Honoring the past, apply for a working families tax credit, and town hall questions

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Session is now 2/3rd of the way done, but there’s still a lot of work to complete. As chair of the Health Care & Wellness Committee, I’m reviewing Senate health care-related bills and holding public hearings to move those policies forward. In the Senate, they’re hearing House bills and passing those out of committees. In a few weeks, the committee process will be complete, and we’ll be back on the floor voting on bills to either send back to the Senate, or on to the governor. That’s when I’ll have another update on the status of my bills and where they stand in the process.

Honoring past legislators and their service

Due to the pandemic, we haven’t had a chance to honor the lives of former legislators who passed away through our annual ceremony held in the Senate chambers. I appreciated the opportunity to do so this year, and even had a chance to honor former Sen. Lois Stratton.

Sen. Stratton was a former representative and senator for Spokane County and was the first Native American elected to the Senate and only the second to serve in the House. Sen. Stratton was born on the Spokane Indian Reservation, served on various boards and commissions including the WA State Centennial Commission, and was a Spokane City Council member.

I had the privilege of lighting the candle for Sen. Stratton during the ceremony.

Also honored during the ceremony was Jerry Hughes, a public high school teacher and professor at Gonzaga, who served two terms in the Legislature as a representative and a senator representing Spokane, and Katherine Reid, a former state senator who was also a former licensed practical nurse.

It was inspiring to sit with my colleagues and reflect upon the people who served their communities before us.

Working Families Tax Credit: A new tax credit for Washington workers

You may have seen me mention it before, but I want to mention that now is the time to apply for the Working Families Tax Credit. It’s a new program and provides up to $1,200 in payments to low- and moderate-income individuals and families. Depending on your income level and the number of qualifying children you have you could qualify.

This program is important to families in Spokane, but you have to apply online at WorkingFamililesCredit.wa.gov.

A few town hall questions and answers

Thank you to everyone who came out to our town hall. I always appreciate hearing from constituents about the issues facing our state and their perspective on ways we can overcome challenges. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to get to all the questions, so I took a few with me back to Olympia so I could respond via video. Click the link below to hear my response to questions about restraints in schools, dental therapy, and property taxes.

It is my honor to serve you!





Rep. Marcus Riccelli