Thank you for coming to our town hall meeting!
I want to extend my sincerest thanks to everyone who joined our district town hall meeting on March 18. We had a great turnout and we were so pleased to see familiar and new faces after two years of not being able to meet in person.
So many members of our community came together to discuss important issues and share your thoughts and concerns. Your engagement and participation are critical to making our community stronger and more connected, and we are grateful for your continued support.
Sen. Karen Keiser, Rep. Mia Gregerson, and I were happy to answer your questions, which were thoughtful and engaging, and we appreciate that the discussions were lively and respectful.
Sine Die is on April 23, which is when the session adjourns until next year, so we will likely hold another town hall later in the spring or summer to continue working together and address the challenges facing our community. I will keep you posted when we have nailed down a date.
As you know, I serve on the Capital Budget Committee and I am excited to share, in this video update, some of the projects that are included in this year’s budget. The focus we are putting on behavioral health, youth, and workforce development is really evident in this budget, as well as addressing some of the health issues of living in an area with a very busy airport. Watch my video update for more information:
Update on my Bills
I am very excited that my bill, HB 1222, requiring large group health plans to cover hearing devices was placed on the Senate floor calendar a few days ago! State of Reform wrote a great story on this legislation:
My bill (HB 1165) to establish 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, was approved by the Senate Committee on Law and Justice and was placed on the floor calendar yesterday.
My two foreclosure-related bills are still alive and moving right along:
- HB 1349, adding clarity for homeowners and trustees, including extending the timeframe for homeowners to go to mediation; extending the look-back window exemptions on mediation and remittance through 2023; and delaying the trustee sale of a house so homeowners can access the Homeowner Assistance Funds, is in Senate Rules.
- HB 1636, concerning foreclosure protections for homeowners in common interest communities, was passed by the Senate Committee on Law & Justice yesterday.
HB 1028, my measure to support crime victims and witnesses by promoting victim-centered, trauma-informed responses in the legal system and providing counseling resources, was passed by the Senate Law & Justice Committee on March 22 and is now in Senate Ways & Means. KATU2 aired a story on my bill earlier this week, watch it here.
My legislation implementing the 988 behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention system, HB 1134, was passed by the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care yesterday. Read this Crosscut story on how growing demand for services is making the continued implementation of 988 absolutely essential:
I am also happy to report that 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, was passed by the Senate Committee on Labor & Commerce, and was sent to Senate Ways & Means.
My bill to support adults with lived experience of sex trafficking did not pass, but its companion, SB 5114, passed the Senate unanimously, was heard and passed by the House Committee on Human Services, Youth and Early Learning, and will be heard in the House Appropriations committee this coming Friday. This is an important bill and the first of its kind to create a network of services to support survivors of sex trafficking. Many people want to exit their trafficking situation but are prevented because of a lack of support. This bill will provide many different levels of support to offer viable options for freedom. Watch this KING5 report on why this bill will make a huge difference to survivors:
HB 1090 also stalled, but its companion, SB 5087 is in House Rules. This bill 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.
I have received numerous emails and calls about my legislation to legalize strips to test for fentanyl. While it passed the House, it has not been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate. But there’s a Senate measure, SB 5022, that would accomplish the same goal and is still moving. It passed the Senate the first week of March and this past Monday, after adopting an amendment to name this legislation the Patrick Janicki and Allisone McClanahan Act, the House Committee on Community Safety, Justice & Reentry passed it unanimously. Read this Everett Herald editorial, as well as this Seattle Times story, and this State of Reform story to understand why legalizing fentanyl testing strips would be a literal life-saver:
It’s Budgets Time!
We rolled out our budget proposals on Monday. Our focus over the last three weeks of session will be on the three state budgets: operating, transportation, and capital. Click on the links provided below to read the press releases, which include highlights of the investments included in these budgets.
The operating budget covers the day-to-day expenses of the government and is essential for the delivery of public services such as education, healthcare, and public safety. Read the press release here on the aptly named Resilient Washington Budget
The transportation budget centers around maintenance and improvement of infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and public transportation systems. Press release here.
The capital budget both maintains and creates infrastructure, including schools and hospitals. Press release here.
All three budgets are interconnected and necessary for a functional and effective government.
Stay in Touch!
As always, I thank you for reading my newsletter and want to remind you that if you need further information on any of these bills, or on any other legislative issue, please don’t hesitate to contact my office. Or call and email us if you have any feedback, comments or ideas; I am here to serve you and hearing from you helps me represent you better.
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
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