Friends and neighbors –
My colleagues and I met earlier this month to pass legislation touching on a variety of areas. These were bills the House already passed, but did not pass the Senate in regular session. We get another chance to pass these bills through the legislature while the negotiations continue toward a final operating budget.
Fourth graders from Enterprise Elementary visited me this week in Olympia and had great questions about the process of making laws. Their visit is a reminder of the hard work that must be done to fully fund education and why I’m fighting in Olympia – after decades of legislative inaction – to finally get the job done.
Congress in the other Washington has made it easier for internet service providers to sell your private internet history online. That’s not right. A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the Washington State House have worked together to provide greater privacy protection for internet users in our state. I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of this legislation, so we can put your personal privacy ahead of corporate profits. This month the House again passed this legislation, and I encourage Senate to also pass it, so it can get to the Governor’s desk.
I am proud to be a co-sponsor of Rep. Tana Senn’s House bill to promote equal pay in the workforce. It’s time. The House this month again passed the bill to hold employers accountable and make it harder to discriminate against women when it comes to pay in the workplace. Many women who are taking home smaller paychecks don’t even know it because their employers actively discourage—or outright ban—workers from discussing wages among themselves. Keeping women in the dark about pay differences limits their ability to negotiate for higher pay. My hope is this is the last year we have to pass this bill and that the Senate finally agrees to also pass this legislation so that we can send this important legislation to the Governor.
Support services for veterans
My seatmate Rep. Kristine Reeves introduced legislation that connects veterans with federal earned services. I proudly support her important legislation. Far too many veterans in rural areas have limited access to the benefits they earned through their service. Finding pathways to connect veterans to those services is important, and I’m glad we voted this out of the House again this month.
Student bill of rights
The House passed the Washington Student Education Loan Bill of Rights. If the Senate passes this bill into law, it would prohibit harmful business practices by student loan servicing companies and third-party loan modification companies such as cutting off communication with a borrower, reporting inaccurate information to credit bureaus, and encouraging borrowers to waive their legal rights. It creates a more transparent and accountable student loan system.