Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are now in week seven of the 2015 legislative session. There has been a great amount of activity thus far, and it will only get busier as more bills come to the House floor to be voted on next week. Each piece of legislation we consider will have an impact on Washington state and our families. I am committed to focusing on policy that positively affects people in our community, not policy that is merely political. I am here to serve you, and thank you for the honor of doing so. It is truly a privilege.
An update on legislation
Last Friday was the first deadline of the session. Bills that did not pass out of their respective policy committees are generally considered “dead” for the session. The next cutoff deadline is tomorrow, when all bills referred to a fiscal committee must pass out of committee to continue to the House floor. If you want to learn more about cutoff, this blog post offers a great overview.
One of my bills, House Bill 1316, is currently awaiting action on the House floor. It is aimed at preventing abuse of the elderly, and amends the law to ensure vulnerable adults are protected by temporary protection orders.
Another of my bills, House Bill 1554, is currently awaiting further consideration in the House Rules Committee. This committee considers all bills reported from policy and fiscal committees and determines whether, and in what order, to schedule their consideration on the floor. HB 1554 would protect the identities of children that have been victims of misconduct while enrolled in certain programs by exempting the personal information of a victim's guardians or family members from public record.
Two of my bills, House Bill 1973 and House Bill 1974, are currently awaiting further action in the House Appropriations Committee. This committee considers the operating budget and related legislation, budget processes, and fiscal issues.
HB 1973 would establish an open educational resources pilot program at Eastern Washington University to lower students' costs. I recently recorded a video exclusively dedicated to discussing this bill. To watch it, click here.
HB 1974 would create a pilot program to implement regional school safety and security centers in three educational service districts.
Speaking on the House floor in support of House Resolution 4613
I was honored to speak on the House floor last week in support of House Resolution 4613. The resolution recognizes the more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans who were interned in camps during World War II due to President Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066. It also recognizes the thousands of Japanese-Americans who fought for our country during the war.
In 1942, the Puyallup Assembly Center on the Puyallup Fairgrounds was transformed into a makeshift camp to temporarily house nearly 8,000 Japanese-Americans. Families had to sell everything they couldn't carry with them, and then face the horror of being cooped in by fences under the watchful eye of armed guards.
In my speech, I highlight how troubling Executive Order 9066 was, but I also discuss the contrast of that time to today. In 2015, we as legislators must continue to make the conscious decision to speak, act and legislate in truth and love, and honor freedom every day. To watch my remarks, click here.
Video update and 'In the News'
Along with my video update on House Bill 1973, I recorded two additional video updates last week covering floor action, a legislative day dedicated to honoring our men and women serving in the Navy, an update on my legislation, and more.
To watch my Feb. 20 video update, click here.
To watch my Feb. 16 video update, click here.
House Bill 1939 was also in the news recently, as I was interviewed by KIRO 7's Essex Porter for a story on congestion relief and what we in Olympia can do to fix this problem.
Around the Capitol
I recently met with students from Washington High School, who shared about the Youth Leading Change (YLC) club that is sponsored by the Safe Streets Campaign. The club encourages youth to spread the message of prevention to their peers. YLC youth focus on general prevention issues, such as: drug use, underage drinking, teen suicide, teen pregnancy, prescription drug abuse and more.
Additionally, I attended the Alzheimer's Association Breakfast held at Hotel Murano in Tacoma. Later in the week, Alzheimer prevention advocates from the 25th District came to my office to share about family members with Alzheimer's, as well as constituents' personal stories living with Alzheimer's.
I also met with Puyallup School District students from Spinning Elementary and Karshner Elementary when they visited the Capitol. Rep. Zeiger and I had the opportunity to take the students onto the House floor, where they learned about how members speak on the floor and how votes are counted.
Finally, the Master Builders Association of Pierce County and the Washington Trails Association recently came to the Capitol to share their legislative priorities with me.
Having visitors from the 25th District share their perspectives with me is always a highlight of my day here in Olympia.
Getting in touch
Please continue to stay in touch with me as session continues. I am always available to meet with you in my office, speak on the phone or correspond through email. Please feel free to call my office at (360) 786-7948 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is an honor to serve you.