Dear friends and neighbors
Hello from the state capitol in Olympia! On Monday, I was sworn in as your representative in the State House. It is an honor and a privilege to once again serve the people of the 27th Legislative District.
Monday’s swearing in ceremonies included some historic firsts for our state. My colleagues in the House now include the first Native American woman to serve in that chamber, as well as the first refugee legislator. In fact, this is one of the most diverse cohorts of legislators in our state’s history. The House Democratic Caucus is also now a woman majority caucus. I’m thrilled that the halls and chambers of our state capitol better reflect our state’s diverse communities, like Tacoma.
This year, as in every odd-numbered year, lawmakers will be drafting a new two-year budget for our state. I’m pleased to serve on the House Appropriations committee, the committee that considers the budget, as well as all bills that have a fiscal impact on the budget. As the session progresses, I’ll have more information to share with you on what is being proposed for the budget, and what the impact of those proposals would be for our district and our state. But in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions, feedback, or concerns. I’m ready for the 2019 session, and I look forward to serving you.
Constituent survey: Thank you for your feedback
Thank you to all who took my pre-session constituent survey that was linked in my last e-newsletter. I heard from some of you that you would have liked a way to submit comments directly in the survey itself, rather than having to email me. Others reached out to say there were some topics – like education funding and substance abuse treatment – that they wished would have been covered. I want you to know I received all your comments and greatly appreciate the feedback. Although the survey didn’t cover every issue the Legislature will take up this year, I focused on the issues I am most directly involved with in terms of my committee assignments. However, it’s good to know what topics outside of those areas are most important to the people I represent. I will also make sure to include a comment field in any future surveys to make it easier for you to submit feedback.
From the survey results, it’s clear that a majority of respondents do not feel they have enough savings or a plan in place to pay for their long-term care needs. This is not surprising, as last year the New York Times interviewed me about my efforts to address what is a looming problem not only here in our state, but nationwide. On January 7, I was on KING 5’s New Day Northwest show to talk about my proposal, the Long-Term Care Trust Act. This bill, which has bipartisan support, would create a long-term care insurance program for Washington workers. I’m very excited about about this because it would help both those who need care, and the 850,000 unpaid family caregivers who are currently struggling to provide care for an aging loved one. The bill had a hearing yesterday in the Health Care and Wellness committee. I will keep you updated on its progress.
Let’s ensure our state boards & commissions reflect the diversity of our communities!
Did you know there are over 230 boards and commissions to which the Governor appoints people from across our state? It’s a way to ensure people have a voice in government, and that the diverse array of talents, skills and experiences from all communities are represented. The make-up of our Legislature is now the most diverse in our state’s history. Our boards and commissions should also reflect that diversity. The Governor’s Office is always looking for qualified candidates to fill current and upcoming vacancies. If you are interested, you can read about the many opportunities available by clicking here and here. If you’re ready to apply, click here to fill out an application.