Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are back in Olympia and so excited to get to work! I am full of gratitude to you for choosing me to represent you another term in the Washington State House of Representatives. And grateful as well that my colleagues chose me to preside over Floor action again as Speaker Pro Tempore. Having taken the oath of office in person in the House Chamber was a great honor.
By the way, did you know our 33rd district Senator Karen Keiser was also re-elected to preside as Senate President Pro Tempore? In 2018, Sen. Keiser and I became the first members from the same district in state history to serve in presiding roles at the same time.
The 2023 landscape
This year we have budgets to write, critical investments to make and multiple challenges to face including: growing our workforce by incentivizing young Washingtonians to seek careers in the nursing, mental health, childcare, teaching, and law enforcement fields, as well as in the trades; addressing the current lack of affordable housing and increased homelessness rates; continue improving our education system; expanding access to behavioral health services; strengthening community safety; and furthering our state’s environmental efforts.
While I will be working alongside my colleagues on all of these things, I will also focus on other priorities. Here is a list of some of the bills I have introduced so far that are already moving through the process. I am including links to TVW so you can watch the hearings:
- HB 1006 – Expanding access to drug testing equipment. Click here to watch the Jan 9 hearing in the Community Safety, Justice & Reentry Committee.
- HB 1028 – Supporting crime victims and witnesses by promoting victim-centered, trauma-informed responses in the legal system. Click here to watch the Jan 9 hearing in the Community Safety, Justice & Reentry Committee.
- HB 1089 – Supporting adults with lived experience of sex trafficking. Tune in here on Jan 18 at 1:30 pm for the hearing in the Human Services, Youth & Early Learning Committee.
- HB 1134 – Continuing the implementation of the 988 behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention system. Tune in here on Jan 17 at 1:30 pm for the hearing in the Health Care & Wellness Committee.
- HB 1165 – Establishing civil remedies for unauthorized disclosure of intimate images. Tune in here on Jan 18 at 8:00 am for the hearing in the Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee.
- HB 1222 – Requiring coverage for hearing aids. Tune in here on Jan 18 at 1:30 pm for the hearing in the Health Care & Wellness Committee.
Supporting survivors of sexual assault
In 2014, we learned our state had thousands of untested sexual assault kits on the shelves of evidence rooms, each of them representing a survivor whose voice was never heard. To find justice for these survivors and to create a trauma-informed system, an incredible team of legislators, advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, and providers, led by the voices of survivors and with the media raising awareness, teamed up to make meaningful and long overdue changes to our system so every survivor has a path to justice (click on the image below for a short video on this work.) A special thanks is due to the victims and survivors for their trust in us, as well as for their patience.
Send your teen to Olympia for a week!
Our page program is back! In addition to contributing to the efficient operation of the legislature, pages receive daily civics instruction, draft bills, and participate in mock committee hearings. Pages are sponsored by members of the Legislature, usually from the district in which they live.
Taking part in the page program is a great opportunity for young people to gain a unique perspective of the legislative process. If you have a teen who could benefit from this experience, I encourage you to consider sending them to Olympia for a week.
For more information, please visit the House Page Program website.
Stay involved and get in touch
Over the past two years working from home due to the pandemic we developed ways to effectively function remotely, including making it possible for constituents to continue participating in the legislative process, and we are keeping that ability even now that we are back at the Capitol.
- Watch — TVW.org broadcasts all the debates and votes that happen in the House and Senate, along with committee meetings and other events you may be interested in. You can watch live or access recorded content.
- Research — Look up legislation by lawmaker or by topic.
- Learn — Learn about the legislative process, from start to finish.
- Testify — Committee testimony will continue to have a virtual option so you can weigh-in from home. Written testimony is also an option, and you can always share your story with me. Learn more about how to testify.
- Get in touch — We will accommodate both in-person and virtual meetings. To schedule a meeting, please contact my Legislative Assistant, Mary.Soderlind@leg.wa.gov. Keep in mind that your input is truly necessary for me to do a good job representing you. All my contact information is below, so don’t hesitate to call or email with your concerns and ideas.
JLOB 326 | PO Box 40600 Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786-7834 | Toll-Free Hotline: 1-800-562-6000 | 1-800-635-9993 (TTY)
Mary Soderlind – Mary.Soderlind@leg.wa.gov
Health Care & Wellness
Regulated Substances & Gaming