Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It's an honor to be back in the state House of Representatives serving the 31st Legislative District. Thank you for taking the time to read this email update. Throughout session, and beyond, you will receive these updates from me. As your representative, I encourage you to reach out to my office with any questions, concerns, or thoughts you may have on any of the topics covered.
The Legislature convened its regular 105-day session on Monday, Jan. 11. Nearly every representative was present for opening ceremonies – socially distanced throughout the House chamber. However, day one was an exception, and most of us will likely not be back on the Capitol grounds this session.
The majority party has decided that the House of Representatives will work remotely for the 2021 legislative session. There will be no in-person meetings, or committee hearings, in Olympia. House facilities will remain closed to the public until further notice. The people's work will be conducted via Zoom, and other technological means. I don't think this is the right decision. There are ways we can conduct the people's work in a safe and healthy manner, while accommodating all safety protocols surrounding COVID-19, but nonetheless conduct that work in-person. I will continue to fight to bring the people's voice and work back to Olympia.
For this session, the Legislature has expanded remote testimony capabilities so you can testify on any bill from anywhere, up to one hour prior to a committee meeting. If you are uncomfortable providing oral testimony, you can submit written testimony on any bill scheduled for public hearing. By clicking here, you can learn more about how to access the Legislature remotely.
I also encourage you to bookmark the following links. These are good resources to keep you up-to-date and to stay informed about your state government.
- My legislative website. Here you will find my contact information, news releases, archived email updates, and more.
- TVW. The state's own version of C-SPAN. This is where you can watch all of the committee and floor action.
- The Washington State Ledger. This is our legislative news aggregator with information related to state government, public policy, and the legislative process.
- Washington State Legislature website. Here you will find committee and floor schedules, bill information, and how you can testify and/or provide input on a bill.
My focus in 2021
The on-going response to COVID-19 has been a frustrating challenge for us all. Businesses and restaurants remain closed, many of which will never re-open. Families continue to struggle with remote learning and the challenges surrounding kids not being in school. Now that the Legislature is in session, there is absolutely no reason the governor should continue to be the only person, or branch of government, making decisions. You, the people of Washington state, elected your state representatives to do work on your behalf.
Unfortunately, on Friday, Jan, 15, the majority party passed Resolution 8402 indefinitely extending the governor's authority to operate under certain emergency proclamations issued in response to COVID-19.
I voted no! It's time for us – your state representatives – to get to work, and find real solutions to help everyone. This should be our number one priority right now.
I'll also focus on responsible state budgeting without raising your taxes, reining in the power of the executive branch, and fighting for everyone's individual rights. For more details on my priorities, and the committees I'll serve this session, please click here.
Stay in touch!
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, ideas, or concerns you have. I want to hear from you. My Legislative Assistant, Meagan, is also happy to help in any way she can. Together, we will get through this challenging time.
In your service,