Washington State House Democrats


Rep. Orwall’s 1/12/18 Update: Priorities / Paid Sick Leave / Breakfast After Bell

2018 Priorities

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:

  • Capital budget (including resources for affordable housing for those most in need)
  • Investments in K-12 including resources for students with special needs
  • Investments in mental health including suicide prevention efforts
  • Therapeutic interventions for youth and families who are struggling

I’ll provide updates on my bills regularly, and I would love to hear from you if you have questions or concerns.

Ask Tina

Ask Tina

Every other week I get the opportunity to respond to constituent e-mails on camera, so I welcome your questions! In this first Ask Tina of 2018, I address the Equal Pay Opportunity Act and International Baccalaureate Programs. Click on the image to watch the video.

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.

Breakfast after the bell

When hungry kids are distracted by thinking about where their next meal is going to come from, they aren’t focused on learning. So making sure kids are well-nourished to start the school day is critically important to boosting academic achievement.

One of the first bills approved by the House of Representatives this session was House Bill 1508, which will expand programs that provide students from low-income families with meals in the morning.

Programs like Breakfast After the Bell have proven to be highly successful in improving academic achievement. I was proud to vote in favor of this bill because I know it will mean brighter futures for our children.

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.

Orwall Page Sarah

Students get hands-on experience

Serving as pages is a great opportunity for students ages 14 to 16 from across the state to have a hands-on experience in government. Some of my colleague lawmakers began their paths into public service as pages. Click here to read about the Page Program.

This week I was pleased to sponsor Sarah Jenner, a student at Mt. Rainier High School.

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!


Orwall Sig