Washington State House Democrats


Back in Olympia for session

Returning to Olympia and MLK Day at the Capitol

We’re back in Olympia for a short session, scheduled to last until March 10 this year. With only 60 days this year, we have a lot of work to do. We look forward to keeping in touch with you throughout the 60 day session with these email updates.

 Monday was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and many constituents used their day off to come to Olympia as citizen lobbyists.  It is always one of our busiest days down in Olympia. The day was hectic but rewarding as we met with constituents who made the trek from the 34th district on behalf of various groups.

Hope Lutheran School 1-20-16
Joe and Eileen meeting with students from Hope Lutheran School in West Seattle.

It’s gratifying to see people from the 34th District of all ages in our district getting involved with civic engagement and advocating for issues they care about, especially on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

We hope that everyone reading this will continue to get involved in the political process, whether that means coming to Olympia to lobby or by calling or emailing us with concerns and support.

Ending Surprise Emergency Room Bills

Have you ever gone to the E.R., paid your co-pay, only to get a surprise bill weeks or even months later for costs not covered by your insurance company? We have heard from people that they think they are covered only to discover due to a contractual disagreement between the doctor and the insurance provider that they owe more money.

 What happens is that sometimes the hospital is in your carrier network, but the doctor isn’t. When the doctor is “out of network” with your insurer, he can bill you for the difference between what your insurance is willing to pay and what the doctor believes they deserve.  These surprise bills are unfair to patients. That’s why Eileen has introduced HB 2447, a bill that will require the doctor (provider) and the carrier (insurance company) to either come to an agreement or go to binding arbitration. You shouldn’t get stuck with the bill just because they disagree on their costs.

Great opportunity for young people to see their government in action

What is a “page?”

a)      In feudal times, a boy attending to a knight

b)      A leaf or sheet or paper in a book

c)       A young teen getting a close-up look at government in action, having fun and earning money while spending a week delivering documents and helping out House members in the Washington state Legislature.

 The answer, of course, is “all of the above” – but the one most relevant here is (c). With the Legislature in session, it’s page season once again, which means a great opportunity for 14-, 15- and 16-year-olds from across the state to have a hands-on experience in government.

 If you know a young person who is interested in this opportunity, click here to learn more and to download an application. Don’t delay – spots fill up quickly!