Dear friends and neighbors,
Welcome to my very first legislative newsletter! Please feel free to share this with anyone we missed, they can sign up by going to my home page. January 9th kicked off the 105-day legislative session, the first in-person session since 2020, and I started with a bang!
Moments after I was officially sworn in, I nominated Representative Orwall for the position of Speaker Pro Tempore, of which she was elected to immediately after. I’m honored to have provided this nomination for my friend, mentor, and the first legislator I ever had the pleasure of working with.
Ahead of us is nearly four months of work that is critical to improving affordable access to healthcare in of our community, ensuring equitable representation and treatment within the justice system, and addressing the lack of affordable housing in our state.
As we tackle these and numerous other issues, I encourage you to stay engaged and participate! I’m excited to let you know that while the legislature will be meeting in person, we will retain the option for remote testimony at committee hearings and remote legislator meetings. Please know that disability accommodations and language access resources are available upon request. This is an important way that we can make the process of creating and amending laws more accessible to everyone. Below are some fantastic ways of following the legislative session:
How You Can Engage in the Legislative Process
There are several ways to stay informed and involved during the 2023 legislative session.
- 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.
- Watch — TVW.org 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 in Olympia or at home in the 46th district.
Legislative Priorities: Healthcare Access
Creating an Accessible Healthcare System: As we emerge out of the pandemic, the need to build resiliency in our healthcare workforce, and deal with the issue of affordability and accessibility has never been more present. Whether it is a routine check-up for seniors on Medicare, coordinating jail and correctional healthcare, or resolving the behavior health epidemic in our state, I will be working to ensure quality affordable healthcare to every Washingtonian.
Reproductive Care Access: As reproductive healthcare rights are attacked in this country; Washington will continue to protect these private healthcare decisions. I look forward to working on legislation to eliminate cost-sharing for reproductive healthcare, protecting the health data of patients, and ensuring this fundamental right continues to be guaranteed by our state.
Serve As A Legislative Page
With the Legislature returning to in-person meetings in Olympia, the legislative page program is back and accepting applications! 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 on the House and Senate floors.
This unique opportunity is open to Washington residents who are at least 14 years old but have not reached their 17th birthday. This year only, the House is allowing 17- and 18-year-olds to participate during two specific weeks since the program was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please note that we have a scholarship program available to students interested in the page program. The goal of the scholarship is to encourage all students – regardless of income level – to participate in the page program 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. For more information about the Gina Grant Bull Memorial Legislative Page Scholarship Program, please follow this link.
The session may be long, but it feels very short! I want to hear from you so please don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s an honor to represent the 46th Legislative District. I look forward to hearing your continued advocacy, feedback, and engagement throughout the 2023 Legislative Session.
Rep. Darya Farivar
State Representative 46th Legislative District