Dear friends and neighbors,
We are six weeks into the legislative session and this week we passed our first major deadline of the session: policy committee cut-off. This is the last date that policy committees hold hearings on house bills before the House cut-off which means that any bills that did not make it out of policy committees this Monday will likely not be passed into law this session. I’m proud to say that five of my bills survived policy committee cut-off and are on their way to fiscal committees or to the floor!
Over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to hear from many of you about the issues you care about most and now I’m working hard to translate your priorities into successful legislation this session. Here are just a few of the bills I’ve been working on:
HB 1413 – Scoring of prior juvenile offenses in sentencing range calculations
Over the summer we saw historic protests which excited activism in our community regarding racial equity, police reform, and addressing mass incarceration. In addition to working on several police accountability bills in the Public Safety committee, a key focus of mine this session has been criminal justice reform.
Washington’s offender scoring calculation is outdated and disproportionately affects BIPOC youth and African Americans with prior juvenile offenses, playing a huge role in mass incarceration.
HB 1413 would have our state join many others in excluding an individual’s prior juvenile history when they face felony offenses. It also addresses racial equity and ends bad public policy which has plagued our criminal justice system for over 30 years because of the super predator myth. I’m proud to sponsor this and other pieces of legislation that advance criminal justice reform and offer our state a second chance.
This bill is currently in the Rules committee. Click here to watch my testimony from last week here.
HB 1304 – Concerning grade-separated transportation
This past year, I also heard from community members that climate justice and access to sustainable, reliable transportation was a priority of yours. The 11th LD has been chronically underserved in access to transit options and we have some of the worst air quality in Washington State.
I sponsored HB 1304 as a solution to provide new pathways for cities to fund large-scale, sustainable transportation projects and better connect our community through expanded public transit. This bill encourages the construction of equitable transportation for low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, creates thousands of jobs in future ST3 expansion, and advances environmental justice by reducing cities’ carbon emissions. Environmental regulation is extremely important to me, especially given the health and safety risks that climate change poses to our community. Bringing transit resources home to the 11th LD while restricting major pollutants is only one way I plan to further environmental justice in our district.
HB 1304 is also in the Rules committee. Click here to watch my testimony from last week here.
HB 1274 – Concerning cloud computing solutions
One of the most difficult parts of this pandemic has been watching our community members struggle to access needed resources from state agencies. A primary example of this being many people’s inability to receive unemployment assistance in the time they need it.
This is one of the reasons why I introduced HB 1274 which would have our state agencies transition state data to the Cloud by 2025, in a more cost-effective, scalable, and secure technology. This will make our state agencies, such as the Employment Security Department who have struggled with under-resourcing throughout the pandemic, more efficient and capable of handling high volumes of requests in a timely manner.
With the Governor’s support, this bill passed out of committee and has now moved onto the Appropriations committee for fiscal consideration. Stay tuned for more information.
With these, and any bills moving through the House, I hope to continue to hear from you! Stay involved with the legislative process by submitting bill comments, emailing me at David.firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling our office at 206-490-0914 to voice your support or concerns.
Celebrating Presidents’ Day
This Presidents’ Day, I gave a speech on the House floor reflecting on the meaning of our U.S. presidency, our democracy, and our role as citizens in upholding that democracy. True democracy calls for us to hold our leaders accountable for their words and actions. This past year, I was deeply inspired by the immense leadership shown by grassroots activists across the country to do just that and defend our democracy. It is in their spirit that I lead and advocate for a better, more equitable future for all Washingtonians. Click the image below to watch.
In this edition of Ask DAVID, I respond to constituent emails on addressing the childcare crisis, the need for progressive revenue, and bills regarding gun responsibility.
This Sunday: Mini Town Hall
As we continue through this legislative session, I’d love to hear from you! Rather than doing a Telephone Town Hall, Rep. Bergquist and I decided to host a Zoom Mini Town Hall over the weekend so we can hear from you, one-on-one, the issues that matter to you most. Join us this Sunday, Feb. 21, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for a 15 min personal chat with your 11th LD team.
Please email my legislative assistant, Olga Laskin, at email@example.com or call our office at 206-490-0914 to sign up and receive more information.
To stay up-to-date on the issues I’m working on, visit my legislative website or follow my official Facebook page!