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03/06/2021   Washington State Senate Democrats

 

OLYMPIA Sweeping legislation passed today by the Senate would address one of the leading challenges for Washington households by dramatically increasing the accessibility and affordability of childcare while stabilizing and expanding an industry in crisis.

“Childcare tops the list of concerns for the vast majority of our households,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), the bill’s sponsor. “This bill will help kids across our state and it will help parents keep their jobs and the salaries they need to take care of their families.”

Pre-pandemic, the Child Care Collaborative Task Force reported that the childcare crisis was costing businesses in Washington $2.08 billion a year and that working parents forego $14 billion a year in lost wages due to lack of childcare access. In the wake of the pandemic, these problems have only deepened as massive numbers of parents leave the workforce or work reduced hours, forced to compromise their families’ economic stability.

The Fair Start for Kids Act, or Senate Bill 5237, takes a wide-reaching, four-pronged approach to help childcare and early learning systems in Washington by:

  • Stabilizing and expanding the childcare industry by increasing subsidy rates and providing resources for professional development, complex needs, non-standard hour care, and trauma-informed care;
  • Making childcare more affordable by reducing copays for families accessing Working Connections Childcare subsidies and extending eligibility to more families;
  • Making childcare and early learning more accessible by expanding eligibility and access to more services; and
  • Strengthening prevention and intervention services like mental health consultation, home visits, equity grants, dual language supports and early intervention services.

“Over half a million children in Washington do not have access to licensed childcare, and even where there is childcare available, the cost puts it out of reach for most families,” said Wilson. “The current situation is not just inequitable — it hurts families and hinders our state’s economic recovery. Our future economy depends on meeting the critical early needs of children now, and the Fair Start for Kids Act will get parents back to work, get our economy up and running, and give kids a fair start in life.”

“Ensuring parents have access to affordable, high-quality childcare is a critical part of the infrastructure needed for them to rejoin the workforce and for businesses to reopen in the wake of COVID-19,” said Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island), sponsor of the bill’s House companion, House Bill 1213. “The need for childcare is not going away anytime soon, as it’s also vital to Washington’s ongoing economic well-being.”

The bill will now be considered by the House of Representatives.

03/06/2021   Washington State Senate Democrats

OLYMPIA – A bill that would create a public financial cooperative in Washington state was approved by the Senate on Friday.

The new public cooperative created by SB 5188, sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue), would provide alternatives for local and tribal governments to fund critical infrastructure and economic development needs.

Profits from rates and fees charged by the public cooperative would be returned to the community through investments in local economic development and infrastructure projects. The public cooperative would have a goal of providing 35 percent of the amount it lends on an annual basis to support housing in low- to moderate-income areas after five years of operations.

“The public co-op’s core mission will be to serve the public, through reinvesting those profits back into the very communities we live in,” said Kuderer.

The public cooperative would be a public entity, independently governed, and staffed by professionals with experience in the financial services industry. It would operate under the oversight of elected state officials and, as an independent entity, its operations would not affect the state’s debt limit or its credit rating.

The idea of a public financial institution has been discussed in the state Legislature in various forms for several years. Most notably, Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle) has been a strong advocate for a public bank since the economic crisis in 2009.

“I’d like to give special thanks to my colleague, Sen. Hasegawa, for leading this effort from the very beginning and giving me an opportunity to work with him these past several years on this important issue,” said Kuderer.

SB 5188 evolved from those original public financial institution discussions. The University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy & Governance was tasked by the Legislature to examine the idea in greater detail. The Evans School workgroup issued a design framework and professional business plan last May.

The workgroup identified benefits of a public cooperative to local governments like:

  • Offering financing on public infrastructure projects at lower underwriting/origination fees than investment banks.
  • Offering more competitive rates than investment banks for certain types of projects.
  • Enabling local governments to make deposits at potentially higher rates of return than what are currently available through the Local Government Investment Pool and other investment options. Such deposits could also be a source of funds for the cooperative to extend short-term loans to members.

SB 5188 will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration. It has until April 11 to be approved by the House to be eligible to become law this year.

The 2021 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on April 25.

03/05/2021   Washington State Senate Democrats

 

OLYMPIA Today the Senate passed legislation that would improve public safety by ensuring access to services for formerly incarcerated or confined individuals reentering the community.

SB 5304, sponsored by Sen. Claire Wilson, would provide a “warm handoff” when someone leaves custody and rejoins their community by allowing them to be covered by Medicaid upon their release from incarceration or confinement. It would also ensure that their managed care provider is notified of their release and provided the necessary information to initiate their benefits.

Healthcare coverage during this transition will give people access to services they need to succeed in their communities, which could include anything from acute medical needs and regular checkups to behavioral health supports.

The bill also renames the existing Offender Reentry Community Safety Program as the Reentry Community Services Program, makes improvements to the program, and creates a work group to explore ways to further improve it. This program protects public safety and aids successful reentry by providing intensive support services to those who need them most. The highly effective program has delivered a benefit-to-cost ratio of $1.90 for each dollar spent.

The bill will now be considered by the House of Representatives.

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03/05/2021   Washington Attorney General News

SEATTLE — A King County Superior Court judge ruled that Navient, the country’s largest student loan servicer, violated the Consumer Protection Act by engaging in unfair and deceptive conduct related to Washingtonians’ student loans. This is the first time a judge has ruled that Navient broke a consumer protection law in a student loan servicing lawsuit filed by a state’s Attorney General or federal consumer protection agency.

03/05/2021   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER Water supply forecast is the best the Yakima Basin has seen in a decade (Yakima Herald-Republic) Warnick’s bill aimed at boosting meat production clears Senate (Pacific Northwest Ag Network) EDITORIAL: Bill on banking water rights key to continued water stewardship (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Legislative Republicans announce ‘Open Safe,... Read more »

The post Capitol Buzz: March 5, 2021 appeared first on Washington State House Republicans.

03/04/2021   Washington State Senate Democrats

OLYMPIA – A bill that would create new eviction protections for renters and expand programs to help landlords recover losses from unpaid rent as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis was approved by the Senate by a vote of 29-20 on Thursday. [TVW Link]

Senate Bill 5160, sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue), aims to significantly reduce the number of immediate evictions that are expected if the governor’s moratorium is lifted without legislative action. The current eviction moratorium is scheduled to expire on March 31.

“The ultimate goals of this policy…are twofold: they are to keep tenants housed and to help landlords pay their bills,” said Kuderer.

Included in SB 5160 are several new tenant protections related to the current public health emergency, including:

  • Prohibiting housing decisions that affect a tenant’s right or ability to occupy a rental dwelling from taking into account a tenant’s nonpayment of rent that accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic,
  • Prohibiting landlords from imposing late fees or other charges for nonpayment of rent during the public health emergency, and
  • Prohibiting landlords from denying or discouraging rental applications based on medical history. This provision is in response to some landlords’ rejecting rental applications on the basis of the applicant having contracted or been exposed to COVID-19.

To help struggling landlords, SB 5160 would allow them to apply directly to certain rental assistance programs. The bill also expands use of the Landlord Mitigation Program to reimburse claims for unpaid rent up to $5,000 to recover rental arrears accrued during the public health emergency when certain tenants vacate or abandon tenancy and default on a repayment plan.

The bill also expands the Eviction Resolution Pilot Program statewide on a two-year basis.

Other provisions in the bill include:

  • A requirement that landlords offer a repayment plan for missed rent during the current public health emergency before seeking an eviction.
  • Expanded use of dispute resolution centers, which can be used to successfully resolve disputes between landlords and tenants before they go to court.
  • A new right to counsel to help indigent tenants navigate the legal process.

“When we save someone from falling into homelessness…we actually save the taxpayers a lot of money,” said Kuderer. “And so we get a really good bang for the buck with this investment.”

Passage of SB 5160 by the Senate comes a few weeks after the Legislature appropriated $110 million from federal CARES Act funds for the Eviction Rent Assistance Program. The Legislature has also appropriated $43.5 million from state disaster relief funds, and the Biden Administration’s COVID relief package currently being debated contains another $510 million of flexible federal and state dollars that Washington will receive to help struggling renters and landlords.

HB 1368 also included $2 million for lower-income small landlords to address rental and utility arrears through the Limited Landlord Relief Program.

SB 5160 will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration. It has until April 11 to be approved by the House to be eligible to become law this year.

The 2021 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on April 25.

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Additional Information

The Appeal Live: Sen. Kuderer discusses the importance of right to counsel policies.

The Impact (TVW): Sen. Kuderer discusses tenant protections and landlord assistance.

Key statistics:

  • As of February 15, approximately 10% (134,994 households) are not current on rent payments
  • Over 200,000 respondents reported slight or no confidence to pay next month’s rent
  • Of those unable to make rent:
    • 7% of Hispanic or Latino renters
    • 9% of White renters
    • 13% of Black renters
    • 20% of Asian renters
    • 68% of behind household have children under 18.
  • (Source: Census Bureau Pulse Survey. February 2021)
  •  Department of Commerce estimates one month of unpaid rent is approximately $100 million.
03/04/2021   Washington House Republicans

View as a PDF The governor announced his “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” plan on January 5. On February 25, he said all regions would stay in Phase 2 for the next several weeks. As of March 3, the governor had not identified a Phase 3. This is unfair to all Washingtonians, who deserve more... Read more »

The post Republican Open Safe, Open Now plan appeared first on Washington State House Republicans.

03/04/2021   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER WA ranchers struggling to meet demand during COVID pandemic closer to relief (Tri-City Herald) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR US jobless claims tick up to 745,000 as layoffs remain high (AP/The Seattle Times) Senate OKs bill prohibiting price gouging during emergencies (AP/Yakima Herald-Republic) Eastern Washington leaders push to be considered in Phase 3... Read more »

The post Capitol Buzz: March 4, 2021 appeared first on Washington State House Republicans.

03/04/2021   Washington Attorney General News

Scammers made more than 1.7 million robocalls into Washington state, pocketed 90 cents of every dollar they claimed to raise for charity

SEATTLE — As a result of a lawsuit brought by Attorney General Bob Ferguson, 39 other attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), two national companies that made more than 1.7 million robocalls for sham charities into Washington state will pay $495,000 to help fund legitimate charities. One company has since gone out of business and today’s lawsuit requires another one to dissolve.

03/04/2021   Department of Homeland Security

New Regulations to be Published in Federal Register

WASHINGTON — To combat a wide variety of tactics smugglers use to conceal fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas signed an Interim Final Rule (IFR) to promulgate regulations that will enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to implement provisions required in the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act.  These regulations will strengthen the collection and sharing of advance electronic data (AED) by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and CBP for international mail shipments. 

“The STOP Act is an important step in the battle against the deadly scourge of synthetic drugs that has caused so much loss and pain in our country,” said Secretary Mayorkas.  “The Department of Homeland Security is proud to implement the STOP Act through this regulation.  Since taking office last month, working closely with U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Gary Peters, I have prioritized the promulgation of today’s regulation.” 

“Two additional points are noteworthy.  First, our Department will continue to prioritize the battle against the importation of illegal drugs and their precursors, and we will dedicate our energy and resources accordingly.  This is a matter of homeland security.  Second, our Department is dedicated to the prompt, orderly, and effective promulgation of regulations that implement the laws Congress has passed and that advance the policy priorities of this Administration.” 

The IFR, entitled “Mandatory Advance Electronic Information for International Mail Shipments,” is expected to be published in the Federal Register soon.  The IFR amends CBP’s regulations pertaining to mail importation to establish a mandatory AED program for certain inbound mail shipments. 

“CBP is the frontline in the battle against dangerous and illicit drugs shipped to our country through the international mail system,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy Miller. “Fentanyl and its many fentanyl-based analogues continue to plague the American people, and these regulations will be critical in our efforts to identify and disrupt the transnational criminal organizations who ship these deadly drugs through our international mail system.”     

These new AED regulations in the IFR will enhance the security of international mail shipments entering the United States by enabling CBP to conduct better targeting and risk assessments.  This will help disrupt the flow of illicit supply chains that exploit the postal environment and will reduce shipments of illicit fentanyl and other dangerous goods from entering the country. Screening made possible through AED will also be used to identify counterfeit goods, and illicit biological matter - or even to counter terrorism. 

Keywords: Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Drug Interdiction, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Synthetic Drug
Topics: Border Security, Homeland Security Enterprise, Preventing Terrorism, Secretary of Homeland Security
03/03/2021   Washington State Senate Democrats

OLYMPIA – Families that rely on Washington’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program could see an additional boost in benefits along with clarified expectations under legislation passed today by the Senate.

Senate Bill 5214, sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-West Seattle), would allow more families to continue using the vital social program during times of high statewide unemployment.

The bill passed on a 29-19 vote and would allow for hardship extensions beyond the 60-month lifetime TANF limit if state unemployment is at or above 7 percent.

“Even before the public health crisis we are currently in, it was clear that our communities were not receiving all of the resources they needed to thrive,” said Nguyen. “Now, with an increased need for services for Washington families, it’s more important than ever that we make investments in the families that need an additional boost.”

2020 saw both a spike in unemployment applications and an increased demand for cash and food assistance as the coronavirus pandemic and corresponding public health actions resulted in business closures statewide.

“We shouldn’t be penalizing people who are unable to find work during an economic crisis,” Nguyen said. “Instead, we should be lifting residents up and using the tools we have to help Washington families get to the other side of a difficult time.”

SB 5214 would apply retroactively, covering any month after March 2020 with a statewide unemployment rate of 7 percent or more. It will now head to the House for consideration.

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03/03/2021   Department of Homeland Security

Washington, DC—This afternoon, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and a bipartisan delegation from the U.S. Conference of Mayors met virtually to discuss critical issues facing American cities. The Secretary and the mayors discussed the need to rebuild the immigration system to make it more just and compassionate, address current immigrant resettlement needs in cities and reopen the borders for nonessential travel as soon as it is safe to do so.  They also covered the current heightened threat environment and the need to share intelligence with city officials and help cities guard against cyber attacks. The mayors thanked Secretary Mayorkas for the administration’s efforts to make working with local leaders a priority, and the Secretary and the Conference pledged to continue an ongoing dialogue.

 

Mayors participating in the meeting included:

  • Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, USCM President
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
  • Tampa Mayor Jane Castor
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Mesa Mayor John Giles
  • Providence (RI) Mayor Jorge Elorza
  • San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria
  • Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin
  • Burnsville (MN) Mayor Elizabeth Kautz
  • Rochester Hills (MI) Mayor Bryan Barnett
  • Austin Mayor Steve Adler
Keywords: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, State and Local, State and Local Partnership
Topics: Citizenship and Immigration Services, Intelligence and Analysis, Law Enforcement Partnerships, Preventing Terrorism, Secretary of Homeland Security
03/03/2021   Washington State Senate Democrats

A bill aimed at expanding community-based support systems for Washingtonians living with mental illnesses passed the Washington State Senate today.

Engrossed Senate Bill 5328, sponsored by Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes), would make funding available to establish Clubhouse services statewide. Clubhouses are voluntary programs that enable those struggling with mental illnesses to focus on their strengths in a collaborative setting. The program provides an opportunity for people in similar situations to recover and improve their lives through friendship, shared work, education and employment.

The bill would also require the Department of Health to review and redesign the licensure and oversight process for Clubhouses so they can obtain Medicaid reimbursement while utilizing evidence-based models and expanding services across the state.

“There are so many of our neighbors who are struggling in their daily lives, and we should be offering as many opportunities as possible to get them the help they need,” said Lovelett. “Clubhouses provide folks with a network that supports and uplifts them. They give hope and security for people experiencing the isolation of mental illnesses to live their best lives and to thrive as active community members.”

Having passed the Senate unanimously, the bill will now head to the House for consideration.

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03/03/2021   Washington Attorney General News

Bill creates enhanced penalties for price gouging on necessities during an emergency

OLYMPIA — The Washington state Senate today passed Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s bill to prohibit price gouging in Washington during an emergency by a 29-20 vote. The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

03/03/2021   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER Federal judge’s ruling grants relief on farmworker wages (Yakima Herald-Republic) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR After a tough year, Seattle-area bowling alleys have cautiously reopened under COVID-19 guidelines (The Seattle Times) Fired after organizing, Starbucks baristas turned down a payout and took their bosses to court (The Seattle Times) Delta Air Lines defends... Read more »

The post Capitol Buzz: March 3, 2021 appeared first on Washington State House Republicans.

03/03/2021   Washington State Governor's Information Feed
03/02/2021   Washington State Governor's Information Feed

Gov. Jay Inslee today named Mark Quimby acting director of WaTech. Quimby takes over from James Weaver who served as director since 2018. Weaver announced last month that he is leaving WaTech to lead North Carolina’s Department of Information Technology.

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03/02/2021   Washington State Governor's Information Feed

Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement today following President Joe Biden’s directive that all states must prioritize vaccinations of teachers and childcare workers.

03/02/2021   Department of Homeland Security

On March 2, 2021, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited operations at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new Community Vaccination Center (CVC) facility at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, scheduled to open tomorrow and expected to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day.

On March 2, 2021, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited operations at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new Community Vaccination Center (CVC) facility at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, scheduled to open tomorrow and expected to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day. (DHS Photo by Benjamin Applebaum/Released)

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WASHINGTON – Today, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited operations at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new Community Vaccination Center (CVC) facility at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, scheduled to open tomorrow and expected to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day.  Secretary Mayorkas thanked and met with the Mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, and representatives from other partner organizations including the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and the Department of Defense.

“On the first day of his administration, President Biden challenged FEMA to stand up 100 Federally supported Community Vaccination Centers in 30 days,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “Well, FEMA did not stand up 100 Community Vaccination Centers in 30 days – they stood up 441.  Today, that number is well over 500 and growing by the day. DHS will work night and day with our community partners, including our partners in Philadelphia, to defeat this pandemic.”

Secretary Mayorkas also emphasized the vaccine’s safety and DHS’ efforts to increase equal access to the vaccine in communities across the country. 

“It is important for people to understand that these vaccines are safe. I have been vaccinated, and you should feel comfortable being vaccinated as soon as you are able to do so,” Secretary Mayorkas said. “As we work to increase access to the COVID vaccine in communities across the country, we are prioritizing equity, because your socio-economic status, your race, your ethnicity, your access to transportation, or your immigration status should not impact whether you are able to receive a vaccine.”

Secretary Mayorkas reaffirmed that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will not conduct immigration enforcement operations at or near COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites throughout the nation.

On March 2, 2021, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited operations at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new Community Vaccination Center (CVC) facility at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, scheduled to open tomorrow and expected to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day.

On March 2, 2021, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited operations at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new Community Vaccination Center (CVC) facility at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, scheduled to open tomorrow and expected to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day. (DHS Photo by Benjamin Applebaum/Released)

View Original

On March 2, 2021, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited operations at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new Community Vaccination Center (CVC) facility at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, scheduled to open tomorrow and expected to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day.

On March 2, 2021, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited operations at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new Community Vaccination Center (CVC) facility at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, scheduled to open tomorrow and expected to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day. (DHS Photo by Benjamin Applebaum/Released)

View Original

On March 2, 2021, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited operations at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new Community Vaccination Center (CVC) facility at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, scheduled to open tomorrow and expected to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day.

On March 2, 2021, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited operations at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new Community Vaccination Center (CVC) facility at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, scheduled to open tomorrow and expected to vaccinate up to 6,000 people per day. (DHS Photo by Benjamin Applebaum/Released)

View Original

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Keywords: Coronavirus (COVID-19), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Disasters, Secretary of Homeland Security
03/02/2021   Washington State Senate Democrats

OLYMPIA – A bill to better protect workers during a public health crisis was approved by the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 40-7 on Tuesday.

SB 5254, sponsored by Sen. Jesse Salomon (D-Shoreline), would bar employers from prohibiting employees from wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when a public health state of emergency is declared because of an infectious disease.

“I received reports from my district early in the pandemic that a few employers were denying the opportunity for employees to wear personal protective equipment because they were concerned that it would scare customers,” said Salomon. “I thought that was a very poor approach to public health that endangered all of us. It is reasonable to expect employers to allow employees to protect themselves and the public during this public health crisis.”

SB 5254 will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration. It has until April 11 to be approved by the House to be eligible to become law this year.

The 2021 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on April 25.

03/02/2021   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER Farm, food workers lagging when it comes to COVID vaccinations (Pacific Northwest Ag Network) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Virus did not bring financial rout that many states feared (The New York Times/Puget Sound Business Journal) United boosts Boeing 737 Max program with latest order, faster deliveries (Puget Sound Business Journal) CONGRESS Why... Read more »

The post Capitol Buzz: March 2, 2021 appeared first on Washington State House Republicans.

03/02/2021   Washington Attorney General News

Bill would create first statewide database of use-of-force data, annual report to legislature

OLYMPIA — On Monday afternoon, by an overwhelmingly bipartisan 46-2 vote, state senators passed a bill Attorney General Bob Ferguson requested to create a database of police use-of-force incidents so the public, policymakers, researchers and law enforcement can access the data. Currently in Washington state, there is no central repository for use-of-force data.

03/01/2021   Washington State Senate Democrats

 

OLYMPIA Today the Senate passed legislation that would require resentencing of individuals sentenced to life without parole due to a conviction for robbery in the second degree.

In 1993, Washington became the first state to adopt a three strikes law that required courts to sentence people to life in prison without the possibility of parole (LWOP) upon conviction of a third “most serious offense.” But in 2019, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 5288, which removed robbery in the second degree from the list of most serious offenses, meaning it was no longer a three-strikes offense. However, that bill did not apply to the 64 people in Washington already serving three strikes LWOP sentences for whom at least one strike conviction was for robbery in the second degree.

Senate Bill 5164, sponsored by Sen. Jeannie Darneille (D-Tacoma), would require that these individuals be resentenced to reflect that robbery in the second degree is not a three-strikes offense, giving hope to many that they may someday rejoin their families and communities following rehabilitation through Department of Corrections services.

A person commits robbery in the second degree when the person unlawfully takes personal property from another by the use or threatened use of force in circumstances where no deadly weapon, bodily injury or financial institution is involved. Out of all the offenses that lead to a sentence of LWOP, this offense is the most common, lowest impact, and most racially disproportionate.

The three strikes law has had a disproportionate impact on Washington’s communities of color. This is certainly true among the 64 people affected by this bill who are still serving a LWOP sentence based in whole or part on a conviction of robbery in the second degree. In this group, 46% are Black and/or African American. Further, this is an aging population with 45% over 55 years of age.

“This offense is a far cry from the violent offenses we think of when referring to the three strikes law, such as murder, rape or kidnapping – and the Legislature in 2019 agreed,” said Darneille. “It’s time to apply that same principle to the people who were left behind. The Legislature can and should reform the state’s sentencing scheme when it no longer serves the interest of justice, and that’s what we’re doing with SB 5164 and that is why the bill is supported by both the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Sentencing Guidelines Commission.”

 The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

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03/01/2021   Washington State Senate Democrats

 

OLYMPIA Legislation passed today by the Senate would reduce environmental health disparities in Washington state and improve the health of all people in Washington using principles of environmental justice.

Senate Bill 5141, also known as the HEAL Act, would address the disproportionate exposure of Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, along with low-income communities to environmental hazards in neighborhoods across Washington state. Due to this exposure, there is a higher risk of adverse health outcomes for those communities, which is further amplified for communities with pre-existing economic barriers and environmental risks.

The HEAL Act, sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D-Seattle), would implement recommendations from the Environmental Justice Task Force – established by the Legislature last year – on how state agencies should incorporate environmental justice principles to reduce environmental health disparities when implementing policies and programs. Environmental justice means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

“It’s time to recognize the disproportionate health impacts our current and past policies have had on communities of color and low-income communities, and to do something about it.  Under the bill state agencies must incorporate environmental justice implementation plans into their strategic plans and conduct environmental justice assessments on significant agency actions to assist with the equitable distribution of environmental benefits, and identification and reduction of environmental harms and health disparities,” said Saldaña. “The HEAL Act is needed to ensure environmental justice principles are embedded into our agencies plans, budgets, and implementation of programs because we won’t achieve our climate and environmental goals without centering environmental justice.”

Saldaña’s bill establishes environmental justice requirements for seven state agencies, a permanent environmental justice council and interagency workgroup, and develops timelines for guidance, recommendations, implementation of environmental justice assessments, measurements and public reporting of progress.

“As we lead the recovery effort in the wake of the pandemic, we must also prioritize the health of our natural environment and address the disparate impacts that climate change has had on low-income people and communities of color,” said Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes) a cosponsor of the bill. “We know that the climate crisis impacts every single Washingtonian, but by looking at solutions and investments through the lens of those most affected, we can develop strong policy that will guide the actions of our state agencies, undo historic and systemic harm, and benefit all of our state’s residents and environment for generations to come.”

“None of this would have been possible without the leadership of environmental justice communities who volunteered their hours and expertise in the development of these policies and in advocating for the bill’s passage,” Saldaña said. She also acknowledged the role of Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee chair, Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle), for guiding the bill through the amendment process in committee.

The bill will now be considered by the House of Representatives.

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03/01/2021   Washington State Governor's Information Feed

Gov. Jay Inslee today updated proclamation 20-83 regarding quarantine requirements for air travel. Inslee also released new proclamations related to winter weather and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

03/01/2021   Washington State Governor's Information Feed

Below is the monthly recap of board and commission appointments made by Gov. Jay Inslee during the month of February 2021.

03/01/2021   Washington House Republicans

BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Gov. Inslee signs relief bill waiving liquor license fees (AP/Yakima Herald-Republic) State bill waiving liquor license fees ‘exactly the kind of help bars and restaurants need’ (MyNorthwest) Fred Meyer, Target, McDonald’s offer Cowlitz County workers COVID-19 vaccine incentives (The Daily News) Inslee asks state senators to revert insurance legislation (KPQ Radio)... Read more »

The post Capitol Buzz: March 1, 2021 appeared first on Washington State House Republicans.

03/01/2021   Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced today the principles of the Family Reunification Task Force and the appointment of the Task Force’s Executive Director, Michelle Brané. 

“We are dedicating our resources throughout the Department of Homeland Security and the federal government, and bringing our full weight to bear, to reunite children who were cruelly separated from their parents,” said Secretary Mayorkas, who serves as the Chair of the Task Force.  “It is our moral imperative to not only reunite the families, but to provide them with the relief, resources, and services they need to heal.”

Secretary Mayorkas announced that Michelle Brané will serve as the Task Force’s Executive Director.  Most recently, she served as the senior director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. Prior to that, Michelle also held positions at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, with human rights organizations in India, and as a human rights officer in Bosnia with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

“Michelle has dedicated her entire career to the protection and well-being of the vulnerable, and to ensuring that the dignity and human rights of every individual are respected,” continued Mayorkas.  “I am proud that she has agreed to commit her talent to this most urgent work.”

Secretary Mayorkas outlined the Task Force’s principles to heal the families, to the fullest extent the law permits:

Family Reunification Task Force Statement of Principles 

  1. The Family Reunification Task Force (Task Force) will be defined by the relentless pursuit of bringing families back together.
  2. The Task Force must balance the need for swift action with the need for comprehensive and stable support.
  3. To the extent permissible under law, separated families should have the option of being reunified either in the United States or their country of origin.
  4. The Task Force will partner with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector to leverage needed reunification and support services and receive recommendations throughout the reunification process.
  5. Support to reunified families will be defined very broadly, to include transportation, healthcare (including trauma and mental health services), legal services, and career and educational services.
  6. To the extent possible, the expenses of reunification and reunification-related support will be borne by government, NGOs, and the private sector – and never by the families.   
  7. Reunification efforts will be defined broadly. Additional family members of the children who were separated, such as siblings, will be considered for reunification where there is a compelling humanitarian interest in doing so.
  8. To the extent permissible under law, the Task Force will identify opportunities for families to pursue legal immigration status that best ensures their safety and stability.      
  9. The Task Force will maintain clear communication with the public to explain the reunification process, report on progress, and educate on available resources to support reunited families.
  10. The Task Force will identify and implement long-term reform efforts to ensure that family separations not based on the best interests of the child are not permitted to occur again.

On February 26, 2021, Secretary Mayorkas spoke with the Foreign Ministers of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, who committed to all work with the United States to support the Task Force’s work to reunite the families.  The Task Force will also work with NGOs and the private sector to achieve its mission. 

Keywords: Asylum, Family, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Homeland Security Enterprise, International Engagement, Secretary of Homeland Security
03/01/2021   Washington State Senate Democrats

A busy week in the Senate saw legislation passed to better support Washington’s front line workers as they help us through the pandemic (SB 5115), and major reforms to the oversight of Washington law enforcement (SB 5051), and the Employment Security Department (SB 5193). Senate Democrats also passed bills to bring more equity to healthcare (SB 5228) and a bill to ensure Washingtonians can safely express their first amendment rights without the threat of intimidation (SB 5038).

With just nine days left until house of origin cutoff on March 9, the Senate will work on the floor all week on policies to strengthen our economy, workforce, criminal justice, the environment and more.

FLOOR ACTION

Washington State Senate floor debate, Feb. 2021
The Washington State Senate convenes for floor debate, February 17, 2021.

Monday-Friday, and possibly Saturday
Morning, noon and night

The Senate will be in action all week and possibly into the weekend, working ahead of the March 9 house of origin cutoff. The best way to follow all of the action is here on TVW, the SDC Facebook page, and our Twitter feed.

SDC/HDC MEDIA AVAILABILITY

Senator Marko Liias and Representatives Monica Stonier and Pat Sullivan take questions from the media.
Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood) and Reps. Monica Stonier and Pat Sullivan answer questions from the media.

Tuesday, March 2
2 p.m.

Leadership from the Senate and House Democratic Caucuses will answer questions from the press on Tuesday. Watch live on TVW.

EMPLOYMENT SECURITY, STATE AUDITOR OVERSIGHT

Senator Karen Keiser and Senator Curtis King participate in a legislative hearing in Olympia
Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines) Chair of the Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs Committee.

Thursday, March 4
8 a.m.

The Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs Committee will hold a work session to hear from representatives from the Employment Security Department and Office of the State Auditor to get an update on unemployment claims and the recent data breach. Watch live on TVW.

03/01/2021   Department of Homeland Security

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas spoke on Friday, February 26 with Salvadoran Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandra Hill Tinoco.  Secretary Mayorkas thanked the Foreign Minister for El Salvador’s partnership with the United States and Foreign Minister Hill underscored her great appreciation for President Biden’s humane approach to immigration. During the conversation, Secretary Mayorkas and Foreign Minister Hill discussed the Biden-Harris Administration’s approach to addressing irregular migration, as well as a shared desire to address its root causes and strengthen migration management. They collectively agreed on the need to counter false narratives about migration, work together to immediately reunite children who were separated from their families at the U.S. Southwest border, and other initiatives to protect vulnerable populations.

Keywords: Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Homeland Security, Immigration, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Homeland Security Enterprise, International Engagement, Secretary of Homeland Security
03/01/2021   Department of Homeland Security

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas spoke by phone on Friday, February 26 with Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs Pedro Brolo. They noted the strong bilateral relationship between the United States and Guatemala, and pledged continued future cooperation. Secretary Mayorkas and Minister Brolo discussed President Biden’s strategy to stem irregular migration, agreeing on the need to address the issues that drive people to leave their home countries, strengthen migration management, and counter false narratives about migration. Secretary Mayorkas committed to working with Minister Brolo to do everything necessary to reunite children who were separated from their families at the U.S. Southwest border. They also committed to continued cooperation on combating illicit trafficking and seeking additional options for legal pathways for migration.

Keywords: Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration, International Partnership, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Homeland Security Enterprise, International Engagement, Secretary of Homeland Security
03/01/2021   Department of Homeland Security

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas spoke by phone on Friday, February 26 with Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Lisandro Rosales.  They acknowledged the strong relationship between the United States and Honduras, and their shared desire to continue building a productive and collaborative partnership.  Secretary Mayorkas discussed the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive approach to addressing irregular migration, including through a regional strategy to address its root causes and improve migration management. He welcomed Minister Rosales’s shared commitment to respond to irregular migration through in-country measures in Honduras.  Secretary Mayorkas and Minister Rosales also pledged cooperation to overcome the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; counter false narratives about migration; and collaborate in areas such as border security, family reunification, and combatting human smugglers.

Keywords: Immigration, International Partnership, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Border Security, International Engagement, Secretary of Homeland Security
02/27/2021   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER Newhouse: The return of Vilsack good news for Northwest Ag (Pacific Northwest Ag Network) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Judge’s ruling adds to legal saga over how Amazon enforces noncompete agreements (The Seattle Times) CONGRESS House passes $1.9 trillion stimulus as Democrats work to salvage wage increase (The New York Times/The Seattle Times)... Read more »

The post Capitol Buzz: February 27, 2021 appeared first on Washington State House Republicans.

02/26/2021   Washington Attorney General News

Report finds some investigations failed to involve non-law enforcement community representatives, a key requirement of I-940 rules

02/26/2021   Washington House Republicans

BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR U.S. expands unemployment insurance rules to include workers who rejected offers for unsafe jobs (The Washington Post/The Seattle Times) Washington one of 12 states to see jump in new jobless claims (The Seattle Times) Washington-based Costco to raise minimum wage to $16 an hour: ‘This isn’t altruism,’ CEO says (NPR/Northwest Public... Read more »

The post Capitol Buzz: February 26, 2021 appeared first on Washington State House Republicans.

02/25/2021   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER WSU economist: Washington farmers expected to see lower revenue, flat wheat prices in 2021 (The Spokesman-Review) WSDA to discuss potential apple maggot quarantine for Okanogan County in early March (Pacific Northwest Ag Network) Schrier introduces bill to reduce methane emissions in cow burps (Pacific Northwest Ag Network) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Washington’s... Read more »

The post Capitol Buzz: February 25, 2021 appeared first on Washington State House Republicans.

02/25/2021   Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today announced the release of the funding notice for eight different types of preparedness grants worth nearly $1.87 billion. Together, these programs provide more than $1.8 billion in critical funding to assist our state and local partners in building and sustaining capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other disasters.

Secretary Mayorkas issued the following statement about this year’s grant awards:

“In the almost 20 years since September 11, 2001, the terrorism threat landscape has changed considerably. Today the most significant terrorist threat facing the nation comes from lone offenders and small groups of individuals who commit acts of violence motivated by domestic extremist ideological beliefs. While we continue to lawfully protect against threats posed by foreign terrorist organizations, we also must ensure adequate focus and funding is provided to combat domestic terrorism, some of which is motivated by false narratives and extremist rhetoric spread through social media and other online platforms.

“This year, and for the first time, I have designated combating domestic violent extremism as a ‘National Priority Area’ for the FY 2021 State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant programs. Recipients of these grants will be required to spend at least 7.5 percent of their awards on combating domestic violent extremism (DVE). Put another way, states and local governments across the nation will spend at least $77 million in grant funding to ensure we have the necessary capabilities to detect and protect against threats from DVE. This approach will help raise the nation’s security baseline and prioritize activities to combat DVE, including open source analysis of threats, execution of threat assessment programs, the development and sharing of intelligence across states and between states and the federal government, and the development of training and awareness programs. 

“With today’s grant awards, I am also directing additional grant funding to support cybersecurity efforts. As we have seen in recent events, attacks on our cyber networks can have devastating effects. Accordingly, I have required that SHSP and UASI recipients spend at least 7.5 percent of their grant awards to enhance their cybersecurity posture. With this funding, state and local grant recipients can conduct cybersecurity risk assessments, strengthen their ‘dot gov’ internet domains, improve the cybersecurity of their critical infrastructure, and conduct additional cybersecurity training and planning.

“Finally, this year’s grant awards will prohibit the purchase of certain equipment such as grenade launchers, bayonets, and weaponized aircraft. Other types of ‘controlled’ equipment will require oversight and approvals. We will continue to support the purchase of critical equipment that has a demonstrable impact on enhancing the safety of law enforcement and members of the public.

“The threats we face as a nation have evolved significantly throughout the past 20 years. Therefore, I am directing the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a systematic review of these programs and to submit a report and recommendations to me. I will then engage – personally and extensively – with our state, local, tribal, and territorial partners across the country to inform future grant awards. It is through open and fulsome engagement that the Department can most effectively accomplish its mission. We are proud to support the brave and noble first responder community through these critical grant programs.”

The Fiscal Year 2021 grant guidance will continue to focus on the nation’s highest risk areas, including urban areas that face the most significant threats and national priorities. This year, the Urban Area Security Initiative will enhance regional preparedness and capabilities by funding 31 high-threat, high-density urban areas. This represents Congressional intent to limit these funds to those urban areas that represent up to 85% of the nationwide risk.

As the threats to our nation evolve, so too must the grant programs intended to prepare communities for those threats. To that end, DHS has identified five critical priority areas for attention in the FY 2021 grant cycle: cybersecurity, soft targets and crowded places, intelligence and information sharing, domestic violent extremism, and emerging threats. Grant recipients under the State Homeland Security Program and Urban Area Security Initiative will be required to dedicate a minimum of 30% of awards to address these five priority areas: cybersecurity (7.5%, an increase of at least $25 million across the country); soft target and crowded places (5%); information and intelligence sharing (5%); domestic violent extremism (7.5%); and emerging threats (5%).

As with previous years, new capabilities that are built using homeland security grant funding must be deployable if needed to support regional and national efforts. All capabilities being built or sustained must have a clear linkage to the core capabilities articulated in the National Preparedness Goal.

Preparedness Grant Program Allocations for Fiscal Year 2021

The following grants are non-competitive and awarded to recipients based on a number of factors:

State Homeland Security Program—provides $415 million to support the implementation of risk-driven, capabilities-based state homeland security strategies to address capability targets. Awards are based on statutory minimums and relative risk as determined by DHS/FEMA’s risk methodology.

Urban Area Security Initiative—provides $615 million to enhance regional preparedness and capabilities in 31 high-threat, high-density areas. Awards are based on relative risk as determined by DHS/FEMA’s risk methodology.

  • For both the state homeland and urban area grants, 30% of the awards must address the five priority areas of cybersecurity, soft target and crowded places, information and intelligence sharing, domestic violent extremism, and emerging threats. Additionally, 25% of these grants must be dedicated to law enforcement terrorism prevention activities, and 80% of these grants must be obligated from the state to local or tribal governments within 45 days of receipt.  

Emergency Management Performance Grant—provides more than $355 million to assist state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in enhancing and sustaining all-hazards emergency management capabilities. Relative population is considered.

Intercity Passenger Rail—provides $10 million to Amtrak to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and increase the resilience of the Amtrak rail system. Award made per congressional direction.

The following grants are competitive, and exact awards will be announced later this year:

Operation Stonegarden—provides $90 million to enhance cooperation and coordination among state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal law enforcement agencies to jointly enhance security along the United States land and water borders.

Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program —provides $15 million to eligible tribal nations to implement preparedness initiatives to help strengthen the nation against risk associated with potential terrorist attacks and other hazards.

Nonprofit Security Grant Program—provides $180 million to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack. This year, $90 million is provided to nonprofits in UASI-designated urban areas, and $90 million is provided to nonprofits outside of UASI-designated urban areas located in any state or territory.

Port Security Grant Program—provides $100 million to help protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness, improve port-wide maritime security risk management, and maintain or re-establish maritime security mitigation protocols that support port recovery and resiliency capabilities.

Transit Security Grant Program —provides $88 million to owners and operators of public transit systems to protect critical surface transportation and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.

Intercity Bus Security Grant Program —provides $2 million to owners and operators of intercity bus systems to protect surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure. 

All preparedness funding notices can be found at www.grants.gov. Final submissions must be made through the non-disaster grants system located at https://portal.fema.gov

Further information on DHS’s preparedness grant programs is available at www.dhs.gov and http://www.fema.gov/grants.

Keywords: Cyber Infrastructure, Cybersecurity, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Grant Funding, Preparedness, Preparedness Grant, Rail Security, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Critical Infrastructure Security, Cybersecurity, Disasters, Homeland Security Enterprise, Resilience, Secretary of Homeland Security
02/24/2021   Washington Attorney General News

Lawsuit asserts Google has continued violating state law after Ferguson’s first campaign finance lawsuit against the company in 2018

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a campaign finance lawsuit today against Google for unlawfully failing to maintain key information regarding state political ads that it sold, and failing to provide that information to individuals who requested it.

02/24/2021   Washington State Governor's Information Feed

Gov. Jay Inslee announced updates to one proclamation in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

02/24/2021   Washington House Republicans

AGRICULTURE & WATER Klicker: HB 1050 would put additional costs on farm, food processing industries (Pacific Northwest Ag Network) BUSINESS, ECONOMY & LABOR Washington state, British Columbia border towns in crisis as economy evaporates (KCPQ TV) Union seeks hazard pay for grocery store workers across Western Washington (KIRO TV) Ferndale rethinks its future after hundreds... Read more »

The post Capitol Buzz: February 24, 2021 appeared first on Washington State House Republicans.

02/24/2021   Department of Homeland Security

En español

Beginning this week, with the support of the Government of Mexico and international humanitarian organizations, the United States will begin to process current residents of the Matamoros camp in Mexico.

The migrant camp in Matamoros has recently been hard hit by extreme weather in northern Mexico. As President Biden continues to rebuild the nation’s border management in a way that reflects America’s values, addressing humanitarian needs in Matamoros has become a priority. We will work in partnership with the Government of Mexico, and partners on the ground, to facilitate the safe processing of current camp residents who qualify for this program. New arrivals to the Matamoros camp will not gain entry into the United States through this limited process.

This registration and process will be done as quickly as possible with strict enforcement of health and safety protocols and the most vulnerable prioritized for immediate review. Every individual will complete all necessary security screening, as well as testing for COVID-19.

This action is the next phase in the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to a safe, orderly, and humane migration process, while continuing to strictly enforce our existing immigration laws and border security measures. 

The government – at all levels – has been clear: Individuals should not believe smugglers or others claiming the border is now open. The Administration will enforce existing immigration laws.

As a reminder, individuals should not approach the border, including at designated ports of entry, unless and until they are approved and receive appointment information through the virtual registration process.  Due to the current pandemic, travel restrictions at the border remain in place and will be enforced.  Physical presence at a port of entry is not the way to gain access to this phased effort to draw down the MPP program. If individuals believe they were enrolled in MPP, they may register at https://conecta.acnur.org.

Keywords: Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)
Topics: Border Security, Homeland Security Enterprise, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, International Engagement
02/23/2021   Department of Homeland Security

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas spoke by phone today with the European Commission’s Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson.  During the conversation, they emphasized their shared desire to strengthen U.S.-EU cooperation.  Secretary Mayorkas and Commissioner Johansson expressed their continued interest in maintaining the U.S.-EU Passenger Name Record Agreement and working with Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania to meet the qualifications for the Visa Waiver Program.  They also discussed the potential for new forms of cooperation on migration, domestic violent extremism, and COVID-19-related travel issues. 

Keywords: Europe, International Partnership, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: International Engagement, Secretary of Homeland Security
02/23/2021   Washington Attorney General News

OLYMPIA — The Attorney General’s Office is continuing its review of the Manuel Ellis case. While we are limited in what we can say about that review, we wanted to provide a short update of our work, and the anticipated timing of our decision.

The Washington State Patrol referred this case to the Attorney General’s Office in November. Our review of this case is the top priority of our Criminal Justice Division.

02/23/2021   Washington Attorney General News

Decision invalidates Federal Railroad Administration’s deregulatory rule, allows Washington to enforce minimum train crew-size requirements

02/23/2021   Washington Attorney General News

Court will determine restitution at a future date

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a judge ruled that StarKist, a canned tuna manufacturer, engaged in a price-fixing scheme from November 2011 through December 2013. In a prior and unrelated federal case against StarKist, a federal judge sentenced the company to pay a $100 million criminal fine — the maximum allowed by law — for its role in a nationwide conspiracy to manipulate the price of canned tuna to benefit the company and its executives.

02/22/2021   Washington Attorney General News

Mayordomo del rancho de arándanos acosó sexualmente a varias empleadas y tomó represalias contra ellas por denunciar el hecho

02/22/2021   Washington Attorney General News

Berry farm manager sexually harassed multiple employees and retaliated against them for speaking out

02/22/2021   Washington Attorney General News

Utah-based company sentenced for false claims that mold inhibitor can kill coronavirus

02/19/2021   Washington State Governor's Information Feed
02/18/2021   Washington State Governor's Information Feed

Gov. Jay Inslee today named Karen A. Johnson, PhD, director of the newly created state Office of Equity. The Office of Equity, established by the Legislature, was signed into law by Inslee in April of 2020.

02/17/2021   Washington State Governor's Information Feed

Gov. Jay Inslee announced today that Canada will not require COVID-19 testing for Point Roberts residents who travel through Canada for essential services.

02/12/2021   Washington Attorney General News

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued the following statement today after a federal judge in Seattle blocked the federal government’s plan to expedite the sale of Seattle’s National Archives facility and ship the un-digitized records out of the region. Judge John C.

02/11/2021   Washington State Governor's Information Feed
02/10/2021   Washington Attorney General News

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson offers the following statement on a Thurston County Superior Court decision that Tim Eyman intentionally committed numerous violations of campaign finance law:

02/08/2021   Washington Attorney General News

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued a warning today that scammers posing as members of the Washington Medical Commission (WMC) are calling medical providers to claim the WMC suspended their license.