Jay Inslee News Feed http://www.jayinslee.com/news/rss Jay Inslee News Feed Mon, 12 Sept 2011 05:00:00 +0000 AMPS en hourly 1 Washington Conservation Voters and Sierra Club Support Governor Jay Inslee http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/washington-conservation-voters-and-sierra-club-support-governor-jay-inslee Tue, 26 Jul 2016 19:25:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/washington-conservation-voters-and-sierra-club-support-governor-jay-inslee ]]> Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Washington State National Organization for Women Affirm Support for Governor Jay Inslee http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/planned-parenthood-votes-northwest-and-hawaii-naral-pro-choice-washington-washington-state-national-organization-for-women-affirm-support-for-governor-jay-inslee Mon, 25 Jul 2016 02:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/planned-parenthood-votes-northwest-and-hawaii-naral-pro-choice-washington-washington-state-national-organization-for-women-affirm-support-for-governor-jay-inslee
 
Women's Reproductive Health Advocates Cite Inslee's Leadership on Protecting Reproductive Rights from Attacks

Seattle – Today, in the week leading up to the primary, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, and the Washington State National Organization for Women affirmed their support for Governor Jay Inslee, citing his record on expanding access to women's health care and fighting back against attempts to restrict women's rights.

"In the face of relentless attacks on women's constitutional rights to exercise the health care decisions that are right for them, Jay Inslee has never wavered in his support for women's reproductive and sexual rights," said Elaine Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. "We need a strong champion in the governor's office. We need Jay Inslee."

"In an election year when the stakes have never been higher for women, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington is proud to support a governor who we know will stand with women, fight for reproductive freedom, and work not just to protect but expand the right to choose in Washington State," said Rachel Berkson, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington's Executive Director. "Washington is a pro-choice state with pro-choice values, and Governor Jay Inslee reflects those values."

"Women in Washington need an advocate in the Governor's office who cares passionately about the issues they care about -- such as raising the minimum wage, paid sick and family leave, health care for all, work and employment parity, reproductive justice, and above all, good public schools," said Linda Malanchuk-Finnan, Washington State National Organization for Women. "Jay Inslee has been that Governor, and we need him back in the Governor's office four more years to continue pushing for these key issues."
 
"This is a very simple, but important issue for me: women should have the right to make their own reproductive health care decisions, not anyone else," said Governor Jay Inslee. "Every year, Republicans here in Washington state have attacked that basic right, attempting to defund Planned Parenthood and take away reproductive health decisions for low-income women. We cannot and will not turn back the clock on women's health. Thank you Planned Parenthood Votes, NARAL, and NOW for your support. As long as I am governor, I will fight back back against those obsessed with restricting women's health care."

Bill Bryant, Governor Inslee's challenger has urged for Republican control of the Washington state House and Senate, campaigning across the state for Republican candidates. These caucuses have fought to defund Planned Parenthood and restrict women's health care throughout Jay's term as governor.

Inslee: “I Am Wholeheartedly Committed To The Continued Fight To Protect Washington Women’s Right To Choose, Expand Access To Reproductive Care & Family Planning Services & Defeat Ideologically Driven Attempts To Block That Access. In a June 2016 statement from his office, Inslee said, “I am wholeheartedly committed to the continued fight to protect Washington women’s right to choose, expand access to reproductive care and family planning services and defeat ideologically driven attempts to block that access.” [Office of Gov. Jay Inslee, 6/27/16]
 
Inslee: “Washington Women Need The Freedom & Privacy To Make The Health Care Decisions That Are Best For Themselves & Their Families.” In January 2013, The Seattle Times reported, at his inaugural address, Inslee said, “Washington women need the freedom and privacy to make the health care decisions that are best for themselves and their families. That’s why I look forward to the Legislature sending the Reproductive Parity Act to my desk, which I will sign. Let’s get this done.” [The Seattle Times,1/16/13]
 
Inslee Supported & Implemented The Affordable Care Act Which For The First Time Prohibited Sex Discrimination In Health Care. In October 2013, Inslee issued an executive order on implementing the Affordable Care Act. According to the National Women’s Law Center, “Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits discrimination in health care programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. This is the first time that federal law has broadly prohibited sex discrimination in health care.” [Gov. Jay Inslee Executive Order 13-05, 10/1/13; National Women’s Law Center, 5/13/16]
 
Inslee “Sharply Rebuffed” Demands That The State Investigate & Defund Planned Parenthood. In July 2015, seattlepi.com reported, “Gov. Jay Inslee has sharply rebuffed a campaign demanding that the state investigate and defund Planned Parenthood, describing it as the work of ‘national extremist organizations’ trying to eliminate a vital source of health care for women, particularly poor women… ‘National extremist organizations are engaged in a concerted effort to discredit, and ultimately eliminate, an organization that so many women rely on. Here in Washington state, where we have long fought to protect women’s access to family planning services, Planned Parenthood is on the front lines of women’s health care.  I stand with them in their efforts to ensure every woman needing access to safe and legal reproductive health care can get it,’” Inslee said. [seattlepi.com, 7/29/15]
 
Inslee Called For The Passage Of Reproductive Parity Act. In February 2013, regarding the passage of the Reproductive Parity Act in the House, Inslee said, “Today's vote in the House is a big step forward in guaranteeing women's access to a full range of reproductive health care services. As I begin signing bills next week, I expect the Senate to follow the House's lead so the RPA can be among those I have the honor of signing into law. The Senate should not shut the door of democracy when it comes to women's health care.” [Office of Gov. Jay Inslee, 2/22/13

 
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New Jay Inslee TV Ad: "The Day" Highlights Governor Inslee's Record on Job Creation http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/new-jay-inslee-tv-ad-the-day-highlights-governor-inslees-record-on-job-creation Thu, 14 Jul 2016 11:59:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/new-jay-inslee-tv-ad-the-day-highlights-governor-inslees-record-on-job-creation

Since His First Day in Office, Governor Jay Inslee's Focus Has Been on Building a Stronger Economy and Better Future For Every Washington Family

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Ad Watch: Republican Bill Bryant is a Typical Republican Pushing Same Old, Stale Republican Policies Washington Voters Have Rejected Time and Time Again http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/ad-watch-republican-bill-bryant-is-a-typical-republican-pushing-same-old-stale-republican-policies-washington-voters-have-rejected-time-and-time-again Wed, 13 Jul 2016 13:23:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/ad-watch-republican-bill-bryant-is-a-typical-republican-pushing-same-old-stale-republican-policies-washington-voters-have-rejected-time-and-time-again

New Bill Bryant Ad Claims Bryant is a Breath of Fresh Air and Non-Partisan – Ignoring That He's Given Thousands to National Republicans, Urged For Republican Control of Olympia and Refused to Condemn Fellow Republican Donald Trump

Seattle – Republican Bill Bryant is out with his first ad today in an attempt to distract voters from his refusal to rule out supporting fellow Republican  Donald Trump, claiming that he's non-partisan and would bring fresh air to Olympia.
 
The truth? Republican Bill Bryant is a partisan Republican who's given nearly $50,000 to national Republicans like George W. Bush and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has campaigned across the state for Republicans to control Olympia, and is offering the same old, tired Republican ideas that Washington voters have rejected time and time again.

Republican Bill Bryant is such a partisan Republican that for over a year now he has refused to criticize the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, even though he has made countless offensive remarks to women and minorities, and has put forward a dangerous policy agenda that would take Washington state backwards.
 
Meanwhile, Governor Jay Inslee has brought real change to Olympia. Because of Jay, Washington state is now investing again in education. Every child now has access to full-day kindergarten, he's lowered class sizes in the early grades, and for the first time in state history, we've shrunk college tuition for every student attending Washington public colleges, including community colleges and career and technical schools. After a decade of inaction in Olympia, Jay fought for and passed a much-needed bipartisan transportation package that will create 200,000 jobs and rebuild our aging infrastructure. And under Jay's leadership, we've seen massive improvements in the economy -- unemployment has gone down, over 250,000 jobs have been created, and Business Insider has ranked Washington state as the best economy in the nation.
 
"Republican Bill Bryant can't hide from the fact that he's a typical, partisan Republican who's given big bucks to George W. Bush, hasn't a bad word to say about fellow Republican Donald Trump, and shares a Republican policy agenda with Trump that would halt the progress we are making as a state. Republican Bill Bryant and the Republicans in Olympia, whom he desperately wants to hold power, have a conservative agenda that is out of step with Washington state values, such as keeping the minimum wage low, refusing to take common sense steps to reduce gun violence, and weakening Washington's landmark LGBT anti-discrimination law. Now is not the time for our state to go backwards with Republican Bill Bryant," said Inslee Communications Director Jamal Raad.

Title

Fresh Air

Media

TV :60

Date

7/13/16

Script

Facts

 

BRYANT: Sometimes you just need fresh air. Imagine if we had a governor with a fresh perspective, who made government better, not bigger. A governor who’s fiscally conservative, who believes you should be free to make your own decisions about your life. A governor who’s a conservationist.

 

 

Bryant Has Attacked Inslee For Fighting To Reduce Air Pollution

 

Bryant Said Inslee’s Focus On Capping Carbon Emissions Is Misplaced & It Should Not Be The Priority Of The Governor. In December 2015, NW News Network reported, “Bryant said the governor’s unrelenting focus on capping carbon is misplaced. ‘I think it’s a very personal agenda that he feels very strongly about,’ Bryant said. I do not think it should be the priority of the governor when we’re leaving so many kids behind.” [NW News Network, 12/09/15]

 

Bryant: Inslee’s Plans To Cap Carbon Emissions “Will Cost Us Family Wage Jobs.” Speaking at Washington State University in February 2016, Bryant said, “I do not believe that what Governor Inslee has proposed will affect climate change at all, but it will cost us family wage jobs, and if I believed that last week, I'm even more convinced of it after having talked about it with people all across this state, because his most recent proposals at the Department of Ecology that he wants to put caps, the only way that many of these companies in Washington State are going to be able to meet those caps is to reduce their production, because they're already using some of the most clean, efficient modern technology that exists.” [Bill Bryant, Washington State University Republicans Event, 2/04/16]

 

Bryant Criticized Inslee’s Proposal To Close Loopholes On Oil Companies. Speaking at Washington State University in February 2016, Bryant said, “What I said about the Governor's supplemental budget is that he proposed a lot of things like increases for teachers, and a few other projects, but he had no way to pay for it. He wanted to tax bottled water - which the voters have already rejected and the legislature wasn't going to go along with. He then got some closing the loopholes on oil companies that have already been looked at, and it's not going to generate the revenue. And if they do close them, the costs are just going to be passed on in increased heating fuel, which is going to fall hardest on the working poor and the middle class.” [Bill Bryant, Washington State University Republicans Event, 2/04/16]

 

 

BRYANT: I’m Bill Bryant and that’s the kind of governor I’ll be.  I built a successful business, operating on both sides of the mountains, helping farmers export their crops.

 

 

Bryant Built A Firm That Earned Millions From Federal Lobbying

2000: Bryant Christie Inc. Reported A Total Lobbying Income Of $360,000. [Bryant Christie Inc. Annual Lobbying, Center for Responsive Politics, 2000]

 

2001: Bryant Christie Inc. Reported A Total Lobbying Income Of $220,000. [Bryant Christie Inc. Annual Lobbying, Center for Responsive Politics, 2001]

 

2002: Bryant Christie Inc. Reported A Total Lobbying Income Of $210,000. [Bryant Christie Inc. Annual Lobbying, Center for Responsive Politics, 2002]

 

2003: Bryant Christie Inc. Reported A Total Lobbying Income Of $450,000. [Bryant Christie Inc. Annual Lobbying, Center for Responsive Politics, 2003]

 

2004: Bryant Christie Inc. Reported A Total Lobbying Income Of $513,000. [Bryant Christie Inc. Annual Lobbying, Center for Responsive Politics, 2004]

 

2005: Bryant Christie Inc. Reported A Total Lobbying Income Of $730,000. [Bryant Christie Inc. Annual Lobbying, Center for Responsive Politics, 2005]

 

2006: Bryant Christie Inc. Reported A Total Lobbying Income Of $760,000. [Bryant Christie Inc. Annual Lobbying, Center for Responsive Politics, 2006]

 

2007: Bryant Christie Inc. Reported A Total Lobbying Income Of $720,000. [Bryant Christie Inc. Annual Lobbying, Center for Responsive Politics, 2007]

 

2008: Bryant Christie Inc. Reported A Total Lobbying Income Of $140,000. [Bryant Christie Inc. Annual Lobbying, Center for Responsive Politics, 2008]

 

2009: Bryant Christie Inc. Reported A Total Lobbying Income Of $20,000. [Bryant Christie Inc. Annual Lobbying, Center for Responsive Politics, 2009]

 

2010: Bryant Christie Inc. Reported A Total Lobbying Income Of $40,000. [Bryant Christie Inc. Annual Lobbying, Center for Responsive Politics, 2010]

 

2011: Bryant Christie Inc. Reported A Total Lobbying Income Of $10,000. [Bryant Christie Inc. Annual Lobbying, Center for Responsive Politics, 2011]

 

 

BRYANT: At the Seattle Port Commission, I cut taxes and defended middle class jobs.

 

 

Bryant Fought Against Raising The Minimum Wage For Airport Workers


Bryant Opposed Raising Wages Across The Board At The Airport. In March 2014, The Seattle Times reported, “It's also clear the commissioners themselves disagree about whether wages should be raised across the board. Commissioner Bill Bryant, one of the more conservative members, said at the Feb. 11 meeting that he opposes it. ‘I will not support a one-size-fits-all solution that could undermine minority and women-owned businesses, or that could cause some people's hours or benefits to be cut, or that could reduce opportunities for folks that are already struggling,’ he said.” [The Seattle Times, 3/17/14]

 

Bryant: “I Will Not Support A One-Size-Fits-All Solution…” In March 2014, The Seattle Times reported, following the passage of Proposition 1 in SeaTac, Bryant said he opposed raising the minimum wage for airport workers to $15 an hour. “I will not support a one-size-fits-all solution that could undermine minority and women-owned businesses, or that could cause some people's hours or benefits to be cut, or that could reduce opportunities for folks that are already struggling,” he said. [The Seattle Times, 3/17/14]

 

Bryant Opposed An “Absolute $15 Minimum Wage For Workers At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.” In June 2015, the Auburn Reporter reported, “Bryant opposed an immediate, absolute $15 minimum wage for workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.” [Auburn Reporter, 6/11/15]

 

Bryant Voted To Lower The Salary Increase For Workers & Give A Massive Raise To The CEO

2010: Bryant Voted To Lower The Base Pay Increase For Port Employees. In November 2010, Bryant voted to amend the 2011 Salary and benefit resolution, covering Port employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, to decrease the proposed pay range increase to 1 percent to 3.5 percent, down from 2 percent to 3.5 percent. The measure failed on a 2-2 vote, with one commissioner absent. [Minutes, Seattle Port Commission Meeting,11/09/10]

 

2011: Bryant Voted To Give The Port’s CEO A 9 Percent Raise –To $366,825 – While Increases For Other Port Staff Was Capped At 3.5 Percent. In March 2011, The Seattle Times reported, “Port of Seattle commissioners gave CEO Tay Yoshitani a pay raise Tuesday, to a base salary of $366,825 effective this year. The commissioners voted 3-2 for what amounts to a 9 percent increase. Raises for Port staff have been capped at 3.5 percent, according to Commissioner John Creighton…Yoshitani's previous pay, including deferred compensation, was $334,300, said Charla Skaggs, a Port spokeswoman…Voting for the raise were Albro, Rob Holland and Bill Bryant. Gael Tarleton and Creighton voted against it.” [The Seattle Times, 3/02/11]

 

Bryant Even Refused To Support A Resolution Honoring Public Employees

Bryant Did Not Vote In Favor Of Motion Honoring & Supporting Public Employees.In April 2011, Bryant abstained from voting on a motion “honoring and supporting public employees.” The motion read, “The Commission honors and respects the work of all our public employees, and will continue to call on them to carry out their duties and be creative about making the Port more transparent, productive, and efficient.  The Commission reaffirms our support for workers across Washington State to organize and to bargain collectively. We oppose any attempt to restrict or eliminate collective bargaining in the State.  The Commission reaffirms our commitment to a fair and respectful process and to bargaining in good faith with our public employees.” The motion carried by a 3-0 vote, with two abstaining. [Minutes, Seattle Port Commission Meeting, 4/12/11]

 

 

BRYANT: As your governor, I’ll bring a new perspective, not a partisan one, to innovate schools, and generate middle class jobs for Washington families. 

 

 

Bryant Is The Definition Of Partisan Republican…

 

Bill Bryant Has Spent At Least $45,00 Trying To Elect To Republicans. According to CQmoneyline and the Washington State PDC, Bryant has contributed $45,175 to Republican interests - $29,450 at the Federal level and $18,280 at the state and local level. Bryant has contributed $3,000 to President George W. Bush and $1,000 to Sen. Mitch McConnell. [CQ Moneyline & Washington State PDC, accessed 5/09/15]

 

      Bryant contributed $3,000 to President George W. Bush. [CQ Moneyline, accessed 5/09/15]

      Bryant contributed $1,000 to Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY).[CQ Moneyline, accessed 5/09/15]

 

Bryant: “It Is Incredibly Important That We As Republicans Keep Control Of The Senate.” Speaking to kickoff event for Republican candidate for Senate Lynda Wilson in May 2016, Bryant said, “It is incredibly important that we as Republicans keep control of the senate.” [Bill Bryant, Lynda Wilson Kickoff Event, 5/14/16]

 

Bryant To Republicans: “From The U.S. Senate To The Governor's Mansion To The Secretary Of State To The Attorney General To The Lieutenant Governor, We Will Be Washington.” In January 2012, the Aberdeen Daily World reported, “Republicans gathered in Ocean Shores on Saturday under the rally cry of ‘12 in 2012,’ hoping to win four seats they need to get control of the state Senate and the eight needed to control the state House…‘Let us help people believe that the American dream still exists and is within their grasp, that they can reach out and have greatness and opportunity,’ Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant told the audience. ‘That is being a beacon and that will attract independent voters…We will provide that positive leadership this year and when we do we will not only carry King County but from the U.S. Senate to the governor's mansion to the secretary of state to the attorney general to the lieutenant governor, we will be Washington.’” [Aberdeen Daily World, 1/29/12]

 

…Who Won’t Even Rule Out Voting For Donald Trump


KIRO: “Bryant Won’t Say Whether He Is Endorsing Donald Trump.” On June 25, 2016, KIRO 7 reported, “Bryant won’t say whether he is endorsing Donald Trump.” [KIRO 7, 6/25/16]

 

NW News Network: “Bryant Said ‘We’ll Have To See’ Whether Trump Would Be A Good Partner For Washington State.” NW News Network reported, “In an interview with public radio Bryant said ‘we’ll have to see’ whether Trump would be a good partner for Washington state.” [NW News Network, 5/21/16] 

 

 

BRYANT: After 32 years of one party controlling the governor’s office, a fresh perspective would be healthy for Washington. It’s time.

 

 

Bryant Wants To Bring Typical Republican Positions To Washington State


Bryant: Chris Christie & Scott Walker Have “Both Been Able To Stand Up And Say This Is The Direction I Want To Take Our State. And That's The Kind Of Leadership We Need In Washington Right Now.”Appearing on John Carlson’s radio show in May 2015, asked about Chris Christie and Scott Walker, Bryant said, “I think they both provided leadership. They've both been able to stand up and say this is the direction I want to take our state. And that's the kind of leadership we need in Washington right now.” [John Carlson, KVI Radio, 5/ 18/15

 

Bryant Opposes Initiative To Raise Statewide Minimum Wage. In May 2016, The Everett Herald reported, “[Bryant’s] not embraced a proposed initiative to increase the statewide minimum to $13.50 an hour in 2020. He has repeatedly said he is ‘uncomfortable’ with an across-the-state hike because of its potential burden on businesses in areas where the cost of living is not as high as King County.” [The Everett Herald, 5/18/16]

 

Bryant Claimed The Reason Employers Were Hiring Fewer Full-Time Employees Was “Related To The Affordable Care Act.”At a Camano Island Republican Women’s Club event in March 2016, responding to an attendee’s claim that 80 percent of new jobs created were part-time minimum wage jobs because employers don’t want to hire full-time workers and pay health benefits, Bryant said, “That is largely a federal problem. It’s a federal problem. It’s related to the Affordable Care Act.” [Bill Bryant, Camano Island Republican Women’s Club, 3/29/16]

 

Bryant Said “Of Course” The Public Should Be Allowed To Own AR-15s. In January 2016, appearing on the Todd Herman Show, asked if the public should be allowed to own a AR-15, Bryant said, “Yes, of course. I support the Second Amendment.” [The Todd Herman Show, KTTH, 1/20/16]

 

Bryant Said The State Legislature’s Vote Against Overturning The Human Rights Commission Rule Was “Probably Not The Decision I Would Have Made.” In March 2016, appearing on KIRO radio, asked about the state legislature’s vote against overturning the Human Rights Commission rule protecting the right of transgender people to use the bathrooms consistent with their gender identities, Bryant said, “It’s probably not the decision I would have made, but it’s a decision that was made by a democratically elected government body. So it’s the decision.” [KIRO Radio, 3/9/16]

 

Bryant: “What’s Wrong Or Inadequate With The Federal” Voting Rights Act “That Would Require A State One?” Appearing on KIT in Yakima on April 29, 2016, asked about his thoughts on the Washington Voting Rights Act, Bryant said, “We have a federal voting rights act, and so what I'm confused about is what's wrong or inadequate with the federal one that would require a state one? Why can't we just make sure that we're implementing the federal one, and those are questions I'm asking as I get more and more into this issue.” [Bill Bryant, KIT Yakima, 4/29/16] 

 

Bryant Opposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform That Included “An Earned Legalization Program” & “Eliminated Current Family Barriers.” In May 2010, Bryant voted against adding language in a letter from the Port Commission to Congress that stated comprehensive immigration reform should, “addresses fairly and realistically the status of undocumented workers in the United States through an earned legalization program,” and “creates legal and orderly processes for workers and their immediate families to enter the United States, and eliminated current family barriers.” The measure passed by a 3-1 vote, with one commissioner abstaining. [Minutes, Seattle Port Commission Meeting, 5/11/10]

 

Bryant Attacked Gov. Inslee For Welcoming Syrian Refugees To Washington. In November 2015, Crosscut reported, “Gov. Jay Inslee, has grabbed headlines in recent days […] after forcefully stating his welcome for Syrian refugees […] Bryant has latched onto Inslee’s comments and is openly attacking him for being imprudent.” [Crosscut, 11/21/15]

 
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Inslee urges unity in the face of ‘fear and hatred’ in speech at Redmond mosque http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-urges-unity-in-the-face-of-fear-and-hatred-in-speech-at-redmond-mosque Wed, 06 Jul 2016 19:13:41 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-urges-unity-in-the-face-of-fear-and-hatred-in-speech-at-redmond-mosque Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound mosque in Redmond on Wednesday. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

Dozens of signs urging “silence please” did little to stifle the buzz from the roughly 2,000 people who crowded Wednesday into the Muslim Association of Puget Sound mosque in Redmond.

Guest speaker Gov. Jay Inslee addressed the overflow crowd on Eid al-Fitr, the ceremonial last day of Ramadan.

“I respect silence,” Inslee said. “I think there is a time and place where silence is needed. … But today is not a time for silence in Washington. Today is a time where we stand up on our two feet and say with all the virtue and strength we can summon from our hearts, that all faiths and all communities and all quarters of the state, that we intend to stand together and embrace one another and not allow fear and hatred to divide our best communities in the state of Washington.”

Inslee’s speech was preceded by Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) President Mahmood Khadeer offering his thoughts on the current political landscape, the xenophobia facing the Muslim community and the violent acts of the Islamic State group.

Khadeer, whose mosque was the target of a telephone threat last month, said the Muslim community faces unjust repercussions from acts of terrorism.

“Every time there is a terror attack, the Muslim community faces the backlash,” he said. “We have men being punched, shot and stabbed before prayers. We have protesters with guns outside mosques in Texas. We have women in hijabs being ridiculed, we have kids at school being bullied … and we have threats being made to our places of worship, including this one.”

Among those in attendance were Issaquah residents Neimeh Shalash, her husband, Mohammad Kaddoura, and their two boys, Omar and Bashir. They said anti-Islam sentiments and threats have made them more worried recently about the Seattle community where they’ve lived nearly 20 years.

“I grew up in Kentucky, but I never felt any different there,” said Shalash after the service. “For the first time in my life, I worry. I worry about my kids. I look twice when somebody looks at me, and I worry that something is going to happen.”

“Because of politics going on, with Trump, my kids are aware of it and people talk about it,” she added. “I’ve been noticing kids pick up some of the rhetoric that unfortunately is not positive against anyone that’s not like them.”

Inslee — who is running for re-election in November — was joined by Redmond Mayor John Marchione and Redmond Police Chief Kristi Wilson.

Wilson was presented with an award recognizing her force’s strong relationship and involvement in the MAPS community.

“It’s very important for us,” Khadeer said of the support for the mosque, the largest in the Puget Sound region. “I think he [Inslee] is one of the examples of sticking with the American values of liberty, freedom and equality for all religions, races and lifestyles. He’s an embodiment of that.”

Inslee’s message was in line with his statements last November, when he insisted that Washington would welcome refugees at a time when other governors around the country said they would oppose hosting Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris attacks.

From October 2014 to September 2015, 25 refugees from Syria entered Washington state. 

Nonetheless, Inslee’s remarks led to protests outside the Capitol last fall and opposition from Rep. Jay Rodne, R-Snoqualmie, who called Inslee’s opinion “utterly irresponsible.”

“The people who are building the state of Washington, many of them are here,” Inslee said Wednesday. “When we have threats from anyone, including wayward politicians or those who would do violence in our mosques, you bet I will call you and stand with you.”

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Gov. Inslee directive targets more LGBTQ inclusive workplaces for state agencies http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/gov-inslee-directive-targets-more-lgbtq-inclusive-workplaces-for-state-agencies Tue, 28 Jun 2016 13:21:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/gov-inslee-directive-targets-more-lgbtq-inclusive-workplaces-for-state-agencies Washington Governor Jay Inslee wants to recognize the LGBTQ community for more than just one month out of the year. 

So he's issued a directive to promote LGBTQ inclusion practices and policies into state government. 

In a video message, Inslee says the state's work isn't done when it comes to improving on LGBTQ community issues and policies. 

And that's why he's directing state agencies to continue to foster inclusion with this new initiative. 

Inslee: "We'll also be sharing best practices that we're already doing and spreading good ideas throughout state government. And I'm directing state agencies to develop safe places in state agencies bringing smart programs that are already working in Seattle to all the state of Washington." 

Inslee is referring to how the directive was inspired by a program started in Seattle a little over a year ago.  

Safe Places Seattle was created to address the rise in crimes against LGBTQ people, particularly on Seattle's Capitol Hill. 

The program makes it easier for victims of hate crimes to find a local business that will shelter and help them while they call 911. The businesses display a special rainbow logo in their window. 

Seattle police officer Jim Ritter is the program's liaison.

Ritter: "Well it started a conversation which hadn't been had before. Its brought a lot of public attention to the problems some of the victims from the LGBT community have in dealing with people on the street who may assault or harass them because of their sexual identity or perceived sexual identity." 

Ritter said the program has helped increase the reporting of these types of crimes in the community. 

The state's version would start by creating an employee focus group that would develop more inclusive workplaces. 

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Inslee visits US House floor during gun debate sit-in http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-visits-us-house-floor-during-gun-debate-sit-in Thu, 23 Jun 2016 11:40:19 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-visits-us-house-floor-during-gun-debate-sit-in Governor Inslee is on the House floor in support of the sit-in over gun violence. Twitter photo / June 22, 2016

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Gov. Jay Inslee was on the U.S. House floor as Democrats staged a sit-in to try and force a vote in that chamber on gun control measures.

Inslee tweeted a picture of himself standing on the House floor Wednesday, writing he was there "to thank House Democrats for standing against gun violence."

He had been in Miami and Washington, D.C. for campaign-related events. His spokeswoman said that he was heading back to Washington state in the evening.

Nearly 100 Democrats led by Georgia Rep. John Lewis demanded a vote on measures to expand background checks and block gun purchases by some suspected terrorists in the aftermath of last week's massacre in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people in a gay nightclub.

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Inslee: Congress must act now on oil trains http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-congress-must-act-now-on-oil-trains Fri, 17 Jun 2016 12:54:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-congress-must-act-now-on-oil-trains The recent derailment of a crude oil train in Oregon along the scenic Columbia River Gorge brought the sobering reality of oil train threats to our shared waterfront. While this derailment was not the worst-case scenario for which we have been preparing, it was too close for comfort.

The increase in Canadian and domestic oil production has led to a dramatic, rapid increase in oil transport by rail through Washington state. In the past few years, we have seen oil train derailments in 10 states and three Canadian provinces. Some have resulted in explosions and fires, others in evacuations of entire communities.

Our state has been taking action on oil train safety since the 2013 explosion in Lac-M?gantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people, destroyed the town’s center and spilled 1.6 million gallons of oil.

Last year, we passed legislation to increase track and hazardous-materials inspections, require oil spill-contingency plans, increase funding for prevention and cleanup of oil spills, require railroads to notify local officials when oil trains are moving through their areas, and improve safety at crossings along oil train routes.

But states are limited in what we can do. Railroads engage in interstate commerce, which means the buck stops with the federal government. While federal regulators acknowledge the risks of crude-by-rail, they have taken few steps toward increasing safety. The combination of federal pre-emption and federal inaction is unacceptable. It is time — once and for all — to address the risks posed by oil trains.

To protect the natural, cultural and recreational resources of the Columbia River Gorge, and all communities across Washington and our country, we must urge Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation to implement the strongest possible measures that will ensure the safe transportation of Bakken crude:

• The USDOT and shippers must speed up the transition to safer cars. Crude oil, particularly Bakken crude, is volatile. Many current tank cars are not strong enough to protect volatile contents from the heat of a fire or the impact of a collision. Yet USDOT has allowed tank car manufacturers a decade to retire existing fleets and introduce a new tank car design. We can cut that timeline in half.

• Federal authorities must establish lower speed limits. Currently, for “high-hazard flammable trains,” that’s 50 mph. While some railroads voluntarily limit speeds to 35 mph for oil trains in large cities, no such commitments extend to rural areas or communities the size of Mosier, Ore., the site of the latest derailment.

• Federal authorities must ensure that electronic braking requirements outlined in USDOT’s recent tank car rule remain in effect despite litigation and the pending cost-benefit analysis required by Congress.

• States need assurance that the costs of these disasters are not borne by our communities. The railroads continue to seek liability caps to shield themselves from these costs.

• The federal government must restrict the use of railroad tracks for storage of volatile materials. At times, thousands of tank cars loaded with crude oil are used for storage, sitting unattended for months on unused track. Residents of Snohomish County recently told state regulators they had serious safety concerns regarding unattended oil cars sitting within 1,200 feet of an elementary school.

• USDOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration needs to finalize rules that expand and strengthen requirements for railroad oil spill response plans.

While we wait for federal regulators, Congress can take action. I applaud Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., for being an outspoken champion of increased oil train safety. She has put forth a proposal Congress could act on now that would significantly bolster oil train safety and accountability.

Our federal partners need to demonstrate they understand that while oil train commerce is interstate, the health, safety, and environmental consequences are local.

The concerns of the people who live and work near oil train routes can no longer be brushed aside, and the safety policies needed to protect them can no longer be postponed.

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School-mapping program no longer on chopping block after Gov. Inslee intervenes http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/school-mapping-program-no-longer-on-chopping-block-after-gov-inslee-intervenes Fri, 17 Jun 2016 12:49:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/school-mapping-program-no-longer-on-chopping-block-after-gov-inslee-intervenes State officials have found a way to save a school-mapping program designed to help first responders during emergencies such as school shootings.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee tapped $500,000 from an emergency fund to continue the Critical Incident Planning and Mapping System, a software program that contains maps and emergency plans for the state’s K-12 schools and community colleges.

The mapping program, which would have been suspended July 1 due to a lack of funding, now will continue through next year, when the state Legislature reconvenes and can find permanent funding for it, officials said.

The software program contains maps, blueprints, building photos and emergency plans for roughly 2,400 public facilities throughout the state, including all of the state’s K-12 schools and community colleges.

According to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, the system has helped police and fire agencies safely evacuate a Vancouver high school during a bomb threat, initiate a lockdown when someone threatened to shoot people inside a Thurston County courthouse, and plan evacuation routes when a warehouse fire threatened chemical storage tanks.

The program was on the verge of being shut down after the Legislature didn’t provide more money this year to make up for lower-than-expected traffic ticket revenues. The mapping program, which the sheriffs group administers, has been funded through traffic ticket surcharges for the past few years.

Lawmakers said they weren’t aware that failing to add money would result in the program being cut at the start of the new fiscal year.

State Sen. Andy Hill, the chief budget writer in the state Senate, said Tuesday he was pleased Inslee stepped in to keep the program alive.

Hill, R-Redmond, said these kinds of situations are why the Legislature created a $1.7 million emergency fund for the governor’s office in the first place.

“Since we (lawmakers) only meet for a few months a year, it’s good to have a little money for discretion,” Hill said.

“It’s not a lot of money, but it’s to kind of handle these unforeseen things where we may not have seen something coming, or something comes up.”

The CEO of Prepared Response, the Tacoma-based company that runs the mapping program, issued a statement Tuesday thanking Hill and Inslee for their work to make sure the program doesn’t lapse.

“There is no ‘on’ or ‘off’ switch for emergencies so there should be no ‘on’ or ‘off’ switch for emergency preparedness,” Tobey Bryant said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Inslee’s office said last week that the governor didn’t have the power to save the program.

But officials reviewed what funds they had available and decided that they could legally offer the money if they routed it through the state’s Criminal Justice Training Commission, rather giving it directly to the vendor or the association of sheriffs and police chiefs, said David Schumacher, the governor’s budget director.

Money from the governor’s $1.7 million emergency fund can only go to state agencies, Schumacher said.

Schumacher said Inslee decided to intervene to save the program at the urging of lawmakers from both political parties.

“Once we figured out it was within our ability to solve the problem, then we went forward,” Schumacher said. 

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Pride Flag Raised, Then Lowered To Half-Staff At Washington Capitol http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/pride-flag-raised-then-lowered-to-half-staff-at-washington-capitol Thu, 16 Jun 2016 11:28:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/pride-flag-raised-then-lowered-to-half-staff-at-washington-capitol Members of Olympia’s LGBT community hold up letters spelling ORLANDO at a flag raising event at the Capitol. Governor Jay Inslee raised the pride flag and then lowered it to half-staff in honor of the victims of last weekend’s mass shooting.

The rainbow pride flag was raised over the Washington state Capitol  Wednesday. It was then immediately lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims of last weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando. 

They gathered on the steps of the state Capitol. Members of Olympia’s LGBT community. State employees. And others. At the base of the steps a small group held up rainbow painted wooden letters that read: ORLANDO.

“Normally we use our letters to spell out OLYPRIDE, as you can see from our banner, but we felt that we wanted to send a message of solidarity to Orlando,” said Anna Schlecht.

Schlecht is the president of Capital City Pride whose annual festival begins Friday. She says this year’s gathering will be different.

“I think that we’re going to have people who are sobbing, crying, people who are laughing and dancing and everything in between,” said Schlecht.

Then it was it time to raise the flag. Governor Jay Inslee led the effort.

“So we’re raising the pride flag in the state of Washington both out of conviction and compassion,” said Inslee.

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Inslee v. Bryant on raising the statewide minimum wage http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-v-bryant-on-raising-the-statewide-minimum-wage Thu, 09 Jun 2016 16:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-v-bryant-on-raising-the-statewide-minimum-wage SEATTLE -- Should Washington raise the statewide minimum wage? It’s an initiative that looks to be headed for the November ballot, but has divided Gov. Jay Inslee and his Republican challenger Bill Bryant.

In a show of support and campaign photo-op for I-1433, the Governor helped gather signatures in downtown Seattle on Thursday afternoon.

“Our minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation or rent or the economy. We need to increase it,” Gov. Inslee told reporters.

I-1433 would raise the minimum wage to $13.50 over four years, as well as provide paid sick leave to employees currently without it. Currently, Washington’s minimum wage is $9.47, according to the State Department of Labor and Industries. 

“I like what we're trying to do, but I'm not sure this one size fits all approach by initiative is really how we should get there,” said Bill Bryant, Inslee’s Republican challenger.

Bryant, a former Port of Seattle Commissioner, voted in favor of a phased minimum wage increase at Sea-Tac in 2013. However, he says what may work for Sea-Tac or Seattle, home of $15 minimum wage, may not work for cities elsewhere across the state.

“What I'm hearing from those (small business) owners is that 'if you raise this minimum wage too quickly, too high, I'm going to have to lay off a few people, and I'll start covering their shifts, and then when my lease runs out, I'll decide whether I even want to keep in business or not.' We don't want that,” Bryant said.

“There’s a state beyond Seattle and King County,” he continued. “What works here might not work in Longview,  Pasco and Cusick."

Inslee, meanwhile, argues a boost in pay for more employees will in turn stimulate the economy.

“One thing we know about businesses, they have to have a customer if they want to sell their products. We need to give people money in their pockets so they can be customers,” he said.

“I will stand rock solid and say this… you need $13.50 an hour to live if you’re working 40 hours a week, if you’re living anywhere in the state of Washington, and I’m confident of that assertion,” the Governor continued.

Bryant, on the other hand, believes the next Governor’s administration should work with the legislature to come up with a plan that takes into account different regions and their respective economies.

“In an attempt to help some, let’s not make it worse on others,” Bryant.

Inslee said the legislature, with split chambers, hasn’t acted, so the people should.

“The Senate is in the control of a group that really has not been helpful for working people in raising their minimum wage, so the people are going to act here. I’m confident they will.”

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Coding for the future: Gov. Inslee leads computer education effort http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/coding-for-the-future Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/coding-for-the-future Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is leading a national effort to teach tech skills to the next generation of students.

But making computer science an integral part of basic education starts with having the right teachers. Governor Inslee promised to make that one of his top priorities in the coming year, during a meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, DC.

"Not all teachers grew up in this particular age of coding," Inslee said. "We are 7,000 teachers short in my state and when we work to decrease the teacher shortage this is going to be an important part of that."

Inslee has announced that he will be leading a coalition of government and business groups, encouraging all states to create and implement a computer science curriculum.

President Barack Obama is asking congress for $4.1 billion to support computer science in all K-12 classrooms.

In addition to filling jobs and creating a highly skilled workforce, Inslee said having a generation that is proficient in new technology is imperative for our safety.

"I was at Google in Kirkland the other day, and they're rolling out their autonomous vehicles. When we're in autonomous vehicles, we want to make sure people know how to code when they develop those cars," Inslee said with a laugh.

But, Margo Day, Vice President of Education at Microsoft, said computer science is about more than just coding. It teaches children teamwork and problem-solving skills.

"Thinking about how to code, to solve problems, lights up their creativity," said Day.

Although 90 percent of parents surveyed say they want computer science taught in the classroom, only about 25 percent of public schools currently offer this type of instruction.

Megan Smith, the U.S. Chief Technology Director, noted that computer science jobs aren't only found at Microsoft and Google. They're in every state and in every industry.

"The 600,000 jobs that are open in the United States right now are in every sector," Smith said. "They're in retail. They're in agriculture. They're in manufacturing."

The governors joining the Partnership for K-12 Computer Science have three main objectives:

• Enable all high schools to offer at least one rigorous computer science course.
• Fund training for educators, who in turn can teach tech courses.
• Create a set of high-quality academic K-12 computer science standards.

Governor Inslee said it will also be important that states share information with each other and with industry experts.

"We've signed a $2 million program to scale up our computer science programs just last year and start the process of creating a real curriculum for schools across the state," Inslee said. "And, it's happened because we've had very vigorous public-private partnerships."

Code.org is also a driving force behind this effort. They will be providing the interstate partnership with resources as the states work to create computer science programs. They will also be working to facilitate collaboration among lawmakers from different states.

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Inslee wants new agency with focus on children, families http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-wants-new-agency-for-vulnerable-children Thu, 18 Feb 2016 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-wants-new-agency-for-vulnerable-children Gov. Jay Inslee wants to create a new state agency to deliver services to vulnerable children and families, and he signed an executive order Thursday to start the process.

Surrounded by children, Inslee signed the order creating the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Delivery of Services to Children and Families. The commission must, by Nov. 1, send the Legislature recommendations for the structure, cost estimates and outline of how a new agency could work effectively.

 

“Our goals are clear,” he said. “We need greater accountability, we need greater visibility of children’s issues, we need fewer barriers to improve service, and we need a direct line to me as governor on how we’re going to make our children safer, healthier, more secure and more connected to their communities.”

The services Inslee wants the new agency to handle currently fall under the responsibilities of the Department of Social and Health Services. But Inslee said it was important to have an agency that focuses directly on children services.

He cited other states like New Jersey, Tennessee and Indiana that have created departments for children.

Inslee said the idea to break off this section from DSHS is not a sign of a lack of confidence in the agency.

“When you have a department that is focused on this, you bring attention, you bring resources, you bring coordination, you bring services,” he said.

State Rep. Ruth Kagi, chairwoman of the House Early Learning & Human Services Committee, noted that the idea of a separate department has been discussed in the Legislature for many years, and that previously she had been opposed to the idea.

But she said the progress of the Department of Early Learning, which was created in 2007, changed her mind.

She said a new agency would broaden that experience “so we’re not just looking at early-learning opportunities; we’re trying to connect those children and families to the other systems they’re already involved with.”

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Inslee tackles big issues in DC http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-tackles-big-issues-in-dc Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-tackles-big-issues-in-dc Governor Jay Inslee is wrapping up a trip to the nation’s capitol.

He joined other governors from around the country for the annual “Governor’s Association” meeting.

Governor Inslee used the meeting to point out some of our state’s accomplishments.
“I’m proud to say that there is one state that enjoyed tuition reductions for all of our college students. And community college students as well in the state of Washington.”
Inslee and the other democratic governors tackled a number of big issues, including the economy and education.

They also met with President Obama at the White House, where he urged them to take steps to protect voting rights.

 

- See more at: http://kgmi.com/news/007700-inslee-tackles-big-issues-in-dc/#sthash.qY8KYvOI.dpuf

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Gov. Inslee announces new plan to address Alzheimer's http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-announces-new-plan-to-address-alzheimers Tue, 16 Feb 2016 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-announces-new-plan-to-address-alzheimers Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the third Washington.

There's over 300,000 caregivers in our state alone lending a hand to those affected.

Governor Jay Inlsee has a plan that will now extend a hand out to them

Irma and Evelinda Mendez have always leaned on each other. That's why they sit together so they lean on each other now.

Their now 90-year-old mother Matiana Cantu was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease about seven years ago, and her digression hits heart strings with two.

"She did not recognize me or my sisters. She did not tell me 'Oh my daughters here to see me'. She hasn't said that for a very long time," said Cantu's daughter Evelinda Mendez.

Even though the pair and their other siblings' faith for Matiana has been unwavering, it's been a bumpy ride.

"This mom that raised you and helped you with your children and was there for the grandchildren and now has no clue who you are. It's really hard," said other daughter Irma Mendez.

It's also been hard on the wallet.

"All of us want to be together but we can't. It's a big strain on the family," adds Irma Mendez.

It's this strain our governor Jay Inslee is trying to ease because it's tension more and more in our area will face.

The Alzheimer Association reports that while death by other diseases like hear disease has decreased 14 percent over the last 15 year, deaths from this disease has increased by 71 percent.

Because more are being diagnosed, more time is being taken.

In 2014, friends and family of people with Alzheimer's provided about 18 million hours of unpaid care around the nation. And while time is priceless, emotions have a tag.

"It's heavy on my heart," said Irma Mendez.

Governor Inslee's plan has specific goals and strategies to help caregivers dealing with those affected with the disease.

"The plan is to give people that need resources in the area to be able to find them and to bring to light and educate people of the resources we're going to need moving forward," said Sue Johnston of JEA Senior Living.

Moving forward, just like Irma, Evelinda and Matiana.

The Alzheimer association reports in ten years, the number of people aged 65 and older with the disease will increase to seven million- a 40-percent increase.

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Inslee asks state agency to reduce income inequality http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-asks-state-agency-to-reduce-income-inequality Wed, 13 Jan 2016 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-asks-state-agency-to-reduce-income-inequality Gov. Jay Inslee says Washington must reduce the gap between the pay of an average employee and the salaries of corporate executives, and he has called on the State Investment Board to help accomplish that goal.

One of the main responsibilities of the board, a state agency not often a point of contention between lawmakers, is to invest and manage the retirement money of public employers and employees such as teachers, police officers and judges. The board manages $103.4 billion in assets right now, according to its website.

As a shareholder in companies, the board can vote against the salary of an executive if it's out of line with how well the company performs financially, said State Treasurer Jim McIntire, a Democrat and one of 10 voting members of the board.

But Inslee, in his State of the State speech Tuesday, asked the board to go further and use its voting power to "reduce the widening pay gap between CEOs and their workers."

McIntire said Wednesday he believes stagnant wages of average employees are a "significant problem in the U.S. economy," but he said the board only considers voting against the salaries of corporate executives if it would negatively affect its investments. The board votes against an estimated 17 percent of "compensation proposals" for CEOs, he said.

The board probably won't review its policies and voting guidelines based on Inslee's speech, McIntire said. "It's a public comment, and we always take into consideration the public comment we get," he added.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, was quick to oppose Inslee's suggestion in a news conference Tuesday. He said it was the first time he had seen a governor politicize the State Investment Board.

"Now the work of the State Investment board is not exciting, but it's very critical," he said. "We have always worked hard to keep politics out of investing, so that they do the best job for the trustees."

The investment board has previously acted with politics in mind. It had policies of not making direct investments in Iran, Sudan or in companies with business in those countries, according to 2012 resolutions. The resolution regarding Iran said that if the board was already involved with a company doing business in Iran, it would urge the company to "suspend or curtail" its operations there. The resolution regarding Sudan noted the deadly conflict in Sudan's Darfur region.

Rep. Timm Ormsby, D-Spokane, is one of two lawmakers who vote on the investment board. He echoed McIntire's statements about the board makings decisions based solely on financial impact to investments. But said he appreciated that Inslee is paying attention to the gap between salaries of CEOs and their employees.

In August 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission set new rules that require public companies to disclose the ratio of the salary and benefits of their CEOs to the median compensation of the rest of their employees. McIntire said the board will be using data from the rules to inform its investing.

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Inslee calls for strengthening background checks of gun buyers http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-calls-for-strengthening-background-checks Tue, 12 Jan 2016 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-calls-for-strengthening-background-checks Determined to lessen the toll of gun violence, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday the state will seek to strengthen background checks by improving information sharing among agencies and reduce suicides by implementing a statewide prevention plan.

“While Congress has failed for years to make progress on reducing gun violence, we are not afraid to take action in Washington state,” Inslee said at a Burien news conference, where he was joined by public-health and law-enforcement representatives.

Inslee issued an executive order that directs state and local agencies and the University of Washington to gather and review data on firearm deaths and injuries — and to recommend strategies to reduce those numbers.

To strengthen the background-check law approved by voters in 2014, Inslee directed the state Office of Financial Management to analyze how information is shared among state agencies, courts, local jurisdictions, law enforcement and other entities to make improvements to the system.

A year ago, Washington voters passed Initiative 594, which expanded gun-purchase background checks to include private sales and transfers. The initiative received nearly 60 percent of voter approval statewide. In the 2015 legislative session, most other proposals from I-594 backers went nowhere.

The governor also directed the state Attorney General’s Office to analyze enforcement practices to better hold accountable those trying to buy a gun illegally. He said 5,000 background checks were run since the new law took effect in 2015, but it’s not clear if anyone who attempted to purchase a gun illegally was prosecuted.

Inslee’s announcement comes a day after President Obama, frustrated at Congress’ refusal to pass tougher gun restrictions, came out with plans for expanded background checks and other modest measures.

Between 2012 and 2014, according to Inslee’s office, an average 665 people per year died in Washington state from firearm injuries, compared with 497 from automobile accidents. About 80 percent of the firearms deaths were suicides, the governor said, adding that the statewide plan would focus on those at highest risk.

Inslee said government has taken a public-health approach in the effort to reduce motor-vehicle deaths and injuries, including seat-belt and tougher DUI laws as well as safer vehicle designs.

He said his initiatives on gun violence and suicide take that same approach.

Those strategies also draw on a similar initiative under way in King County for a number of years. For example, local hospitals, law enforcement, medical examiners and researchers share data on gun-related injuries and fatalities to better identify the risks and needs in the community.

The county also has run a firearm safe-storage program for several years with the support of local gun retailers and law enforcement. Led by Public Health — Seattle & King County, the program received a $30,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for billboard and bus advertisements urging gun owners to lock up their weapons.

But with suicides accounting for the majority of gun deaths in Washington, some criticized Inslee for linking the national gun-control debate with suicide prevention.

Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation based in Bellevue, said he and the gun industry have been working for the past year with suicide-prevention advocates on strategies including safe storage and keeping guns away from criminals and people with mental illness.

“When he (Inslee) starts mandating through executive action gun-control measures, he’s going to sabotage all the efforts of the past year to lower suicide rates,” Gottlieb said.

Joining Inslee at the news conference was Jennifer Stuber, an associate professor at the UW School of Social Work whose husband killed himself with a gun in 2011. She said focusing on suicide prevention avoids the divisive debate over gun control.

“Nobody wants guns to be misused in suicide, homicide or mass murder. We need to work harder to find the common ground and not do things that are destructive to collaboration,” she said.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart called Inslee’s approach “measured and comprehensive.”

He said the issue of gun violence is too often reduced to bumper-sticker slogans and bullies on either side of the debate yelling at each other.

“Both sides believe in the Constitution. Both believe gun violence has to be reduced in this country because it is too high. We need to shame both sides into sitting down and talking or we’ll continue as we have for years and years,” Urquhart said. “That is unacceptable to me as a police officer and as a citizen of King County and the United States.”

As the federal government and many states have declined to enact gun-violence-prevention measures, some cities have taken action on their own. In August, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a tax on firearms and ammunition, with the funds to be used for research and prevention.

The Seattle tax of $25 per gun and 2 or 5 cents per round of ammunition took effect Jan. 1. A King County Superior Court judge last month dismissed an NRA lawsuit that sought to block the tax.

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Inslee signs $5.1B transportation bill, touts Cheney rail project http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-signs-transportation-bill-touts-cheney-rail-project Fri, 12 Jun 2015 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-signs-transportation-bill-touts-cheney-rail-project Washington Gov. Jay Inslee visited an old cow pasture near Four Lakes on Thursday to sign the state’s $5.1 billion transportation budget for the next two years.

The budget calls for spending $2.3 million to upgrade a section of aging rail between Cheney and Geiger Junction to serve a new $30 million grain loading facility under construction along Craig Road.

Inslee said the project is creating jobs and ensuring that grain shipments from the Upper Columbia Basin can continue to move by rail rather than on state highways.

Like other elements of the transportation budget, the grain facility is part of the state’s effort to build the economy, he said.

“It reminds me of how integral rail transit is,” Inslee told a gathering at the construction site.

HighLine Grain LLC, a consortium of five grain cooperatives across the Upper Columbia Basin, is building the facility to assemble 110-car trains for shipment on BNSF Railway main lines.

The cooperatives are making the investment to preserve their favorable bulk rates at a time when the BNSF line is increasingly relying on trains for grain, oil and coal.

Shipping by rail uses less energy and reduces wear and tear on state highways. In addition, it leaves highways less congested, Inslee said.

He said a single train ships the equivalent of 280 truck loads.

“They are green machines,” Inslee said of the grain trains.

In addition to the $2.3 million in track repair approved for the coming biennium, the budget calls for the state to spend a total of $7.4 million over the coming decade to bring the spur line up to Class 2 rail standards.

Elsewhere, the state budget provides $8.7 million for a West Plains Transit Center and $2.2 million for a Central City Line for public transit. Both of those projects were part of a failed ballot measure in April. Spokane Transit Authority is revising the plan and may send it back to voters for another try.

On the state highway side, the budget calls for spending $4.4 million to repave Division and Ruby streets from Interstate 90 to Euclid Avenue, among other regional highway maintenance projects.

During Thursday’s budget signing, Kevin Whitehall, the CEO of HighLine, gave Inslee a gift – a small section of original rail with a date stamp of 1889, the year the track was laid and Washington became a state.

In 2004, the state purchased 108 miles of historic rail serving Medical Lake, Reardan, Davenport, Creston, Wilbur, Almira, Hartline and Coulee City to preserve rail connections on the Palouse River & Coulee City Railroad. Companion lines run south of Cheney.

In January, a slow-moving freight train derailed at a curve just north of Cheney-Spokane Road in Cheney, sending cars off the rails and blocking the crossing.

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Inslee uses Puyallup bridge visit to highlight state infrastructure needs http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-uses-puyallup-bridge-visit-to-highlight-state-infrastructure-needs Wed, 27 May 2015 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-uses-puyallup-bridge-visit-to-highlight-state-infrastructure-needs Gov. Jay Inslee got a glimpse of the state Route 167 Puyallup River Bridge replacement project Wednesday and delivered a clear, familiar message: It’s time to fix the state’s aging infrastructure.

Following a tour of the construction site for the state Department of Transportation project, Inslee said the Legislature needs to pass a transportation-improvement package to fund repairs of severely outdated bridges like the historic structure in Pierce County’s third-largest city.

“We’ve got a lot of old bridges to be put out to pasture,” he said.

The governor and other state and local officials also used Wednesday’s tour to highlight the need for extending SR 167, a long-awaited effort to finish the highway through the Port of Tacoma.

“The Washington economy struggles when there are roads to nowhere and people stuck in congestion,” said Puyallup City Manager Kevin Yamamoto. “We need that done, and we need that done this go-around.”

Ahead of Inslee’s appearance, lawmakers approved a compromise $7.6 billion transportation budget that will keep state ferries moving, the State Patrol on the road and continue road- and bridge-repair projects into the next fiscal year.

But a transportation package for new projects won’t be voted on before the special session ends Thursday, despite proposals by both the House and the Senate.

The $31.2 million replacement project in Puyallup is scheduled for completion this fall.

The bridge carries an average of about 18,000 vehicles daily, 10 percent of which are trucks, said DOT spokeswoman Claudia Bingham Baker. It is the main link between North Meridian, River Road and SR 167.

The old steel-truss bridge was built in 1925 and is classified as functionally obsolete and structurally deficient, meaning its design is outdated and it is below the state's desired rating for replacement of some or all of the structure. It is also deemed fracture-critical, meaning a major structural failure could cause the entire span to collapse.

The bridge, which carries a sufficiency rating of 2 out of 100, will be replaced with steel-plate girder structure with a concrete deck. No new lanes are planned, but future expansion is possible if funds become available.

The bridge will have wider lanes and shoulders, as well as an 8-foot sidewalk for safer bicycle and pedestrian access.

At the project’s completion, northbound traffic will be permanently rerouted to the new structure, and southbound traffic will use the existing concrete bridge, which runs parallel and currently carries vehicles south.

During construction, road closures mostly have been avoided. One weekend closure is planned for August, once the new structure opens to traffic in early July, so crews can move the old span off the job site.

The old bridge will be temporarily stored in nearby forest area. Bingham Baker said the hope is to repurpose it, but an agency has yet to step forward to coordinate and pay for that.

“It’s going to be expensive to rehabilitate and reuse,” she said.

Project planning started in spring 2013, well before the collapse of the Interstate 5 Skagit River bridge near Mount Vernon heightened awareness of low-rated bridges statewide.

The state secured federal funding for the Puyallup project after a 2011 inspection revealed diminished conditions on the already low-rated structure. The state threshold for priority replacement is a rating of 50 or lower.

Prior to that, heavy truck traffic was already limited.

Those restrictions will be lifted upon completion of the new bridge, Bingham Baker said.

Inslee said he admires the creativity of Atkinson Construction and others on the Puyallup project, and even quipped about workers’ expertise at moving the old span.

“They’re so good at moving that bridge I might hire them to move the Legislature,” he said, laughing. 

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Gov. Inslee donating raise to school fundraising site http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/gov-inslee-donating-raise-to-school-fundraising-site Tue, 19 May 2015 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/gov-inslee-donating-raise-to-school-fundraising-site OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Gov. Jay Inslee says that he’s donating his pay raise to a fundraising site that helps with school expenses.

Inslee said Friday that he’s already given money to programs at three Washington schools through DonorsChoose.org, a website that lets donors give money directly to classroom projects at specific schools.

Last week, a state salary-setting board voted Wednesday to give Washington lawmakers a raise along with the governor and several other state officials...

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Inslee signs tougher oil-train law, calls on feds to act http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-signs-tougher-oil-train-law-calls-on-feds-to-act Thu, 14 May 2015 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/inslee-signs-tougher-oil-train-law-calls-on-feds-to-act OLYMPIA — Washington will hire more rail inspectors and let fire departments know ahead of time when train shipments of crude oil are coming though town under a new law signed Thursday.

It also calls for more training of emergency responders, new analyses of risks posed by shipping oil on the Columbia River and additional contingency plans from railroads in the event of a spill.

But while those changes mark progress in making the transport of oil safer in Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee said the federal government must do more to prevent catastrophic accidents involving oil trains, like those seen in the past few years.

Federal authorities must require immediate replacement of older-model tank cars used to transport crude from the Bakken region of North Dakota, the governor said. And it must act to lower the speeds trains can travel through Washington.

“I have to be honest with people that while this (new law) is a step forward, we still have an unsafe situation in our state. It demands federal action,” Inslee said after signing House Bill 1449. “These trains are a mile long, with very volatile material, they’re rolling though our neighborhood and they are not safe today.”

The impetus for the new law is an explosive increase in oil shipments by train.

As recently as 2011, no oil trains traveled through Snohomish County or the rest of the state. Oil arrived only in pipelines and by marine tanker. In 2013, 700 million gallons moved on rails through the state, Inslee said.

That’s a result of the shale-oil boom in North Dakota. Washington attracts so many shipments because it is the fifth-largest refining state in the U.S.

In a typical week, a dozen trains each carrying at least 1 million gallons of Bakken crude travel through Snohomish County to refineries in Skagit and Whatcom counties.

spate of fiery and deadly oil train accidents the past two years has fueled lawmaker concerns about the ability of railroads to safely transport the material and the capability of communities to respond to an incident.

State lawmakers couldn’t pass a bill in 2014 but did pay for an exhaustive review of the safety of oil transportation in Washington.

That study, completed in March, concluded that the state isn’t prepared for a major accident. It made 43 recommendations, and several are embodied in the new law.

One is a requirement for refineries to give the state Department of Ecology seven-day advance notice of planned oil deliveries by rail. Those notices must include the day as well as the amount and type of oil to be shipped.

The state intends to pass the information to fire departments and other emergency responders so they can be prepared for a derailment, spill or other type of accident.

The notice requirement is separate from a federal one for BNSF Railway and other firms to disclose the number of trains carrying Bakken crude that will travel through the state each week.

The new state law enables the Utilities and Transportation Commission to hire eight additional inspectors and empowers them to conduct hazardous materials inspections on private property.

Another change is that railroads will now have to submit documents showing they can pay to clean up a bad oil spill. And the state will begin collecting a barrel tax on shipments of oil by train in addition to marine tankers.

“While there is more work to be done, we have made progress today,” Inslee said.

The issue is getting attention in Washington, D.C.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation ordered a phase-out of older model tankers known as DOT-111, which have been shown to be at high risk of puncture and fire in derailments. Other changes would force oil shippers to slow down trains in urban areas and use better braking systems.

Federal lawmakers are pushing for faster action.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., introduced a bill in March to immediately stop the use of DOT-111 tank cars and replace them with newer models built with thicker shells, thermal protection, pressure-relief valves and other measures to lessen the chances of an explosion.

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Gov. Inslee signs health care information sharing measure http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/gov-inslee-signs-health-care-information-sharing-measure Thu, 14 May 2015 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/gov-inslee-signs-health-care-information-sharing-measure OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill that will give consumers, employers, doctors and others more information about the cost and quality of health care providers and services.

The governor has been working on this idea for a health care claims database for two years.

The measure, House Bill 5084, will allow consumers to compare the costs of procedures and medical providers. Twenty other states have similar databases.

Inslee says better information will lead to better health care.

The Legislature passed a related bill in 2014 to create a more limited database that did not require every insurance company to submit their claims information.

The governor’s office worked with insurance companies, doctors and policy makers to address their privacy concerns and come up with the idea behind this new measure.

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Gov. Jay Inslee, thousands of teachers rally at Capitol http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/gov-jay-inslee-thousands-of-teachers-rally-at-capitol Sat, 25 Apr 2015 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/gov-jay-inslee-thousands-of-teachers-rally-at-capitol OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Thousands of teachers and their supporters crowded the steps of the Washington state Capitol’s legislative building for a rally Saturday morning to call for teacher pay raises, smaller class sizes and less standardized testing.

More than 4,000 people attended the hour-long rally. Gov. Jay Inslee, House Speaker Frank Chopp and other politicians spoke about their efforts to improve Washington’s public education system, which Inslee called “the paramount duty of the state of Washington” in a speech that invoked his father’s career as a teacher. He decried the six-year period since teachers received a cost of living adjustment, or COLA, to raise their pay, and he cited a 12:30 a.m. email from his grandson’s kindergarten teacher as evidence of how hard teachers work...

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Governor signs bill to boost mapping of geologic hazards http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/governor-signs-bill-to-boost-mapping-of-geologic-hazards Sat, 18 Apr 2015 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/governor-signs-bill-to-boost-mapping-of-geologic-hazards OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill that will allow Washington to have more information than ever about geologic hazards that threaten communities and citizens.

Senate Bill 5088 requires an expansion of LiDAR mapping of geologic hazards and a thorough dissemination of that information. It’s the first major public policy initiative created in response to the Oso landslide.

The bill, requested by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, passed on a 97-0 vote in the House earlier this month. The Senate approved the measure 48-0 in February.

Inslee said the Oso tragedy highlighted the need for the bill.

Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said the bill will help save lives and property from disasters similar to what happened in Oso.

“We live in an age in which we have unprecedented access to technologies that can tell us more than we ever imagined about the natural forces that shape our world,” Goldmark said. “Using the best technology available to identify these dangers before they cause major harm and destruction is smart government and the right thing to do for the people of Washington.”

DNR, home of the Washington Geological Survey, is responsible for surveying and mapping the state’s geologic hazards. Expanding the database of LiDAR maps of hazards was one of the agency’s top priorities during the legislative session.

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) uses lasers mounted on aircraft to scope topography by measuring reflected light. Those light beams penetrate forest canopy, ground cover and human development to allow mappers and scientists to see the topography of landforms below with pinpoint accuracy.

Lawmakers must make a budget appropriation in order for DNR to implement the program in a meaningful way, Goldmark said.

The program is estimated to cost $6.6 million. DNR would use that funding to hire 10 geologists and four employees to provide technical support.


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Governor, Tri-Citians celebrate Port of Kennewick’s 100 years http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/governor-tri-citians-celebrate-port-of-kennewicks-100-years Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.jayinslee.com/news/articles/governor-tri-citians-celebrate-port-of-kennewicks-100-years About 200 Tri-Citians and Gov. Jay Inslee raised glasses of champagne and cider Tuesday to celebrate the Port of Kennewick’s 100th birthday.

While Tri-City leaders highlighted parts of the port’s past, they also emphasized the importance of current port projects to the region’s future.

“It is my hope that the work we are doing now will leave a solid foundation for prosperity to come,” said port Commission President Don Barnes.

So many people packed into the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center that some had to stand in the entryway and couldn’t make it into the conference room for the event.

The Port of Kennewick was created March 6, 1915, when 282 out of 379 voters cast their ballots in favor of creating a 5-square-mile port district that included all of the city and a mile in each direction. The port is the state’s fifth-oldest and the first in Eastern Washington.

In 1915, Seattle had about 240,000 residents, near today’s population of the Tri-Cities, Barnes said. Kennewick had about 500.

The early mission focused on river-based transportation, but that has evolved into a multifaceted economic development mission, he said.

Like the mission, the port’s boundaries also expanded to cover 485 square miles in eastern Benton County including Kennewick, Finley, West Richland, south Richland and Benton City.

Numerous port projects and partnerships during the last 100 years have contributed to the economic success of the Tri-Cities, said Kennewick Mayor Steve Young. Most recently, the port and city have seen the commercial and residential development of Southridge take off.

“Our success continues to attract attention from around the state,” Young said.

The port helped bring Pacific Rim Winemakers to West Richland’s Red Mountain Center, said West Richland Mayor Brent Gerry. And the redevelopment of the former Tri-City Raceway into a wine-related development will help West Richland draw in more needed commercial development to better diversify the bedroom community.

Other past successes include bringing fertilizer companies to what became known as Chemical Row in Finley and providing incubator space for businesses in the port’s Oak Street Industrial Park.

Clover Island, Southridge and Richland’s Spaulding Business Park likely would look much different if the port had not bought property and reserved it for development, said Carl Adrian, Tri-City Development Council president and CEO.

Gary Burke, chairman of Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation board, congratulated the port on 100 years of community service with particular pride, because the lands included in the port’s boundaries are part of the historic homeland of the tribes.

The port and tribes have worked during the last decade to build a working relationship to benefit the interests of both parties, Burke said. The port and the tribes also have a formal agreement.

Gov. Jay Inslee said the work the port is doing with Clover Island, Spaulding Business Park and Vista Field shows what local communities can do through port districts.

Inslee optimistically spoke about the possibility of a funded transportation package during this legislative session. He emphasized how important it is for continued economic development to see money for projects such as a Highway 395 intersection at Ridgeline Drive, the proposed Duportail Street bridge, the Lewis Street overpass and a Red Mountain interchange on Interstate 82.

Also in town from Olympia for the anniversary celebration was Hank Thietje, the port’s second manager, who started out assisting John Neuman, the port’s first manager, before filling his position when Neuman retired.

When Thietje came from Olympia to work for the port in December 1972, Benton County as a whole was trying to figure out what to do with the state’s newly approved Shoreline Management Act. The port, county and other local agencies worked together to come up with a comprehensive plan for shoreline management. It was the first approved by the state and was one that other counties used as a model, Thietje said.

The shoreline is something the port continues to focus on now, working with the Army Corps of Engineers on a plan to improve Clover Island’s shoreline for fish habitat and recreation.

Adrian said the port is in the early stages of a number of projects that could have a profound impact on the Tri-Cities, including the redevelopment of the former Tri-City Raceway, creating a boutique wine village on Columbia Drive and redeveloping the former Vista Field Airport.

“I believe this celebration is really about the next 100 years at the port,” he said.

As for the vibrant, mixed-use town center envisioned for Vista Field, Adrian said, “I think the entire Tri-City community believes the port's vision can’t happen quickly enough.”

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