Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This past Wednesday, March 8, we celebrated International Women’s Day.
Much of our history ignores the labor, resilience, and influence of women, especially women of color who face additional barriers to opportunity and recognition. Here, in the People’s House, we are building a world where women are truly welcome to lead, take charge of their health, and walk equal paths towards success. We envision a Washington that ensures economic, reproductive, and civic freedom for women across our state.
Women legislators from both sides of the aisle had our picture taken on the Capitol steps:
Wednesday marked house of origin cutoff, which means that any bills not passed out of the House are likely dead, though they will get automatically reintroduced next year.
After a week and a half of all-day floor action, we sent 328 bills to the Senate, of those, 257 passed with 80 votes or more, including 196 that passed unanimously. So, while we’re not always on the same page, most of the time we do share views, and we are all here with the same goal: to make a difference in the lives of the people we represent.
We’ve had a strong focus on housing, workforce development, and reproductive health. I think that’s reflected in the bills we’ve passed so far. Some highlights include:
- Shielding patients who seek reproductive or gender-affirming care in Washington state, and their health care providers, from other state’s archaic laws (HB 1469)
- Ensuring that health care providers in Washington state are protected when providing reproductive or gender-affirming care (HB 1340)
- Protecting your sensitive health data, including data related to reproductive health (HB 1155)
- Addressing our home care workforce shortages by updating certification requirements and reducing licensing fees for home care workers (HB 1694)
- Growing our behavioral health workforce by supporting those studying to enter the field, reducing barriers to entering the workforce, and streamlining licensing requirements (HB 1724)
Most of my bills made it to the Senate!
HB 1165 passed the House on February 2 on a unanimous vote and yesterday morning it was heard in the Senate Law & Justice Committee. This bill establishes the Uniform Civil Remedies for the Unauthorized Disclosure of Intimate Images Act, which will provide a right of action not just for the actual disclosure of intimate images but for damages caused by the threatened disclosure of intimate images.
HB 1349 passed the House unanimously on February 28 and was heard in the Senate Housing Committee this morning. This bill makes a number of changes to add clarity for homeowners and trustees, including extending the timeframe for homeowners to go to mediation; extending the lookback window exemptions on mediation and remittance through 2023; and delaying the trustee sale of a house so homeowners can access the Homeowner Assistance Funds. My bill regarding foreclosure surplus funds, HB 1637, did not pass, but I am working on getting parts of it merged into HB 1349.
HB 1222 passed the House on February 28 on an 89-8 vote and will be heard in the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee on March 14. This measure requires large group health plans to cover hearing instruments.
HB 1028 passed the House on March 6 on a unanimous vote and will be heard in the Senate Law & Justice Committee on March 16. This legislation supports crime victims and witnesses by promoting victim-centered, trauma-informed responses in the legal system and providing counseling resources.
My bill to support adults with lived experience of sex trafficking did not pass, but its companion, SB 5114, did pass the Senate unanimously on March 1 and will be heard in the House Human Services, Youth & Early Learning Committee on March 14.
Another bill that didn’t pass, but its companion did, SB 5087 will abolish a number of unconstitutional statutes, including the death penalty, deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, along with the unconstitutional two-thirds scheme to raise revenue. It passed the Senate on February 1 and will be heard in the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee on March 15.
Bills not yet scheduled for hearings
The following bills passed the House but are still waiting to get scheduled for hearings in the Senate:
HB 1006 to remove drug testing equipment like fentanyl test strips from the definition of unlawful drug paraphernalia passed the House unanimously on February 8.
HB 1534 strengthening protections for consumers in the construction industry by establishing penalties for bad actors and creating the Homeowner Recovery Program for consumers who are wronged by dishonorable contractors, passed the House unanimously on March 8.
HB 1636 establishing foreclosure protections for homeowners in common interest communities passed the House unanimously on March 8.
Remember our Town Hall meeting next weekend!
Your 33rd district delegation, Sen. Karen Keiser, Rep. Mia Gregerson, and I will hold an in-person town hall meeting on Saturday, March 18 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the LIUNA Labor Hall.
We’ll give you an update on the issues we’re working on this session, and answer your questions which, by the way, you are welcome to send us in advance by clicking on the image below:
Thank you for reading my newsletter, I hope you found it informative. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office with your questions or concerns.
Mary Soderlind – Mary.Soderlind@leg.wa.gov