Ranker Speaks to Republican Dominance in State Senate

From the office of Senator Kevin Ranker
Senator Kevin Ranker, [Democrat from the 40th District] issued the following statement December 11 regarding the Republican takeover of the Washington State Senate:
“This morning two Democrats crossed over to give the Republicans control of the Washington State Senate.  While this was not unexpected, I am disappointed as I felt that the proposal we Democrats put forward earlier this month was a strong bipartisan offering that still respected the fact that the voters of Washington State elected a Democratic majority in the Washington State Senate.  Many of you have heard me discuss this possibility over the past months due to the extremely tight Democratic majority in the Senate and the fact that these two Democrats had crossed over for a limited time last session.
“The Republicans have proposed a power sharing structure that, among other things, places one of the two crossover Democrats as Leader of the Senate and offers me a potential chairmanship or co-chairmanship of some of those issues I have led on regarding the environment and energy.
“Regarding my chairmanship, as you are all aware, I care deeply about the environment and energy matters here in Washington State. I also, however, care deeply about women’s reproductive rights, family planning, education and protecting the social safety net.  Last session, when this same coalition took control of the Senate, their first proposal eliminated funding for family planning and proposed an additional nearly $100 million cut to K-12 and higher education. More important than my chairmanship is knowing that strong Democratic values that I believe represent a majority of the citizens of Washington State such as the protection of women’s rights and equality will be a top priority for the Washington State Senate.  
“Our job is to govern this great state. I will thoughtfully review the Republican proposal and work where I can with my Republican colleagues.  Regardless of the power structure, my Democratic values and priorities remain the same.  I will fight to ensure that we live in a state that continues to create opportunities for new jobs and the middle class, prioritizes education, and protects and advances women’s reproductive rights, equality and the environment.”
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