It was an exciting first week of session! I am honored to be working on an array of bills that impact our community and state.
Some of my priorities for this session:
I’ll provide updates on my bills regularly, and I would love to hear from you if you have questions or concerns.
Happy New Year for Working Families
In 2016, voters approved Initiative 1433, which increased the minimum wage and required employers to provide paid sick leave starting January 1, 2018.
A couple of months ago, the Department of Labor and Industries finalized the process for implementation of this new law. The newly adopted rules cover how the law will be carried out, including accrual and usage.
For information on how this new law will benefit you, please view the Department of Labor & Industries’ fact sheet on the impacts of Initiative 1433.
Breakfast After the Bell
Students have one job when they enter the classroom each morning: to learn. Yet day after day, students in every corner of the state are showing up to school hungry.
Why does the Legislature…?
Our state’s legislative process can be confusing, but as with so many things, there is a method to the madness. For instance, the length of legislative sessions, when are they short or long, and why are there special sessions?
Our state uses a two-year legislative cycle, called a biennium, which starts in odd-numbered years when a long (105 days) session convenes. Since we have more time, we are able to discuss and debate more issues, and we write and approve two-year operating, transportation and capital budgets.
During the even-year “short” (60 days) sessions we review the operating budget to see where changes are needed such as natural disaster expenses, increased health care caseloads, revenue receipt changes and the like, which is why you’ll hear references to the “supplemental budget.” Proposed bills from the previous session are still in play, and new ideas are also introduced.
If key issues aren’t resolved by the end of each regular session, the governor can call the Legislature back into “special session,” which can last up to 30 days at a time. There’s no limit to the number of special sessions, except the start of the next regular session.
News you can Use
To get informed and involved in your democracy, here’s a quick guide on how to contact your lawmakers, learn about the issues, or share your views on legislation under debate at the State Capitol:
Our democracy is strongest when everyone has the ability to learn about the issues and share their comments, questions and ideas.
I hope to hear from you soon!