Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are wrapping up the first month of session. Bills are moving through the process and we're beginning to debate legislation on the floor.
Yesterday, we heard two bills on the floor. One, HB 1285, would allow families of mentally ill individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others to petition the courts for involuntary commitment. This is such a critical piece of legislation for community safety and a good step toward fixing our broken mental health system.
The second bill, HB 1105, was a supplemental operating budget. I voted in favor of this legislation, and it would adjust state spending through June 30 to pay for: the eastern Washington wildfires and Oso landslide, the homecare shared living lawsuit, more mental health treatment capacity, and children's services. This plan spends less in near general fund and total dollars than the governor's proposed budget.
National Guard Day
Today, I was privileged to deliver a speech in honor of members of our National Guard. As you know, my husband served as a pilot and my twin brother served as a marine, both in the Vietnam War. I saw, first hand, their commitment and sacrifices for our country. Despite the hardships, my husband and brother never shirked their duties to serve and protect their country. I am so proud of them to this day, and our current members of the National Guard.
You can watch my speech here.
I want to take a brief moment to give a shout out to the folks in Federal Way who organized a sign-waving event on the corner of 320th Street and Pacific Highway on Jan. 24 to show respect and appreciation for our police force. They had a great turnout and received a terrific response from the Federal Way community!
An update on my legislation
HB 1079 – statutory modification that would authorize two or more public agencies (state, local, etc.) to enter into a contract for architectural or engineering services, provided other statutory provisions are met.
I was prompted to sponsor this bill after discovering that Lakehaven Utility District was not allowed to join with the city of Federal Way and use the same engineering consultant for a local project. This bill is targeted at saving taxpayers' dollars and I hope it will move out of the State Government Committee.
HB 1279 – relating to the creation of a local tourism promotion area for Federal Way and other local areas to increase tourism and economic development.
This bill was given a hearing in the House Community Development and Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee on Monday and is scheduled for an executive session Feb. 2. The 30th District has a lot to offer tourists – the Pacific Bonsai Garden, Dash Point State Park, the Rhododendron Botanical Garden, Wild Waves Theme Park – plus dozens of restaurants, shops and lodging locations. It's certainly a great place to live!
HB 1330 – concerning the punishment for attempting to elude a police vehicle.
This bill would toughen the punishment for offenders who refuse to pull over on a public highway after being notified by police, making it a felony on the second offense. This bill has been introduced to the House Public Safety Committee, but it has not been granted a hearing yet.
Heart screening bill
I have partnered with Sen. McAuliffe to sponsor a bill to require heart-screening-device training in high schools. This issue is personal to me as I lost my son of 21 years of age to cardiac arrest. I want to ensure our student athletes have immediate care available to them in their schools.
This bill has not been assigned a number yet, but I'll be sure to keep you updated on this legislation throughout session with these email updates. I encourage you to forward this email to anyone you think would be interested. Anyone can sign up for their own copy by logging onto my website and entering their email address at the top of the page.
As always, if you ever have a comment, idea or concern about state government, please contact me. I enjoy hearing from folks back home while I'm down in Olympia for session.
It's an honor to serve you!
122F Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7898 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000