Friday, April 13, 2012

Great news for STEM, aerospace, and transportation

Sine Die (take two…) has finally come and gone. The hard work by House Democrats’ these past few months has paid off in big ways. As was discussed in this blog post, funding education was one of our primary goals for the 2012 session. A few highlights include:
  • HB 2159, SB 5982, and HB 2156 - these bills will go a long way toward supporting STEM education, as well as enhancing educational programs which support Washington’s competitive aerospace industry.
Photo credit: BotMultiChillT
  • Research institutions and community colleges statewide will be seeing additions of upgraded equipment in their facilities ensuring Washington’s students are trained in the most cutting edge technology and tools.
  • HB 2190, SB 6445, and SB 6444 - respectively, these bills address immediate & future multimodal transportation needs, retain Washington’s eligibility to receive millions of federal dollars ($850M to be exact!) towards the Columbia Bridge Crossing, as well as ensuring users of the SR 99 tunnel will help to foot the bill for the project.

As it turns out, the Association of Washington Businesses was pretty pleased, as well – see for yourself!

Like professors, motorcycles and singing songs?
You must be a liberal.

But if you enjoy fraternities, documentaries and going to bars, you’re probably a conservative.
Those are some of the findings of the emerging field of political neuroscience and evolutionary psychology – and they suggest that our political preferences are less the product of rational consideration than they are hard-wired. A recent article in "New York" magazine reviews the research – and discusses its application to elections.

To read the full article, click here.

To read this post in Spanish, click here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Early and continuing story of Native Americans" in our state celebrated and examined in rare exhibit

An exciting, year-long exhibit is coming soon to the Capitol Campus here in Olympia.

State Rep. John McCoy will help unveil and launch "We're Still Here: The Survival of Washington Indians" in a special kick-off program Tuesday afternoon, April 24. The program runs from 5 to 7 that day, and it will be held in the Capitol Rotunda/Legislative Building. The Heritage Center is sponsoring the April 2012-April 2013 exhibit in the Office of the Secretary of State, which is located in the northwest corner of the second floor of the Capitol.

McCoy and his family are members of the Tulalip Tribes of Indians in Snohomish County. The Tulalip Tribes has a tribal population of about 4,000 people, with at least 2,500 members residing on the 22,000-acre Tulalip Indian Reservation. The reservation is a few miles north of Everett -- just across Interstate 5 west of Marysville.

"I'm very eager and excited to see the exhibit and displays myself," McCoy said. "It is certainly a great honor to be part of this whole wonderful program. The very worthy dedication of the program is helping folks in every community acquire a better handle and perspective on what's been happening for many millennia in this great place that, today, we call Washington.

"It is so wonderful for more and more people, very much including we Native Americans ourselves, to see and understand what men and women and their families have been doing here for thousands of years."

The "We're still here" website says that the exhibit "acknowledges the early and continuing story of Native Americans in four major themes: the relationship with earth and the struggle over land, assimilation practices and the conflict over Native identity, the century-long battle for treaty fishing rights, and the cultural revival of Indian customs and language in our world today. "

Further, the website points out: "Although the building is not yet constructed, the Heritage Center is alive and active through exhibits in the Legislative Building and elsewhere, the publication of oral histories and biographies by the Legacy Project, author talks with the State Library, family genealogy workshops with the State Archives and State Library, and a vibrant website with many historical resources accessible in one location."

To read this post in Spanish, click here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

HDC core values: fund education, create jobs, protect the safety net

The House Democrats’ primary goals these past few months were to pass a budget which funds education, higher education, and saves the safety net – and that’s exactly what we did.

Since last October, our number one priority has been to get Washingtonians back to work by passing the Jobs Now package – and that’s exactly what we did.

Knowing how important Jobs Now is to families in Washington, we did not let the opposition in either the Senate or the House stop us from putting 20,000 people back to work.

House Democrats fought tooth and nail for three years to eliminate the tax exemption for big, out-of-state banks – and this year, that’s exactly what we did.

The War on Women was dangerously close to entering Washington due to efforts to slash family planning grants, Working Connections funds, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. House Democrats know how important these programs are and fought to make sure they remained intact – and that’s exactly what we did.

These past few months have not been easy, but the challenge was worth it to protect education, save the safety net, and get over 20,000 Washington residents back to work.

To read this post in Spanish, click here.

Statements from Speaker Chopp, Majority Leader Sullivan and Chair Dunshee

House Speaker Frank Chopp, Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, and Capital Budget Chair Hans Dunshee issued the following statements regarding the completion of the 2012 Legislative Session.

Speaker Frank Chopp:

“Our caucus’s two highest goals for this session were:
  • A budget that funds education with no cuts and saves the safety net, and
  • The Jobs Now package that will put tens of thousands of people back to work.

“We succeeded! And this morning we share that success with school kids heading off to class, with people who rely on the Disability Lifeline to keep a roof over their heads, and with unemployed people all across our state who can look forward to going back   to work.”

Majority Leader Pat Sullivan:
“A strong public education system that supports the academic achievement of all Washington students is not only a key to good jobs, but also to Washington’s thriving future. We fought for education in our budget, and not only will our kids benefit, but so will our economy.”

Chair Hans Dunshee:
“Jobs was our number one priority, and we did it.  People all across the state will now go back to work, and they’ll have the pride and the security of a regular paycheck.”

To read this post in Spanish, click here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rep. Luis Moscoso on the phone!

Tomorrow night (Wednesday) State Representative Luis Moscoso will be calling residents of the 1st Legislative District to take questions from constituents and discuss what’s been happening in Olympia.

This will be Rep. Luis Moscoso’s first telephone town hall and here’s how it’s going to work out:

  1. At around 6:00 PM your home phone should receive a call from Rep. Moscoso.

  2. Pick up the phone and follow the prompts.

  3. Stay on the line for as long as your schedule allows, and feel free to press *3 if you have a question for Rep. Moscoso.

Easy as 1-2-3!

Please keep in mind that you must be a resident of the 1st LD to participate. If you are a resident of the 1st and don’t receive a call, you can dial into 1-877-229-8493, and then enter PIN code No. 18646 when prompted.

We hope you’ll join the conversation!

To read this story in Spanish, click here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Did someone come to your aid in an emergency? Now you can say thanks

If you’ve ever called 9-1-1 due to a collision, a fire, a burglary or a medical emergency you know how crucial it is that Washington’s firefighters, police officers and paramedics get to your location as quickly as possible. 

Many people owe their lives to Washington’s first responders every day and to the 9-1-1 dispatchers who do their jobs outstandingly every time a call comes in. 

The week of April 8-14, 2012 is National Telecommunicators Week, intended to honor the first link in the chain of emergency. If you want to say thank you, come to the Capitol building on Thursday, April 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., where you’ll meet State Patrol dispatchers and learn what they do every day to make the citizens of Washington state safe on our highways.

To read this post in Spanish, click here.