Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Lawmakers are back in the saddle here in Olympia for the 2024 legislative session. During even-numbered years, like this one, the Legislature convenes for a 60-day regular session to pass three supplemental budgets: operating, capital, and transportation.
Restoring law and order
Public safety remains my top priority this year. We must do more to restore law and order to communities across Washington and hire more law enforcement officers. Our state is dead last in the nation for the number of active law enforcement officers per capita. I am fighting to turn that around by supporting House Bill 2202 by Rep. Travis Couture.
Youth mental health
Right up there at the top of my list of priorities is improving our mental healthcare system –particularly for our youth.
Washington has a serious behavioral health workforce – that’s why I am sponsoring House Bill 1946. This is my latest effort to improve behavioral healthcare delivery in our state by establishing a Washington health corps behavioral health scholarship program. This bill would ensure state funds are being used to encourage more people to enter the behavioral health field and help ease our workforce shortage.
Protecting children and expanding childcare
The state is not doing enough to protect vulnerable children, especially those in foster care or under other state supervision.
House Bill 1891, my bill with bipartisan support, would require the state to continue supervision of a child for at least 12 months if a child has been returned to a parent who was separated from the child due to a substance use disorder. After 12 months, the court would determine the need for continued intervention.
Another new measure I’ve introduced is House Bill 2383. This would direct dependency courts to improve the well-being of dependent children by helping to foster “relational permanency” for children and youth who leave foster care.
Relational permanency means long-term relationships in which people feel loved and connected with others, including with siblings, parents, family members, extended family, family friends, mentors, and where appropriate, former foster family members.
Finally, as part of a joint effort to improve access to childcare, I am cosponsoring House Bill 2179. This measure would create a local government childcare licensing option. If enacted, it would cut red tape and expanding childcare options for working families.
Follow my legislative page for the latest news and information.
Important links to help you get involved in the legislative process
- Participating in the process | The Legislature’s official guide to help you participate.
- TVW | TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
- State agencies | Lists of all state agencies, boards, and commissions here.
- Washington State House Republican website | Our caucus guide to help you get involved.
Please contact me if you have any questions, comments, or ideas about the many issues facing Washington.
It’s an honor to serve you and the 39th District!