Rep. Entenman’s Legislative Update
One of the most important parts of my job is meeting with constituent groups to listen and learn about matters of public policy particularly important to them. This session, I have met with many important groups who have shared their legislative ideas, priorities, and feedback with me. Some of the groups I have met with recently include the Faith Action Network, the Washington Recovery Alliance, and a group of retired physicians.
The Faith Action Network is an interfaith organization that works to progress a more just society through advancing education, community building, and assistance for the most vulnerable in our
communities. It was wonderful to hear their ideas for improving access to education and ensuring that community college programs are equitably funded. We also discussed increasing COVID relief funds, especially to assist disproportionately impacted communities. I also had a productive conversation with the Washington Recovery Alliance about policies to advance criminal justice reform including increased support for the reintegration of formally incarcerated individuals. My conversation with retired physicians revolved around building a more robust and effective public health system.
The opportunity to interact with constituents is a major reason why I find so much joy and fulfillment in representing the 47th Legislative District. I look forward to continued conversations with community members, advocacy organizations, non-profits, businesses, and stakeholder groups. Always feel free to reach out to my office for a meeting to discuss legislation moving in Olympia. Listening to you and representing your voice is the most important part of my job.
Protecting Data Privacy
Every day that we use our smart phones and computers, we leave behind a digital trail of data regarding our movements, online searches, shopping choices, work, and fitness activities. With increasing frequency and oftentimes without our awareness, this data is used for targeted advertising or sold directly to another company. This year two competing proposals to regulate the collection and use of consumer data have been introduced. My colleague, Rep. Shelley Kloba (D-Kirkland) in conjunction with the ACLU has introduced the People’s Privacy Act. In the Senate, Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) has reintroduced the Washington Privacy Act. Both bills seek to create new privacy rights for our consumer data. Both bills would give consumers the right to decide what data companies collect on you, for what purpose it can be used, who can use it, and to have it deleted.
However, the People’s Privacy Act goes farther in two important ways. The first is that it would make data collection an opt-in feature as opposed to the current opt-out option that most companies and applications offer. Instead of having to request that companies delete your data, you could simply never allow them to access it in the first place. The second important distinction is that the People’s Privacy Act includes a private right of action. This would allow an individual to sue a company that was violating their data privacy rights. Under the Washington Privacy Act, only the Attorney General can enforce violations under the Consumer Protection Act. I believe that a right is meaningless if there is not a way for an individual to enforce that right.
Unfortunately, only the Washington Privacy Act is moving forward this week after the “policy committee cutoff,” one of the Legislature’s deadlines for legislation to move through the committee process. Thankfully, the Washington Privacy Act will be heading over to the House to be heard in the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee. Having set out the principles we believe in with the People’s Privacy Act, I am hopeful that here in the House, we can continue to shape this bill and ensure that the Washington Privacy Act creates a meaningful way to enforce these new rights. I will continue to fight for consumer-focused data privacy protection. Hopefully the People’s House can make sure that the consumer perspective will be reflected in any data privacy legislation and that we can get it passed this year.
You Could Have Unclaimed Money in the State Treasury
One in seven Washingtonians have unclaimed money from old utility deposits, bank accounts, investments, rebates, gift cards, insurance premiums and more just sitting in the state treasury. That’s why Rep. Jamila Taylor introduced a bill to help get the word out about these lost funds, especially to those who are struggling to make ends meet. You can be part of the solution. Visit this link to see if you have any unclaimed money, and be sure to share this website with your friends and family.