Sharlett in the News

A first-term lawmaker’s big year

Voters sent plenty of new people to Olympia last fall, but few of them got as much done as Rep. Sharlett Mena. A Mexican-American and the daughter of two working-class... READ MORE

Washington’s freshman class of lawmakers — the largest in a long time — makes itself heard

Washington’s legislators will be back in the capitol on May 16 to hash out the state’s law on possession of drugs. One important player: The freshman class in the House.... READ MORE

WA passed a ‘Voting Rights Act 2.0’ bill. Here’s what’s in it

For the first time last fall, Yakima County’s three county commissioners were elected in a district-based election. The settlement of a voting rights lawsuit against Yakima County prompted the change;... READ MORE

State OKs environmental bills for Earth Day

Legislators celebrated Earth Day with the passage of environmental bills in the final hours of the legislative session. The package creates new laws that regulate the use of foam blocks... READ MORE

In honor of Earth Day, here’s a look at five environmental bills in Washington that could literally change the world

For more than 50 years, earthlings have marked their calendars for April 22 as Earth Day, set aside for raising awareness for the health of the planet. Groups in more... READ MORE

WA lawmakers vote to ban single-use plastic in hotels, but fail to reform recycling

Legislation intended to reduce the use of plastics and boost recycling is seeing mixed results as this year’s legislative session enters its final week. Democratic lawmakers failed to pass ambitious... READ MORE

State moves to ban toxic chemicals in cosmetic products

Cosmetic products containing nine toxic chemicals already removed from some retail shelves would be banned under a House-passed bill currently in the Senate. Substitute House Bill 1047, by Rep. Sharlett... READ MORE

Behind the scenes of a new lawmaker’s effort to pass a utility shutoff moratorium in WA

KNKX reporter Scott Greenstone is following one new state lawmaker through her first session. Rep. Sharlett Mena, from Tacoma, is getting a crash course in what it takes to make... READ MORE

Freshman lawmakers of color in WA have a tough road. One let us come along

Washington’s legislature has the largest freshman class since anyone can remember, and the most diverse ever recorded. But they’re working in an institution designed in the 1800s – by and... READ MORE

Proposal aims at keeping people alive during extreme heat

Legislation prohibiting involuntary termination of electric or water services during extreme hot weather was approved by the state House of Representatives 64-31. Current law prohibits utilities from terminating heat utility... READ MORE

WA law would protect residents with unpaid utility bills during heat advisory. Here’s how

On Tuesday, the Washington state House passed a new bill aiming to protect vulnerable Washingtonians from dangerous heat waves. Now the legislation awaits Senate approval. If cemented into state law,... READ MORE

Washington state looks to ban toxic chemicals in makeup, hair products

WASHINGTON — Beauty may be skin deep, but the products we use to enhance that beauty go beyond the surface of our skin and are absorbed into our bodies. So it... READ MORE

Washington Legislature sees first Latino caucus

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The first ever Latino caucus has been created in the Washington State Legislature, consisting of eight House Democrats and three Senate Democrats, according to a press release from... READ MORE

WA lawmakers could make Lunar New Year an official state holiday

Washington could become the first state in the U.S. to make Lunar New Year a paid legal holiday. Lunar New Year celebrations are cherished by many Washington residents with roots... READ MORE

Don’t believe the smears. A fact-based police pursuit law makes Washington safer | Opinion

We have a duty to put people over politics and make fact-based decisions. In Federal Way in 2019, police chasing a “reckless driver” hit speeds over 70 miles per hour,... READ MORE