It has been an exciting week at the Capitol. Last week, we reached fiscal cutoff, which means any bill that did not have a public hearing will not move forward.
This week, we are spending our days debating bills on the House floor.
Here are some highlights.
33rd Legislative District Town Hall
Stopping commercial sexual exploitation of children
Human trafficking of minors is a pervasive issue in our state. Currently, an estimated 300-500 children are trafficked on any given night in Seattle alone, and over 2,000 statewide. Youth involved in sex work are victims of sexual exploitation, not criminals. The average age of victims has fallen from 15 to now 12 years old, and it is estimated that 50 percent are foster youth.
This year I introduced HB 1775, relating to commercially sexually exploited children(CSEC). It would implement a system wide, trauma-informed approach to supporting CSEC victims and prosecuting buyers and traffickers.
Unfortunately, the bill died in the Appropriations Committee, but I remain committed to addressing this critical issue.
Video Update: Protecting homeowners
For the last several years, I have sponsored legislation aimed at protecting homeowners. Learn more about this work, including legislation I introduced this year in my video update.
Constituent Corner: Equal Justice Coalition
Every week I have some great meetings with constituents from across our district. Recently, the Equal Justice Coalition stopped by to talk about legislation which would better support civil legal services for low-income clients. Rep. Mike Pellicciotti, D-Federal Way, (pictured left) also joined us for a photo!
Supporting workers in adult entertainment establishments
Concern has been expressed about safety for workers in adult entertainment establishments, including possible association with criminal activity. No specific law governs workplace standards in the industry.
In December, the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee held a work session to examine safety issues in the adult entertainment industry and determine whether legislation was needed. As a result, I collaborated with dancers and the Fair Work Center to introduce HB 1756, relating to safety and security of adult entertainers.
- Requires adult entertainers to take training to include:
- education about the rights and responsibilities of entertainers, including with respect to working as an employee or independent contractor;
- reporting of workplace injuries, including sexual and physical abuse and sexual harassment;
- the risk of human trafficking; and
- resources for assistance.
- Requires adult entertainment establishments to issue panic buttons to entertainers, who may use the panic button if they reasonably believe there is an ongoing crime, harassment, or other emergency in their presence.
- Establishes an adult entertainer advisory committee to assist with the implementation of the requirements, including the training.
I am pleased that the bill passed out of committee unanimously and I look forward to voting for it on the House floor.
Thank you for reading my newsletter. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you each week.
Rep. Tina Orwall