done safe and done right will be the central theme for the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee this year, says Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale. “Low-cost energy is one of the best things this state has going for it,” said Ericksen, who is beginning his third year as the panel’s chair. “We need... Read More

Sen. Hill’s response to governor’s proposed tax increase

Published on December 18, 2014
Sen. Andy Hill issued the following statement in response to the release of the governor’s 2015 budget proposal. “The governor’s contribution to the upcoming budget process features a massive tax increase on residents and small businesses. Investing in student achievement and providing essential services should not depend on risky tax schemes that threaten our economy. Educating... Read More

King selected to lead Senate transportation committee

Published on December 17, 2014
During a meeting of Senate majority lawmakers Monday, Sen. Curtis King was chosen to chair the Senate Transportation Committee. As head of the committee, King will steer the transportation agenda and bill proposals, as well as write the biennial transportation budget. It is anticipated that the agenda will focus on passage of a reform and transportation-revenue package.... Read More

Braun holds first Latino legislative forum in 20th District

Published on December 17, 2014
More than 50 members of the 20th Legislative District’s Latino community joined Sen. John Braun on Sunday afternoon in Chehalis for a discussion about priorities for the upcoming legislative session, which begins Jan. 12. “I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout,” said Braun, R-Centralia, who had invited members of the area’s faith community and leaders... Read More

Braun elected deputy leader of Senate majority

Published on December 08, 2014
The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus has elected Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, as Senate Majority Deputy Leader for the two-year legislative term that begins in 2015.  Braun was already a member of the MCC leadership team and is chair of the Senate Trade and Economic Development Committee. “We will have a tough job this coming legislative... Read More

Schoesler elected to lead Senate coalition as Majority Leader

Published on December 04, 2014
The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus today elected Sen. Mark Schoesler as Senate Majority Leader for a two-year legislative term. “I’m grateful to my Senate colleagues for their vote of confidence and am eager to continue working on solutions for the people of Washington,” said Schoesler, R-Ritzville, “It’s time to govern and roll up our sleeves... Read More

Angel Elected to Leadership Role in Senate

Published on December 02, 2014
OLYMPIA… The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus announced the election of Sen. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, as Caucus Vice Chair after her first year in the Senate. Members of the Majority Coalition Caucus voted Angel into the leadership role as a key link between committee chairs and Senate leadership. “I’m excited to get to work building... Read More

IN THE NEWS: Public needs voice in carbon debate

Published on August 04, 2014
Local View: Public needs voice in carbon debate By Sen. Ann Rivers  |  Published: August 3, 2014, 6:00 AM There’s enough chatter at the Capitol about a pair of climate-change policies — familiar but complex proposals known as “cap-and-trade” and “low-carbon fuel standards” — that it’s time to ask: What do these confusing and complicated... Read More

NEWS: State not producing enough graduates in high-tech fields

Published on June 10, 2014
State not producing enough graduates in high-tech fields Click here to visit KING 5’s web site to see the full story. Read More

DSHS mishandling of benefit programs takes money from those who really need it

Published on May 22, 2014
Earlier this week Senator Hill caught up with KING 5 investigative reporter Chris Ingalls to discuss a new preliminary audit on DSHS’ handling of food benefits. The report showed that in 2013, roughly $35 million in benefits paid by DSHS were improperly distributed. See the full story below.     Also, watch below to hear... Read More

Honeyford is first to receive new CWU alumni award

Published on May 15, 2014
In a ceremony May 1, Sen. Jim Honeyford received the first-ever College of the Sciences Alumni of the Year award for Social Sciences from Central Washington University. The award recognizes Honeyford’s ongoing passion and interest in CWU as well as his work as chair of the Senate capital budget to fund Science Phase II, a... Read More

Hill’s budget stopped tuition hikes; earlier increases second highest in country since 2008

Published on May 13, 2014
Washington’s public college and university students faced the second highest tuition increase in the country since the 2008 economic recession according to a new study. After becoming the Senate’s chief budget writer in 2013, Sen. Andy Hill stopped that trend by sponsoring and earning approval for budgets that froze tuition rates for two consecutive years,... Read More

Addressing our community’s priorities for government

Published on April 29, 2014
The Legislature adjourned in mid-March and I’m pleased that we were able to take meaningful steps in support of Washington students, our most vulnerable citizens and veterans and their families. During the 2014 session, I sponsored successful legislation that: provides services to an additional 5,000 people with developmental disabilities without costing the state money; supports... Read More

Improving access to developmental disability services

Published on April 15, 2014
Following the 2014 legislative session Washington’s governor signed into law the Vulnerable Individuals Priority (VIP) Act, co-sponsored by Joe Fain of Auburn that will provide developmental disability services to 5,000 people currently on a waiting list. The measure, which had strong support of advocates for developmental disability services and lawmakers, will provide additional respite care... Read More

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