Governor signs same-sex marriage bill with local legislators’ support

February 14, 2012

Issaquah legislators joined Gov. Chris Gregoire to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington — a decision supporters hailed as an “historic” milestone.

Gov. Chris Gregoire

The governor, a Democrat, signed the legislation Feb. 13 as local state Sen. Cheryl Pflug and other supporters looked on from the packed State Reception Room at the Capitol.

The landmark legislation put Washington among the half-dozen states and Washington, D.C., to allow same-sex marriage, but the measure could face a challenge on the November ballot before any weddings occur.

“It is a day historians will mark as a milestone for equal rights — a day when we did what was right, we did what was just, and we did what was fair,” Gregoire said. “We stood up for equality and we did it together — Republicans and Democrats, gay and straight, young and old, and a variety of religious faiths. I’m proud of who and what we are in this state.”

The legislation cleared the state House of Representatives in a 55-43 decision Feb. 8 — the last hurdle before the measure reached the governor. Republican Glenn Anderson joined local Democrats in the House to approve a landmark bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

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Governor signs same-sex marriage into law after Issaquah legislators support bill

February 13, 2012

NEW — 5 p.m. Feb. 13, 2012

Issaquah legislators joined Gov. Chris Gregoire to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington — a decision supporters hailed as an “historic” milestone.

Gov. Chris Gregoire

The governor, a Democrat, signed the legislation Monday as local state Sen. Cheryl Pflug and other supporters looked on from the packed State Reception Room at the Capitol.

The landmark legislation put Washington among the half-dozen states and Washington, D.C., to allow same-sex marriage, but the measure could face a challenge on the November ballot before any weddings occur.

“It is a day historians will mark as a milestone for equal rights — a day when we did what was right, we did what was just, and we did what was fair,” Gregoire said. “We stood up for equality and we did it together — Republicans and Democrats, gay and straight, young and old, and a variety of religious faiths. I’m proud of who and what we are in this state.”

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Most Issaquah representatives support ‘historic’ same-sex marriage bill

February 9, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 9, 2012

Republican Glenn Anderson on Wednesday joined local Democrats in the state House of Representatives to approve a landmark bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington.

Glenn Anderson

The lawmakers representing Issaquah in the House joined the majority on the 55-43 decision. The delegation is comprised of Democrats, except for Anderson and state Rep. Jay Rodne.

The legislation heads to Gov. Chris Gregoire. The governor, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill in the days ahead.

In the Issaquah delegation, state Reps. Judy Clibborn, Marcie Maxwell, Deb Eddy and Ross Hunter supported the legislation.

Rodne opposed the measure to allow same-sex marriage. The legislator, a North Bend Republican, asked for a referendum clause to send the issue to voters in November; the proposed amendment failed.

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Local lawmaker hosts telephone ‘town hall’

January 31, 2012

State Rep. Jay Rodne invites 5th Legislative District constituents to join a telephone “town hall meeting” Feb. 7.

The discussion is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. and last for 60 minutes. He plans to take questions, share views about the ongoing legislative session and offer constituents a chance to take part in poll questions.

Call the toll-free number at 1-877-229-8493 and enter the code 15549 at the prompt. Then, participants can select *3 on the telephone keypad to ask a question.

“We are at a critical point of the legislative session,” Rodne said in a statement. “This community conversation is an opportunity for people to provide their input on the issues facing our state, and allows me to share my views on what is happening in the Legislature. I encourage folks to call in and participate at whatever level they are comfortable with.”

Residents can also contact the North Bend Republican at 360-786-7852 or jay.rodne@leg.wa.gov.

Issaquah School Board President Chad Magendanz eyes Glenn Anderson’s House seat

January 10, 2012

In a campaign announcement focused on dollars for education, Chad Magendanz, a Republican and the Issaquah School Board president, entered the race Jan. 5 to represent Issaquah and rural East King County in the Legislature.

Magendanz, a Tiger Mountain resident in Issaquah, launched the local campaign season days after state leaders offered a re-contoured legislative district for the Issaquah area and a little more than a week after the longtime incumbent, GOP state Rep. Glenn Anderson, opted against running for the seat in 2012.

Chad Magendanz

“Much of the policy that affects our kids is not made in the district, it’s made down in Olympia. That’s where the funding for the most part is, and that’s where the major decisions are made as far as the future of education,” Magendanz said to business and education leaders gathered at the King County Library System headquarters in Issaquah.

“If we’re going to enact meaningful education reform, we need to have a voice down there in Olympia,” he added.

The kickoff reflected on Magendanz’s experience on the school board, and state and national education organizations. The former United States Navy nuclear submarine officer highlighted the Issaquah School District’s accomplishments in the campaign announcement.

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State Supreme Court again rules basic education is state duty

January 10, 2012

“Cautiously optimistic” was the response of Issaquah School District Superintendent Steve Rasmussen to Jan. 5’s state Supreme Court ruling regarding school funding.

In a 7-2 decision, the court ruled that the Legislature is not living up to its constitutional mandate to fund basic education.

The ruling came in the so-called NEWS lawsuit, filed in 2007 and named for the coalition of school districts, teachers unions and education advocates that led the suit. The Issaquah district supported the suit through an amicus brief filed with the court.

That group is known as the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools. It was asking the court to help enforce a 1978 ruling that also said the state was not living up to its paramount duty to pay for basic kindergarten through 12th-grade education.

In the conclusion of its ruling, the court majority opinion stated that Article IX, Section 1 of the state Constitution makes it the “paramount duty of the state to amply provide for the education of all children within its borders.”

“The state has failed to meet its duty under Article IX, Section 1 by consistently providing school districts with a level of resources that falls short of the actual costs of the basic education program,” the opinion further states.

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Issaquah School Board member Chad Magendanz launches campaign for Legislature

January 5, 2012

NEW — 11:35 a.m. Jan. 5, 2011

In a campaign announcement focused on dollars for education, Chad Magendanz, a Republican and the Issaquah School Board president, entered the race Thursday to represent Issaquah and rural East King County in the Legislature.

Chad Magendanz

Magendanz, a Tiger Mountain resident in Issaquah, launched the local campaign season days after state leaders offered a re-contoured legislative district for the Issaquah area and a little more than a week after the longtime incumbent, GOP state Rep. Glenn Anderson, opted against running for the seat in 2012.

“Much of the policy that affects our kids is not made in the district, it’s made down in Olympia. That’s where the funding for the most part is, and that’s where the major decisions are made as far as the future of education,” Magendanz said to business and education leaders gathered at the King County Library System headquarters in Issaquah.

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5th District Republicans plan picnic to celebrate, plot future course

July 19, 2011

The state’s 5th Legislative District includes, of course, Issaquah and neighboring cities such as Sammamish and stretches east into the mountains past North Bend. And, as many probably know, it’s somewhat of a special place for Republicans.

While there are no major races specific to the 5th District this year, Republicans from the area will gather to celebrate their achievements and plot a course for the future during their annual summer picnic from 3-6 p.m. July 23 at Pine Lake Park in Sammamish.

The park is off 228th Avenue Southeast. The event is free and open to the public.

Representing the Klahanie area, Terry LaBrue is an area chairman for the 5th Legislative District Republicans. He said the district is the only one in what he called the “suburban crescent” around the Puget Sound to have all Republican representation at the state level.

State Sen. Cheryl Pflug and state Reps. Jay Rodne and Glenn Anderson all usually have an “R” near their names, as in “Republican.” LaBrue added that Republicans have held those seats since at least the 1990s.

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Issaquah lawmakers rank high on missed votes tally

June 14, 2011

The lawmakers representing Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District in Olympia ranked near the top for the number of missed votes during the 2011 regular and special sessions.
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State encourages hiring preferences for veterans

May 24, 2011

Issaquah attorney, lawmaker team up for groundbreaking legislation

Ted Wicorek (from right), J.W. Johnson, Booker Stallworth, Mike Gregoire, Gov. Chris Gregoire, Jim Robinson, Marjorie James, Rep. Jay Rodne, Sen. Jeff Baxter, David Black Jr. and Tom Hinman at the Wednesday signing ceremony. Contributed

David Black, a respected employment attorney and Issaquah resident, remembers the challenges his father, a Vietnam War veteran, faced after returning to the civilian workforce.

“He had a really hard time getting employment when I was growing up,” he said. “I remember him having three or four part-time jobs trying to piece something together, trying to make things work.”

Black stood alongside Gov. Chris Gregoire, state legislators and advocates late last month as the governor signed a first-in-the-nation measure to encourage private employers in Washington to hire veterans.

The legislation Black crafted and helped to pass enables private employers to voluntarily give preference to hiring veterans, or veterans’ widows and widowers.

Because the measure encourages, rather than requires, private employers to give preference to hiring veterans, the legislation does not run afoul of state or federal antidiscrimination laws. State law also prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants due to military status.

“The way to encourage positive employment regulation that has a social origin or a social benefit as well is to make it permissive and to encourage it,” Black said.

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