The Washington Legislature on Friday approved a paid family leave program that offers workers paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child or for the serious medical condition of the worker or the worker’s family member.
State Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, said he turns down the money to dispel any notion that politicians welcome the special session so they can make a few extra bucks.
Fain, the GOP floor leader, is one of the few legislators in Olympia frequently during overtime sessions. Several others in leadership positions, including Senate budget writer John Braun, R-Centralia, and House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, also took no per diem early in the first special session.
Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn and the Senate majority floor leader, said passing the bill was a priority for him this year, as well as for Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, the new chairwoman of the Senate Health Care Committee.
“I want to lower barriers to contraception for a number of reasons,” Fain said. “One, so that women can have more control over those choices, but also because there are plenty of times that women and young woman in particular need that medication for other reasons related to medical care.”
“It’s really difficult if you’re tethered to a three-month supply.”
“The public should have a reasonable right to privacy online,” Fain said. “We wouldn’t tolerate the government selling our information because we visited a particular park, or a company selling our information because we looked through its shop window at the mall. We deserve the same right to consent in our digital lives as well.”
Dragging a class of high school students 42 miles from their South King County classroom to the state Capitol is rarely an option during the busy school year.
But this week an Auburn High School journalism class did manage to speak directly with Joe Fain, their state senator, about legislation they were tracking in Olympia thanks to video conference technology.
Bill Radke talks to state Senator Joe Fain (R-Auburn) about the bipartisan Senate bill he is working on with Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Burien) that would require paid family and sick leave in Washington state.
Fain says this change has taken a long time because of concerns about misreporting and because the protection orders, which are obtained in court, can also allow a judge to limit an attacker’s gun rights. Fain says this year’s proposals strike the right balance between protecting victims and the need for sensible gun regulations.
Fain is correct. This sensible change is long overdue.
“The idea that a person, under their own volition, can make a decision about what is in their own best interest — that seems reasonable,” Fain said earlier this month. Fain said he hadn’t brought it up with other Republicans and couldn’t say what kind of reception they might give, but added that he saw “a lot of common ground” in the proposal.
“These kind of things can be bipartisan,” Fain said. “Gun violence and gun deaths affect everyone.”
Senate Bill 5064, introduced by Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, would designate school media as “public forums for expression” and make students responsible for determining content so long as it is not slanderous or libelous, unjustly invades privacy, violates federal or state law or encourages students to break school rules or commit crimes.
“It’s about expanding the culture of freedom of speech and freedom of the press so that more students have an appreciation of that early on,” Fain said. “Beyond that, we need watchdogs.”
Fain, the only Republican to sponsor the bill, calls it “more of a values statement” than a practical piece of legislation. “I actually don’t have much fear that the federal government will embark on the path of a registration based on someone’s personal religious beliefs,” he says, “but since I find doing so completely objectionable, I don’t have any problem putting my name in opposition” by sponsoring the bill.
Forefront honors Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn (47th District), for his contributions to suicide prevention at the state legislative level on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at its fourth annual suicide awareness dinner, A Place for Everyone.
“Veterans offer unique skills and leadership abilities that translate directly into a variety of jobs in our state,” said Washington Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn... “With veterans doing so much for our country it is also our responsibility to help them build a bridge back to civilian life.”
“Washington will eventually take action to lower our state’s carbon footprint. The question before us is whether that decision should be about sound environmental policy or merely a backdoor to increasing taxes and growing government,”
Like other states, Washington will be confronted with a big question in coming years: how its surface transportation infrastructure will be transformed by driverless cars, and what role government should play.
A first-in-the-nation new law providing for privileged communication between a person undergoing drug or alcohol addiction treatment and their recovery sponsor goes into effect today in Washington state.
The change sponsored by state Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, recognizes the important role sponsors play in substance abuse treatment by providing support, advice and accountability for recovering addicts.
Budgeting requires difficult decisions and a commitment to governing. In 2012, a bipartisan coalition of senators instituted an important fiscal reform: the four-year balanced-budget law. Washington is the first state with this check on budget gimmicks, our greatest defense against self-inflicted financial chaos.
Senate Bill 6233, sponsored by Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, follows a wave of efforts nationwide to clarify students’ rights to free speech in publications and broadcasts, regardless of whether students are participating in a class or if schools financially support the media.
“We have to lower the barriers to women having access to reproductive health care,” said state Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, the majority floor leader in the Senate who is a co-sponsor of both bills.
“One of the easiest ways to do that is to take a medicine and a technology that has been around for decades, that has proven to be safe, that is used by millions of women each year, and make it easier for them to access it,” Fain said.
New legislation proposed for Washington state that would allow cities to grant tax breaks to landlords who keep rental housing affordable has garnered support from Democrats and Republicans, tenants and landlords and Seattle and its suburbs.
Members of the Leadership Institute of South Puget Sound visited the Washington State Capitol in Olympia as guests of Sen. Joe Fain Wednesday. The group toured the campus, listened to leaders from the Legislature and state agencies, while getting a behind the scenes look at how legislation goes from an idea to law.