Newsletter – 2nd Week of Session: Lots to Report

Friends and neighbors,

While these first two weeks of the 2023 105-day session have been hectic, I am excited to be back working under the legislative dome in our state capital after two years of doing business over a laptop screen.

This year we have budgets to write, critical investments to make and multiple challenges to face including: growing our workforce by incentivizing young Washingtonians to seek careers in the nursing, mental health, childcare, teaching, and law enforcement fields, as well as in the trades; addressing the current lack of affordable housing and increased homelessness rates; increase support for our rural communities; continue improving our education system; strengthening community safety; and furthering sensible environmental efforts.

The Crab Conundrum

Crab harvesting along our coastal communities is a significant economic driver for producers and their workers, as well as for transporters and points of sale. It’s a big industry that has an impact on the families that rely on the harvest, as well as on your family and mine, and that of many Washingtonians who rely on supply so we can enjoy putting crab on our tables.

The problem is that marine biotoxins, such as domoic acid which occurs naturally in some crabs, can be harmful and even fatal if consumed by humans. When an influx is detected, the Department of Health currently struggles to respond effectively, which can then result in fishery closures and season delays, and ultimately in you and I not getting to eat crab.

crab legs

The good news is that the toxin is not found in all crabs and when it is present, it’s generally not in all of the crab’s meat, so the legs are not affected and can be consumed safely, which is what my legislation would allow.

I have been working on this issue for a few years now but for one reason or another, the bill hasn’t made it to the governor’s desk. However, I am invested and committed to solving this problem. My bill (HB 1010) passed the Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee, which I chair, on a unanimous vote earlier this week. Its next stop is the Appropriations Committee.

I’ll keep you posted on its progress.

Salmon Recovery

Another bill I introduced, HB 1215, would allow compensation from the state to small farmers and property owners for voluntarily establishing riparian buffer zones to help salmon thrive. We heard it in the Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee on January 17.  Click here or on the image below to watch a 1-minute video on this legislation.

Salmon recovery cover

Click here to check out other bills we are considering in my committee; and here to see all the bills I am sponsoring and co-sponsoring this session.

Your Teen in Olympia for a Week

With the Legislature returning to in-person meetings in Olympia, the legislative page program is back and accepting applications.

Pages Floor 2023

The page program gives young Washington residents the chance to learn and participate in the legislative process by attending page school, assisting legislative offices, delivering messages, and working in the House and Senate chambers. 

We established a scholarship program to encourage all students – regardless of income level – to participate by helping to offset the expense of travel to and staying in Olympia during their week of service. By reducing the financial burden for families, the legislature hopes to make participation of this great educational opportunity economically feasible for students across Washington. For more information, please visit the page program’s website by clicking here. And to see if you qualify for the scholarship program, please follow this link. 

Participate in the Process

There are several ways to stay informed and involved during the 2023 legislative session. 

Infographic get involved
  • Learn — Are you curious about how the legislative process works? You can watch a start-to-finish overview by clicking here. If you prefer to read text instead, follow this link
  • broadcasts all legislative debates, votes, public committee hearings, and other events in both the House and Senate. TVW also links to an extensive archive of past events if you are unable to watch them live. Check out TVW’s “Legislative Review” for a quick recap of everything that happens each day of session. 
  • Research — Find detailed information about legislation by lawmaker or topic by clicking here
  • Testify — Share your thoughts on legislation! This session, you’ll be able to testify in person, remotely, or in writing based on what’s easiest for you. Click here for more information on how to testify here in Olympia or from your home in the 24th district. 

We will accommodate both in-person and virtual meetings this session.To schedule a meeting, please contact my Legislative Assistant,

Your input is very important to me, so don’t hesitate to call or email with your feedback, concerns and ideas.

Thank you for reading this update.


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LEG 132B | PO Box 40600 Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786-7916 | Toll-Free Hotline: 1-800-562-6000 | 1-800-635-9993 (TTY)
Legislative Assistant:
Agriculture and Natural Resources (Chair)
Consumer Protection & Business