Dear friends and neighbors,
This past Friday was the deadline for fiscal committees to pass bills and tomorrow we start Floor action all day every day for a week and a half. It will be hectic, but I trust we will get a lot of bills passed. To follow the action, watch it live or recorded on TVW, and check out the Floor calendars.
A Bill’s Journey
Some of the people I have met with recently have told me they are confused by the legislative process and that’s perfectly understandable because it is confusing.
Many of the bills we introduce every year come from constituents. Let’s say you come to me with an idea and we turn it into a bill. Our legislation then starts its journey and must be approved by one, two or three committees to make it to Rules, which is where our bill will be considered one last time and the final decision is made on whether it will go to the Floor for a vote. If it does, and is approved, then it heads to the Senate and its journey starts all over again. If all goes well, it will eventually end up on the governor’s desk, who will then enact it into law with his signature.
While this process, at first glance, looks pretty straight forward, sometimes there are detours and sometimes that idea that you brought to me will survive even if our bill dies in the process.
This might be the case with my dual language legislation, HB 1228. It passed the Education Committee on a 13-2 vote and was then referred to Appropriations but didn’t make it out by the deadline. So, while the bill may be technically dead, its purpose may still come to fruition since I may have found a way to include it in the budget. Nothing is certain at the moment and too many pieces are in flux, so stay tuned, I will report back on its fate soon.
In the meantime, let’s discuss which of my bills are still moving along:
- HB 1565: Supporting and strengthening the professional educator workforce with an online platform to recruit and hire educators and a teacher residency program.
- HB 1278: Supporting guardianships and voluntary placement with nonrelative kin, which will reduce the trauma children go through when they cannot remain with their parents.
- HB 1217:,Preventing wage theft by allowing the Department of Labor and Industries to demand interest on wages owed when a wage complaint is filed.
- HB 1470: Requiring private, for-profit detention facilities to comply with basic standards in order to operate in Washington state.
TWO Town Hall Meetings!
Your 21st Legislative District delegation wants to hear about what matters most to you and your community. We invite you to make your voice heard at our upcoming town hall meetings:
TELEPHONE TOWN HALL
Monday, March 13, 2023. 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
You should receive a call on Monday. To be sure you are called, you can sign up here: https://vekeo.com/whdc21
If you do not receive the call, you can still participate by dialing 877-229-8493 and using ID Code 116357
IN-PERSON TOWN HALL
Saturday, March 18, 2023. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Edmonds Waterfront Center Banquet Room,
220 Railroad Ave Edmonds, WA
Activities for children will be available at the in-person event, and there will be a breakout room for Spanish speakers hosted by LETI (Latino Educational Training Institute). Accommodations are also available if needed. Please reach out to our offices with requests for assisted hearing services, translations, accessibility concerns, or any other accommodation needs.
First Latino Democratic Caucus
In closing, I want to share some exciting news:
For the first time in the history of our state Legislature, a group of eight House and three Senate members who identify as Latinos have formed the Latino Democratic Caucus. I am honored to have been elected chair of this caucus and look forward to working with this amazing and talented group of lawmakers. Click here to read about who we are, our mission, and shared goals.
Thank you for reading my newsletter. If you need more information on any of the issues discussed here, or on any other legislative matter, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.