The future of affordable health care and a thank you for attending our mobile offices!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It’s officially autumn and we’re starting to see weather turning colder, leaves changing colors, and schedules changing from summer camps and activities to school drop-offs and after-school arts and sports. This year really has flown by and I was grateful to spend so much time in our community. I’ve had great conversations with constituents, policymakers, and advocates that I’m excited to take back to the Legislature as we work on legislation next year.

Below you’ll find out more about those conversations that I’ll remember as I head back to Olympia in January.

Health care access and affordability

Recently, I was a keynote speaker at the State of Reform conference in Spokane. As the chair for the Health Care & Wellness Committee, I’m focused on how we can expand access to affordable, quality care for all Washington residents. I spoke about these issues at State of Reform and some of the successes we’ve had in the past, such as our expanded dental care funding and dental therapist policies, and ways we can continue to make progress.

Several areas I’m looking at this fall have a direct impact on you and your family’s health. One is health care costs, and the burden that places on patients and their ability to pay for the care they need. For about as long as any of us can remember, health care costs have been trending up, meaning less at the end of the month for families to pay for their rent or mortgage, put food on the table, pay their utility bills, or save for a brighter future. In Washington, we’ve tried to put measures to slow those increasing costs and require more transparency in the cost of care and prescriptions. But we have to do more to get the cost of care under control.

Another is what health services are available in our schools and where we need improvement – particularly around access to mental health and wellness. Education is another great passion of mine, and if a student is hungry, or hurt, or sick, they can’t learn. Making sure we have well-trained health care staff at our public schools will result in a better education for all our students. This is on my mind this month as students return to classrooms.

Rep. Marcus Riccelli sitting on stage with a sign behind him that reads State of Reform Bridging the Gap Between Healthcare and policy

Thank you for attending our mobile offices

Rep. Marcus Riccelli standing in a farmer's market talking to a constituent.Every year, my seatmates and I hold mobile offices out in local communities to hear directly from our neighbors. These small group and one on one conversations are crucial to understanding all the issues facing our constituents that don’t always rise to the top of the political discussion.


Some of the discussions include our local Spokane projects under construction right now, local efforts to address housing and homelessness in our communities, and public safety. I really appreciated hearing everyone’s feedback and thoughts on how to ensure we have communities that are safe and welcoming to everyone. When you talk to your neighbors and learn about their perspectives, and share your own, it shows that we all want the same thing: safe communities to live in, a chance for a better life for our children and the next generation, and for everyone to have a shot regardless of the zip code they live in. I’ll never stop working to keep Spokane safe, welcoming, and healthy so all can thrive.

Visiting regional and local state projects and programs

I’ve spent much of the summer visiting various projects and programs that received state funding so that I can see firsthand the impact state investments can make in our local communities. This past month, I was honored to visit the Pullman Regional Hospital’s Family Residency Program where WSU medical students are training in a rural setting. The more doctors we train in rural settings, the more that will stay and practice in communities that need them the most.


Last week, I attended the ribbon cutting for our new downtown stadium. This multi-use venue will host high school sports, professional sporting events, concerts, community events, and more. With seating for 5,000 for sporting events and more than 10,000 for concerts and free parking for all Spokane School District events, this is a fantastic new facility that will serve our city for decades to come. As part of this effort, I worked to secure $1.5 million for the Spokane Civic Theatre for facility soundproofing and renovation to ensure that area in our city core remains the place for Entertainment, Sports and the Arts!

It is my honor to serve you!




Rep. Marcus Riccelli