State Government

Community leader Sili Savusa joins board

News release:

Community leader Sili Savusa has been appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve on the Highline Community College Board of Trustees.

Savusa is currently the executive director of the White Center Community Development Association, which promotes the development of White Center through authentic leadership opportunities and community-led, neighborhood initiatives.

She also serves on the Governor’s Commission on Closing the Achievement Gap, the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs committee and Community Center for Education Results steering committee.

“We are pleased to have Sili as our newest trustee,” said HCC President, Dr. Jack Bermingham. “Her dedication to serving diverse communities in our region and her leadership experience at the policy level will be a great asset to the College.”


Update: The ad hoc committee was tasked with trying to resolve four areas of contention between the city of Burien's originally submitted Shoreline Master Program and the state Department of Ecology. One of these areas was the buffer and setback requirements for the marine shoreline. The city and DOE had already agreed on the Lake Burien setbacks.

Here is our previous coverage

Yet another hitch appeared June 3 as Burien lawmakers appeared ready to approve a compromise shoreline master plan and resubmit it to the state Department of Ecology (DOE).

Three Burien council members voiced concern the compromise granted more lenient conditions for Puget Sound property owners over Lake Burien residents.

But the prospect of dragging the five-year-long process along for even one more council meeting caused two of the three dissenters to decide to approve the plan in hopes it may be amended later.

Councilmember Rose Clark commented that while the council has focused on the Lake Burien and marine properties shore plan, “the rest of the city has been ignored.”

The vote was 6-1 with Councilmember Jack Block Jr. the lone dissenter.

Superintendent will use district dollars if state fails to fund full-day K for all

Press release:

Highline Public Schools will fund tuition-free full-day kindergarten at all schools starting this fall, regardless of the amount the state Legislature allocates to full-day kindergarten.

State lawmakers are currently debating over budget plans with varying levels of kindergarten funding. Each of the three plans would fund full-day kindergarten at some, but not all, schools in Highline.

“We cannot wait for the legislature to act. Full-day kindergarten is the right thing to do for all our children and families now,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “This is a game-changer for our students.”

Full-day kindergarten is a key strategy for meeting the district goal of 95 percent of next fall’s kindergartners performing at or above grade level in all core subjects by the end of Grade 3.

Multiple studies show that children who participate in full-day kindergarten make significant gains in reading and math compared with students in half-day programs. Research also shows that mastering reading and math skills by third grade is critical for success throughout middle and high school.


Press release:

Information from family and friends soon will be considered when a licensed mental health professional and the court determine whether someone should be involuntarily committed for mental health treatment, thanks to legislation signed into law today by Gov. Jay Inslee.

“People who may need to be committed and receive treatment don’t always present symptoms when being examined and assessed; someone might exhibit none of the signs that immediate commitment is warranted,” said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, the sponsor of Senate Bill 5480. “But friends and family who see that person from day to day often see behavior and telltale signs that won’t show up in a single examination.”

Her legislation accelerates the implementation date from July 2015 to July 2014 for legislation enacted in 2010 (House Bill 3076) to expand the scope of information used by the court when determining if someone meets the criteria for involuntary civil commitment for mental health treatment.


State Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-Des Moines) has formally announced he will run for the King County Council seat being vacated by Julia Patterson.

Patterson announced April 26 she will not seek re-election after serving 23 years in public office. She has served the SeaTac area in the SeaTac City Council, state Legislature and county council. Upthegrove has worked as her aide.

Patterson told the Highline Times May 1 that she is endorsing Upthegrove.

“He is extremely well prepared,” Patterson declared. “He’s a south county guy like I am a south county girl.”

Patterson said she is unaware of anyone else planning to run for her seat.

Here is an excerpt from Upthegrove’s press release:

Born and raised in South King County, Dave Upthegrove believes the best way he can give back is to deliver results.

Dave began his public service as Senior Legislative Assistant to then-Senator Julia Patterson (D-SeaTac).

In 2001, Dave was appointed unanimously by the King County Council to fill a legislative vacancy and has been elected by his community five times to represent them in Olympia.

Upthegrove formally announces he is running for Patterson's King County Council seat
Photo credit: 
File photo by Steve Shay

State Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-Des Moines) has formally announced he will run for the King County Council seat being vacated by Julia Patterson.

Press release:

Four key health care policies sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser, D-33, have been passed by the Legislature and are on their way to becoming law.

“I am happy that we have finally moved beyond the debate over health reform and are creating health policies for the future,” said Keiser, ranking member on the health care committee.

Key policies passed by the Legislature include:

• Health care oversight: Senate Concurrent Resolution 8401 establishes a joint legislative oversight committee to ensure smooth, efficient implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by the Insurance Commissioner, the Health Benefit Exchange and the Health Care Authority. Now that three different agencies are responsible for parts of the ACA implementation, the Legislature needs to provide for coordination so there isn’t a “one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing” problem in health reform efforts.


Press release:

Thirty-third District legislators Sen. Karen Keiser, Rep. Tina Orwall and Rep. Dave Upthegrove, will host a telephone town hall focusing on topics such as education, health care and environment.

Constituents in the areas of Kent, SeaTac, Normandy Park, Des Moines, Burien and Renton will receive a phone call inviting them to stay on the line to participate in the town hall.

Residents who do not automatically receive a call can also dial the toll-free participant number to listen in on the event and ask questions of their elected state officials.

WHAT: Telephone town hall
WHEN: 6–7 p.m., Thurs., March 28th
WHERE: Constituents will receive a phone call, or can call-in (877) 229-8493, ID code 18646#


34th District legislators to hold telephone town meeting on March 20

Who: State Senator Sharon Nelson and Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon (34th Legislative District)

What: Telephone town hall

When: 6:00 – 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, March 20th

Why: To discuss legislative priorities with constituents, solicit their feedback and answer questions about the current legislative session.

34th Legislative District residents should receive a call from their legislators at about 6:00 PM on the 20th. To participate, simply pick up the phone and follow the prompts. Sen. Nelson and Reps. Cody and Fitzgibbon will deliver short opening thoughts and then will open up for questions. If you have a question for the lawmakers, simply press *3.

If for some reason you don’t receive a call, you can call into 1-877-229-8493 and enter 18646 to participate.


Press release:

A few weeks ago, Rep. Tina Orwall was selected Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore-designate by her fellow Democratic Caucus. As required by House rules, she was officially confirmed Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore by the full House of Representatives today, the first day of the 2013 Legislative Session.

“It is an incredible honor to be elected by my peers as Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore. I will work hard to ensure the process is fair and all voices are heard,” said Orwall, who has served as Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore for the past two years.

The Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore presides over sessions of the House as needed when the Speaker Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House are unable to do so. As active Speaker she will be tasked with keeping the process flowing as smoothly as possible when lawmakers are debating proposals on the floor.


Press release:

Earlier this week, the House Democratic Caucus announced its committee structure for the upcoming session. State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien) will continue to serve as vice-chair of the House Local Government Committee.

The Local Government Committee considers issues relating to operations and financing of counties, cities, and certain special districts. The committee also considers matters relating to the State Environmental Policy Act, Growth Management Act, and land use issues.

"Making sure we keep our strong environmental protections in place will be one of my top priorities this session," said Fitzgibbon.

Fitzgibbon was elected in November to the Deputy Majority Whip leadership position by his peers in the caucus. He'll assist the Majority Whip - Rep. Kevin Van De Wege (D-Sequim) - in organizational matters such as member attendance, vote tallying, and mentoring new legislators on House processes and procedures.

"I'm honored to be selected by the caucus to serve in a leadership role," said Fitzgibbon. "I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues on the many challenges facing us this session."

Fitzgibbon reappointed to vice-chair role, elected to caucus leadership post
Photo credit: 
photo by Steve Shay

The House Democratic Caucus announced its committee structure for the upcoming session. State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien), pictured here on Election Night at the Westin Hotel party, will continue to serve as vice-chair of the House Local Government Committee.

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