Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As lawmakers wrapped up their legislative business after the 60-day session, one of the top priorities for many of us included adequately responding to the growing threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The final bill to pass before we adjourned the 2020 session provides $200 million to combat the spread of the virus. I was glad to lend my support to this critical funding.
Resources and information | COVID-19
Many of you have reached out to my office looking for reliable information and answers to questions regarding COVID-19. To help get you informed, I'm including links to resources and information below. As always, if you have additional questions about how to stay informed on this quickly moving situation, please feel free to reach out to my office. I'm happy to help.
Symptoms of COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath
If you believe you have symptoms:
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) advises that you call your doctor—do not go to the hospital. The doctor will make an assessment about next steps. If it requires a COVID-19 test, the doctor will then contact public health officials and they will arrange a test.
DOH has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, you can call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.
For more information:
- DOH Coronavirus Resource page
- CDC Coronavirus Information
- Local Public Health Offices around WA
- Public Health – Snohomish County Coronavirus Updates
- Public Health – Seattle & King County Coronavirus Updates
Senate Bill 5395 | Comprehensive Sex Education
The Washington State Patrol estimated more than 3,000 concerned parents came to the state Capitol this week to protest the passage of the controversial comprehensive sex education bill. I applaud their efforts. During deliberations on the House floor, I voiced my strong objection to the measure and voted “no.”
Here's why I am opposed: Right now, local school districts decide whether to offer sexual health education, human growth and development, or some combination of both. Under this bill, state bureaucrats will make those decisions. While it's true school districts can choose their own curriculum—it must comply with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction's (OSPI) standards. This is more stringent and controlling than the curricula selection process for any other subject, including math, science and social studies.
Next, I do not believe the instruction is age-appropriate. The mandate created requires too much, too soon for young children. It also gives the illusion that students and their parents can “opt-out” of instruction they find objectionable. The bill clearly allows sex education to be taught throughout the day and in all subjects. This makes it nearly impossible for parents to shield their children from the information. The only true opt-out would be private or home school, which is not an option for many working families.
The 56-40 party-line vote on the House floor came after nearly six hours of debate, during which more than 200 Republican amendments were filed. Unfortunately, with approval by the majority party in both the Senate and House, the bill was approved. At this point, we can only hope the governor does the right thing and vetoes the bill.
The 2020 Session adjourns!
I'd like to thank every person that contacted my office over the past few weeks. Your input is the basis for every decision I make in Olympia. With the conclusion of the legislative session, I'm heading home. But that does not mean my work for you stops. In the coming days, I'll be sending you more information on the wins and losses of the 2020 session.
It's an honor to serve you!