Town Hall this Saturday!
I hope you can make it to our 33rd District Town Hall
Equal Pay Passes!
Last Wednesday, on International Women’s Day, the House passed the Equal Pay Opportunity Act, which prohibits pay secrecy policies, allows discussion of wages, and prohibits retaliation for asking for equal pay.
Helping victims of human trafficking
Sadly, our community has one of the highest rates of trafficking. We know the mean age is 15 years old and that 80% of the victims were abused as children. Washington has made progress in the fight against human trafficking, but we can do more.
I sponsored two bills this session to strengthen our state’s human trafficking laws:
Schools can take a breather
In an effort to lessen the negative impacts from the Great Recession on school budgets, in 2010 the Legislature gave local school districts some additional leeway to raise local levies to help make up for state funding shortfalls, but this additional flexibility is set to expire this year. This issue is commonly referred to in Olympia as the “Levy Cliff.”
Last week, on an 87-10 vote, the House of Representatives passed ESB 5023 to fix the looming “levy cliff” crisis facing public schools next year. Without this bill, school districts have been forced to write budgets for the upcoming school year that include teacher layoffs and other reductions in spending.
The levy cliff bill extends temporary levy provisions for one year and avoids a $358 million cut to local schools. It ensures that school budgets won’t be cut while the Legislature continues to work on an education funding solution.
There’s a lot more work to do. Agreeing on a compromise for the final deal to fully fund education will require tough decisions from both sides. But we’ll get there. I believe we all want to do the right thing by our children and our school districts.
Click on the Google map below for a breakdown of how much each school district stood to lose if the Legislature did not approve a levy cliff fix
Small business licensing simplified
Many small businesses in Washington state operate in multiple jurisdictions. For some, such as those that make deliveries, that means acquiring a business license in each of the cities or towns in which they operate—even if it’s a single delivery.
As always, thank you for your interest in your legislature. Don’t hesitate to contact my office if you need more information on any of these issues, or if you have feedback for me.