In any given legislative session, the Senate hears countless bills proposed by well-intentioned legislators who truly believe they are doing the right thing by their constituents and the people of Washington.
Sometimes, those bills are popular on both sides of the aisle and sometimes they aren’t. Even with my bills, some of you might like them and some of you might not. And that is exactly what is so great about democracy. Click here to learn more about the bills we’ll be hearing this session.
Our system of government begins and ends with you — the people.
Proposed bills are heard in committee and everyday people, as well as experts, have the right to have their voice heard. In fact, we legislators depend on those who share their concerns in this public forum to bring all sides of an issue to light so we don’t overlook how a bill will affect the lives of Washingtonians.
Be engaged. If you have a strong concern about a piece of legislation, come testify either for or against it. Tell us what we need to know. Click here to explore the Senate committee schedule.
You can also email me with your comments. I ask that you be respectful in doing so, as I will always be respectful to you in our communications.
Thank you to everyone who emailed me their thoughts this past week on different issues before the Legislature this year. Be it water rights, the budget, gun control, health care or whatever you are passionate about…it’s all valuable to me.
I look forward to hearing from you!
In my time here in the Legislature, we have mourned the loss of five law enforcement officers from the 2nd Legislative District and several others from other areas of Washington. Most recently, we lost Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney.
There aren’t words to express the sorrow I feel for Deputy McCartney and his loved ones. My sincere condolences to his family, his friends and his colleagues in the law enforcement community.
As all police officers do, Deputy McCartney risked his life for the safety of others. We mustn’t take this for granted. Not many are willing to make that commitment to society and I hope we all remember him as a hero.
Recently, I shared that the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature had fulfilled its paramount duty to fully fund basic education. I also said that the court ruled that we need to implement the salary structure a year earlier than our funding mechanism provided for. This is why we are currently facing a possible $1 billion additional expense for the 2018-19 school year.
However, there are expenses that are not included under the definition of “basic education” and local school districts are not only allowed to put local levies on the ballot for school funding, they will need to in order to provide enrichment activities and services. While enrichment expenses go above and beyond basic education, they are still essential to the successful education of our children.
Local levies are also a good means of ensuring that each district has another layer of local control over the education of its students.
If your district is proposing a local levy, learn more about what it will pay for — what impact it will have on the quality of education in that district. Just because your district is getting additional funds from the state doesn’t mean it doesn’t need additional support from locals.
Thank you for helping Washington build an amazing educational system.