Newsroom

Senator Murray championed proposals to lower child care costs for working families, promote digital equity in historically-overlooked communities and more during meetings and visits with families throughout WA in April 

A longtime advocate for women’s health and rights, Senator Murray also shined a spotlight on her legislation to strengthen access to forensic examinations for sexual assault survivors, sat with patients and providers to highlight threat of repeated Trump-Pence Administration attacks on critical Title X health care program

ALSO: Senator Murray returned to her alma mater WSU to share words of wisdom, lessons in leadership with students

 

Senator Murray in Action: During the April district work period Senator Murray traveled across Washington state, making stops along the way to meet Washington state residents and learn more about the challenges working families face. Some highlights from Senator Murray’s travels included (from left to right): Senator Murray admiring the handiwork of students at Walla Walla’s My Friend’s House child care center; Senator Murray getting briefed by sexual assault nurse examiners (also known as SANE nurses) at Kirkland’s EvergreenHealth Medical Center on how they care for survivors of sexual assault and help them seek justice; and Senator Murray listening intently as staff at the Forks’ campus of Peninsula College share information on the college’s digital inclusion resources and efforts.

As Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans resist efforts to legislate and instead focus exclusively on using the Senate’s limited floor time to continue aggressively jamming through President Trump’s ideological picks for executive and judicial nominations, Senator Murray met with families and communities throughout Washington state during the recent April district work period to highlight her legislative plans to tackle several critical issues impacting working families in Washington state and nationwide, including her Child Care for Working Families Act that would strengthen parents’ access to affordable, high-quality child care, her bipartisan Survivor’s Access to Supportive Care Act (or SASCA) that would improve training and forensic examination resources for survivors of sexual assault, and her recently introduced Digital Equity Act that would help ensure historically underserved communities across the country have the tools, support and technologies necessary to make sure no one is getting left behind in our increasingly digital world. During her travels, Senator Murray also responded to the release of the redacted Mueller report, visited Washington State University’s Pullman campus—her alma mater—to share lessons she’s learned throughout her career, and sat with patients and providers at a Seattle Planned Parenthood health center to emphasize the threat of the Trump-Pence Administration’s repeated attempts to undermine women’s health, particularly their latest effort to weaken the vital Title X health care program.

***See news coverage of Senator Murray’s visits below***

 

Digital Equity Act 

Bridge the digital divide (Editorial Board):  America is a nation of internet haves and have nots. That digital divide now has the attention of Washington Sen. Patty Murray, who wants to empower rural, tribal and other underserved communities with the internet access and skills that much of America already enjoys. Bridging the digital divide will require leadership and a massive investment akin to America’s efforts to bring electricity to rural areas in the first half of the 20th century. Washington is already working on it. Gov. Jay Inslee and others are striving to bring affordable, high-speed internet to every corner of the state. [Seattle Times, 04/25/19]

Senator visits Yakima to discuss digital divide and how to fix it (Janelle Retka): U.S. Sen. Patty Murray met Wednesday with with people in Yakima to discuss her Digital Equity Act, which she introduced last week. Murray's bill is intended to improve digital skills in rural areas. Access to internet is the first barrier for many to overcome. Just 83.2 percent of Yakima County residents have access to minimum-speed broadband internet, compared to 98.9 percent in King County, according to BroadbandNow. [Yakima Herald-Republic, 04/18/19]

More than 15% of people in Yakima County without internet, new bill to bridge digital gap (Khalyn King): Many can't live without their phone or laptop. We use it to navigate from point A to point B, see what friends and family are doing on social media, and almost every teacher issues online assignments. Could you imagine not having access to all of it? Many in the Yakima Valley don't…Senator Patty Murray came to the Beachamp Center to see what resources the city has. Murray says Yakima is one of many cities that's dealing with people not having access to internet, or knowing how to use technology to navigate on the web. "So many people today can go out and access their handheld phone or their laptop, but for people who don't have the skills or the tools fall behind every day," said Murray. [KIMA, 04/17/19]

Senator Patty Murray visits Yakima to talk about digital divide (Alanna Inzunza): Now a days mostly everyone is on the internet, computers are needed in schools and at most jobs. So what happens when you don't have access? Senator Patty Murray visited Yakima to talk about a new bill that would help close what is being called a digital divide. "Who is impacted the most by digital divide is rural communities, communities of color," said Senator Patty Murray. While it might seem everyone has access to the internet or computers that's not exactly the case. Senator Murray's new bill is focusing providing access to the internet to all communities. [KNDO 23/Fox 41, 04/17/19]

Murray: Proposal would create grants to help rural areas get high-speed internet (Jesse Major): U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said Tuesday she was not surprised to learn of the challenges students and businesses on the West End face due to limited access to high-speed internet and technology and she is proposing a solution for all rural communities. Murray, D-Seattle, and Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), toured Peninsula College’s Forks campus Tuesday to discuss the senator’s legislation, the Digital Equity Act, that would create two new $125 million grant programs to increase broadband access in rural communities. “I wish I could say I was surprised, but unfortunately what I’m hearing is exactly what I know: that especially in a community like this there are people who are being left behind,” Murray said. “They don’t have access to technology at home.” [Peninsula Daily News, 4/24/19]

Child Care for Working Families Act

News you missed overnight (Kelsie Morgan): Welcome to another Monday. If this weekend's grey weather got you down, this forecast might cheer you up! Hint: It will be mostly dry and by the end of the week, we could be flirting with 70 degrees.  Here are the headlines you may have missed over the weekend, or since you went to bed last night: Senator Patty Murray will be in Spokane today, meeting with families to discuss her Child Care for Working Families Act. She's looking to, "highlight the urgency of tackling the growing child care crisis in Eastern Washington and across the nation." Sen. Murray will be at the Journey Discovery Center, on Cataldo Ave., this afternoon. [KXLY, 04/15/19]

Child care costs in spotlight during senator's visit (Vicki Hillhouse): Eva Hoffman isn’t who you’d imagine at the center of the child care crisis. The Whitman College professor has a doctorate in German Studies and a good job teaching courses at Walla Walla’s liberal arts college. But, she told Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Tuesday, the cost of child care for her and her husband is so high she navigates the flexibility in her job so that her daughter’s time at the YWCA child care center, My Friend’s House, is cut in half to reduce their monthly bill. The exchange was part of a round table discussion on legislation Murray has proposed to lower child care costs for working families. [Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, 04/17/19]

Women in Leadership

Sen. Patty Murray shares her knowledge of women entering leadership roles (Devin Trubey): Washington state Senator Patty Murray was on the WSU Pullman campus Tuesday at the Foley Institute talking about women in leadership. Murray, a WSU alumna, said she was happy to share her knowledge with all genders. Washington State Senator Patty Murray has served in public office since 1992. She has served as a part of the Senate Democratic leadership since 2007. Murray says she wants to share her knowledge on entering leadership roles, especially as a woman. "The most important thing to remember always is that you have a voice and it's important and if you feel the passion to speak up and run then run don't fear losing,” Sen. Murray said. [KLEW, 04/17/19]

U.S. Senator talks women in leadership, current politics (Lauren Ellebecker): U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., spoke about leadership and the current political environment at an event Tuesday hosted by the Thomas S. Foley Institute. Murray said she became involved in politics when she attended WSU as a freshman. A policy that required women to wear dresses in the dining hall inspired Murray’s interest in changing it. Murray said leaders need to risk speaking out and must support one another to stand up to bullies. “Some things may be small, but you can take them on and make a difference,” she said. “Big or small, speak up.” Murray answered questions submitted by students through the Foley Institute. [The Daily Evergreen, 04/17/19]

Sen. Patty Murray returns to her roots (William L. Spence): Returning to the site of her first political victory, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., discussed the importance of speaking out during a brief visit to Washington State University on Tuesday. Murray was first elected to the Senate in 1992 and graduated from WSU in 1972. She discussed “Women in Leadership” during a 40-minute talk organized by the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy. Although Murray got her start in elected office in the 1980s — after a state lawmakers famously dismissed her as “just a mom in tennis shoes” — her first experience with political activism came in Pullman, during her freshman year of college. [Moscow-Pullman Daily News, 04/17/19]

Women’s Health

For sexual assault victims, it's a struggle to just get evidence collected (Esmy Jimenez): U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) is pushing for more resources for survivors of sexual assault. For the third time, she's sponsoring a bill to increase the care available at medical centers nationwide. For Leah Griffin this bill is incredibly personal. After an assault, she went to a nearby clinic only to be told they didn’t have rape kits available there. After driving herself to another clinic and waiting five hours, Griffin was finally able to collect evidence. “We have a justice system that demands empirical evidence of sexual assault survivors. And then denies us access to that evidence collection,” she said at an event Thursday. [KUOW, 04/19/19]

Federal judge in Yakima blocks Trump abortion rule that foes called ‘an outrageous attack on patients’ (Ryan Blethen): … As the state’s attorneys made their arguments in Yakima, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., visited a Planned Parenthood health center in Seattle’s Central District to meet with leaders of the organization and hear from women who use services funded through Title X. “This is about women making the right decisions for themselves, for their health care, so they can be capable of doing what they need to do, whether that is going to school, having a family later, getting their house in order if that is what they need to do,” Murray told the women. [Seattle Times, 04/25/19]

Mueller Report

Murray calls Mueller report rollout 'political' (KOMO Staff): Local politicians such as U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, reacted Thursday to the full release of the Meuller report. Murray answered questions from reporters on the report saying that there was major discrepancies between what Attorney General Barr said and the report. "What is most important to understand today is that there was a very political nature on the way the report was presented to us," Murray said. She went on to say that people have the right to know this information before the next election and that "the discrepancies between what Barr said...versus what I have read in the report in terms of obstruction of justice is a stark reason why we should investigate." [KOMO, 04/18/19]

Washington lawmakers react to Mueller report (Chris Daniels): Special counsel Robert Mueller's report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday that President Donald Trump tried to seize control of the Russia probe and force Mueller's removal to stop him from investigating potential obstruction of justice by the president. Trump was largely thwarted by those around him. After nearly two years, the two-volume, 448-page redacted report made for riveting reading. Washington lawmakers joined the nation in reacting to the report. Sen. Patty Murray released the following statement, "Along with many other serious concerns this redacted report raises, it’s clear there are tremendous discrepancies between what Attorney General Barr said about Special Counsel Mueller’s findings and what Mueller actually wrote on issues as important as obstruction of justice. I’ve said from the beginning that the American people deserve full transparency about Russia’s confirmed efforts to interfere in our elections, as well as about any attempts to cover that up or obstruct investigations into their efforts." [KING, 04/18/19]

Local Congress members react to redacted Mueller report (Essex Porter): President Trump is claiming the redacted Mueller report clears him of colluding with the Russians and obstruction of justice. But Democratic members of Congress from Western Washington disagree. For example: Barr said, "The White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel's investigation." But Special Counsel Robert Mueller writes, "The President's efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders..." Washington Sen. Patty Murray said, “There are tremendous discrepancies between what AG Barr said and what the prosecutor Mueller has said in his report. So, Congress needs to get to the bottom and investigate.” Asked about impeaching President Trump Senator Murray responded, “Impeachment is a tremendous step. I've been through it before with (former) president Clinton. And there are tremendous reactions and implications on impeachment. It needs to be done, properly if it is done with the right amount of information.” [KIRO, 04/18/19]

Washington politicians respond to release of Mueller Report (Staff): Democratic Senator Patty Murray notes “discrepancies” between what the attorney general says and what the report states. Along with many other serious concerns this redacted report raises, it is clear there are tremendous discrepancies between what Attorney General Barr said about the Special Counsel’s findings and what the Special Counsel actually wrote on issues as important as obstruction of justice. I have said from the beginning that the American people deserve full transparency about Russia’s confirmed efforts to interfere in our elections, as well as about any attempts to cover that up or obstruct investigations into their efforts. This means Congress must be able to review the report in full and be able to continue to thoroughly investigate the many questions it raises—including having Special Counsel Mueller testify before both the Senate and the House. [KIRO Radio, 04/18/19]

Washington and Idaho lawmakers weigh in on Mueller report (Megan Rowe): With the release Thursday of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 presidential election, Washington and Idaho legislators are weighing in on how to proceed. Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers said in a statement that she had always supported providing the documents to the public. “I’m glad that’s now happening, and in the coming days, I look forward to reviewing it myself,” McMorris-Rodgers said. Sen. Patty Murray did not think that Attorney General William Barr’s speech lined up with the content of the report. “It is clear there are tremendous discrepancies between what Attorney General Barr said about the Special Counsel’s findings and what the Special Counsel actually wrote on issues as important as obstruction of justice,” Murray said in a statement. [Spokesman-Review, 04/18/19]