Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Mark your calendars! On Saturday, Feb. 17, your 39th District team: Senator Keith Wagoner, Representative Sam Low and I will be hosting two town hall meetings:
If you have any questions about the meetings, you can contact me at 425-327-2093.
You can also contact:
Sen. Keith Wagoner
Rep. Sam Low
I am hoping to see a good turnout and look forward to answering your questions and concerns about the legislative session.
Take my initiative survey
At the halfway point of the 60-day session, and the majority party has not yet held a hearing on any of the six initiatives signed by over 800,000 Washingtonians.
I want to hear what you think. Please take my six question survey on what you believe the Legislature should do with the initiatives.
- Initiative 2113 would fully restore the ability of law enforcement officers to engage in vehicular pursuit.
- Initiative 2117 would repeal the Climate Commitment Act, the state’s new carbon tax program.
- Initiative 2081 would establish a parental bill of rights, so that parents would have authority over their child’s school and medical records.
- Initiative 2109 would repeal the state’s new capital gains tax.
- Initiative 2111 would prohibit state and local personal income taxes in Washington state.
- Initiative 2124 would allow people to opt out of the new state-run, long-term-care program.
The Legislature has three choices:
- Approve the initiatives;
- Offer alternative measures that would appear on the ballot in November alongside the initiatives; or
- Do nothing, in which case voters would decide whether to approve or reject the initiatives in November.
House passes bill to bolster behavioral health workforce
Improving our mental healthcare system –particularly for our youth – has been a top priority of mine since day one. I am pleased to announce that on Thursday, the House voted 97-0 for House Bill 1946, 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.
Now it’s off to the Senate where I am optimistic we can get it to the finish line and to the governor’s desk for his signature.
A contentious debate over Holocaust education
Late on Friday night, the majority party brought up House Bill 2037 for a vote. This is a measure by Rep. Travis Couture, R-Allyn, that would require public schools, for grades six through twelve, to provide instruction on the Holocaust and other genocides and crimes against humanity.
Even though the measure received unanimous support in the House Education Committee, a member of the majority party introduced a surprise amendment to water down the intent of the bill.
Shockingly, as many as 1 in 5 young Americans (ages 8-29) think the Holocaust is a myth, according to a December survey by The Economist/YouGov Poll. FBI Director Christopher Wray in October also warned that, while Jewish Americans are 2.4% of the population, they’re 60% of the victims of religious based hate crimes.
With this crisis of antisemitism in mind, House Republicans fought hard to keep the bill focused on Holocaust education. Unfortunately, the amendment passed. We ultimately voted for the bill because we must do something to stem the tide of antisemitism. It now heads to the Senate where it could be amended and improved.
Other bills of interest
Senate Bill 6205, sponsored by Sen. Jim McCune, would require school districts to offer instruction on the meaning and history of the Pledge of Allegiance.
I support this measure and believe it would help educate our students about the history of our country.
Senate Bill 5670, sponsored by Sen. Brad Hawkins, would permit rising 11th grade students to participate in Running Start courses during the summer academic term. It would also require school districts to provide information about Running Start enrollment opportunities during the summer academic term.
Running Start is a wonderful way to help students get ahead and save money on college. I am excited to see it pass through the Senate and look forward to helping it quickly move through the House.
Snohomish High School student serves as House page
Rep. Sam Low and I were the proud sponsors of Snohomish High School student Skyler Sherard, who served as a House page last week.
Skyler assisted House members with various duties on the chamber floor, made deliveries throughout campus, and supported member offices. She also attended Page School every day to learn about the Legislature and lawmaking process and participated in a mock committee hearing.
Thank you, Skyler, for your hard work and positive attitude, and for being a great young leader. Our community is lucky to have you!
To serve as a page in the Washington State House of Representatives, students must be at least 14 years of age and have not reached their 17th birthday. Pages work a 40-hour week, earn a stipend of $65 a day, and can earn up to 20 hours of community service.
- House Page Program | FAQ
- Legislative Page Programs and Page School
- Gina Grant Bull Memorial Legislative Page Scholarship Program
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!