Strengthening Our Public Health System, Stimulus Checks, and #DitchtheSwitch

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This year we saw what happens when politics infect public health. We also saw the result of underfunding foundational public health. That is why I sponsored HB 1152. HB 1152 will require elected officials to be balanced with public health and health care professionals and community members with lived experience on local health boards and will significantly increase funding and resources for local public health departments. We never want to be caught unprepared for a pandemic again. Everyone, everywhere, no matter what community they live in, should be able to rely on a public health system that is able to support a standard level of public health service. This proposal will create health boards that are state supported, regionally coordinated, and locally implemented. Learn more about the bill in my latest video:

2021 Economic Impact Payment Status Available

IRS Get Payment website

Find when and how you will be sent your 2021 Economic Impact Payment with the Get My Payment tool. Get My Payment updates once per day, usually overnight. Click here and then the Get My Payment Button: 

Let’s #DitchtheSwitch: a move to Permanent Daylight Saving Time benefits everyone

Hikers on Chelan Butte

The switch to and from daylight saving time each year wreaks havoc on our sleep cycles. Each year switching out clocks is associated with a spike in heart attacks, strokes, increased mental health issues and even traffic collisions. Notably, there is a 24% increase in heart attacks the week after we “spring forward” each year. To remedy this problem, I sponsored HB 1196 which would move Washington to Permanent Daylight Saving Time (PDST). While the bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in 2019, we still need Congress (or Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttegieg) to approve a move to PDST.

In the past 4 years, 15 states have passed laws or resolutions to adopt PDST as their standard including Oregon, Idaho, and California. British Columbia has also said that it would change to PDST to stick with the rest of the west coast. With the bipartisan Sunshine Protection Act making its way through Congress and Democratic control over both houses, I am more hopeful than ever that this could be the last year we have to change our clocks. This change will benefit young children who are particularly affected by the change in routine and allow commerce and recreation to flourish in the sun.

Upholding our promise to working families

The Working Families Tax Credit, or Recovery Rebate, is our promise to the people of Washington that when they work hard to achieve their dreams, their community will rise up to support them.

The policy was first passed in 2008 by Senator Lisa Brown when your junior State Representative was a was a staffer in her office. Unfortunately, because of the Recession, the program was never funded. I am so overjoyed that after years of advocacy we are finally fulfilling our promise to Washington’s working families.

Washington has the most upside-down tax code in the nation. The poorest people in our state pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes than the wealthiest people. This is our chance to reclaim the American Dream as a tool for racial justice, economic recovery, and community health. The Working Families Tax Exemption is a tax rebate that will put cash directly into the pockets of those who need it most. It is a lifeline for the immigrants, refugees, people of color, and low-income workers who have always kept our communities strong. It’s our turn to lift them up and give everyone a chance at a healthy, happy life.

It’s an honor to serve our community.

Best Regards,

Representative Marcus Riccelli

3rd Legislative District – Spokane