It’s my first email to you all as an elected representative and I have to say, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. I hope to reach out to you every week or so to update you on what is going on in Olympia; what bills I’m working on; how we’re progressing on a budget and fully funding education; and anything else that might impact you back home in the 30th legislative district.
Rural Veterans, Paid Family Leave, and School District Funding
I’m keeping my focus on important issues for our local communities. We have some major issues to address this year, including fully funding education, but also local issues that I want to prioritize. Last week, I introduced a new bill that would help veterans in rural and remote areas get access to their federal veterans’ benefits and reintegration services. Rural and remote veterans have a greater need for certain services. They’ve sacrificed for us and served their country, so I think we can manage to make it a bit easier for them to get the care they need. My bill will introduce a pilot program to test out a way to make sure veterans are getting adequate services. If it works, I hope we can make it a permanent program in Washington.
I also signed on to the paid family and medical leave bill that was introduced by my colleague, June Robinson. As a working mom, I know how important maternity leave is. And, if you have a child or a family member who is seriously ill, they need to be taken care of. Or, if you have a drastic need and you’re in the military, you need that time too. The legislation I’m supporting will provide family and medical leave insurance for working families like yours or mine, giving them the option to take care of a sick family member without fear of losing their paycheck.
Finally, I also wanted to update you on a bill you might have heard about in the news. The “levy cliff” bill passed the House on Monday. I voted for it because if we don’t pass the bill, Federal Way school district could lose up to $4.5 million. That’s a huge cut to their budget. I spoke to the district superintendent and she assured me this vote was necessary. I was sent to Olympia to fully fund our schools, not fire teachers. I hope our Senate colleagues will join us in passing this important bill.
My First Floor Speech
I wasn’t sure when I would speak on the House floor for the first time, but it didn’t take long. To commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr., I was asked to speak about his legacy and how it impacted my life. If you want to watch, take a look at the video below:
It’s an incredible honor to serve our community. Please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail my office with questions or concerns or just to share ideas.