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ISSUES

Currently House Democrats enjoy a 50-48 majority in Olympia and with our majority have accomplished much for the citizens of Washington state.

Education

  • Placed a new emphasis on early learning, funding thousands of new enrollments, improving the wages and benefits of child care workers and creating a new Department of Early Learning.
  • Funded a historic increase in basic education funding, including all-day kindergarten, class six reduction, special education, math and science curriculum, and numerous other concerns.
  • Doubled the state investment in school construction across Washington.
  • Implemented two citizen initiatives, I-728 to reduce class sizes, and I-732 to raise salaries of teachers and school employees.
  • Expanded higher education enrollments, as well as financial aid through state need grants to increase college opportunities especially in high demand fields.
  • Approved a constitutional amendment for simple majorities for school levies.

Health Care

  • Enacted one of the best and most comprehensive Children’s Health programs in the nation, guaranteeing that all kids have health care regardless of income or background.
  • Transformed home care for tens of thousands of elderly and disabled people, greatly increasing training, wages, and benefits for home care workers, and thereby improving the quality of care for our most vulnerable citizens.
  • Enacted mental health parity, requiring insurance plans to include treatment for mental illness just like any physical illness.
  • Increased mental health funding significantly, back-filling federal budget cuts and giving new tools for local communities to better serve the mentally-ill.
  • Created the prescription drug buyer’s consortium, using the state’s purchasing power to save tens of millions of dollars every year for individual and health care plans.

Jobs & the Economy

  • Approved massive transportation investments, more than any legislature in state history, beginning construction of hundreds of new projects across the state, making the roads safer, lessening congestion, and purring the economy.
  • Cultivated an Ag Agenda, providing significant tax relief and investing in new research and technology for Washington agriculture, helping farmers and farm workers to better survive and thrive in the global marketplace.
  • Created the Life Sciences Fund, allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to high-tech research that will help save lives across the world and encourage innovations in our state’s economy.
  • Created worker re-training programs, assisting tens of thousands of dislocated workers to get new jobs in the economy, making Washington state a national leader.
  • Enacted a series of laws to require and encourage apprenticeship programs in public construction projects at both the state and local levels.

Building a Better Washington

  • Increased funding to the state’s Housing Trust Fund and created the Housing Security Fund, building thousands of new homes and providing critical services for low-income people, including the elderly, disabled and homeless.
  • Enacted legislation greatly expanding performance audits of programs in state agencies as well as preferences in the state’s tax code, increasing the power of the independently-elected State Auditor to employ this key tool for accountability.
  • Took steps to help reduce the state’s dependence on oil and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. We also made great strides toward cleaning up the Puget Sound by creating a new coordinating agency called the Puget Sound Partnership.

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