Sen. Ranker and fellow Dems seek to protect state from Trump

  • Wed Jan 17th, 2018 12:42pm
  • News

Senate Democrats are sponsoring bills to push back on the Trump administration’s continued efforts to roll back regulations on community health, science and protected lands. Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, and Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, are lead sponsors.

“The president has begun an unprecedented attack not only on our public lands and oceans but also on the science behind climate change and public health standards,” said Ranker. “Reckless action like this limits access for our children to special natural places and puts our country’s heritage and communities at risk.”

“For over four decades, Washingtonians have relied on federal laws, including the clean air act, water pollution control act and safe drinking water act, to protect our water and air quality,” Cleveland said. “Water and air quality are essential components of public health, not political footballs to be jerked away on a whim. We are working hard at the state level to protect against the current administration rolling our standards back with the swipe of a pen.”

Senate Democrats are sponsoring bills pushing back against the Trump administration to protect Washington State against efforts to diminish public health or safety standards, retaliate against licensed professional or public employee whistleblowers, limit the availability of scientific information or remove protections of public lands.

“We cannot count on the federal government to guarantee our core values in Washington State, so we are building a blue wall, brick by brick,” said Ranker. “If we stand together and fight back along the West Coast, we can block the Trump administration through policies at the state level.”

Maintaining public health, safety and environmental standards (SB 6083) co-sponsored by Cleveland and Ranker

Prohibits state agencies and regional air pollution control agencies from reducing environmental and public health standards to ensure that if the federal “minimum” standards are lowered during the current presidential administration, no state standards will be lowered.

Preserve Public Lands Act (SB 6103) Ranker

This bill discourages the federal government from transferring ownership of public lands to private developers for resource extraction in Washington State.

Several state agencies such as the Fish and Wildlife Commission, Board of Natural Resources, and the State Parks and Recreation Commission, are directed to take efforts to protect against unauthorized federal public land conveyances or the repeal of any federal lands designations such as presidential designations under the federal Antiquities Act.

Defend Scientific Information and Research Act (SB 6104) Ranker

Scientists, attorneys, engineers and other professionals working for the federal government or federally funded research entities are usually licensed and credentialed under state law. Professionals who report improper governmental activity, such as violations of law, unethical actions or cover-ups of dangers to public health and safety, may enjoy federal whistleblower protections but could lose their state certification.

This bill prohibits a licensing entity to take disciplinary action, including loss of credentials or professional licenses, against a public employee or contractor who reports improper governmental activity. It also encourages state agencies and professionals to continue to make scientific information open to the public without fear of losing their professional licenses or credentials.”