Constituent and Group Visits, An Update on Sponsored Bills, and A Follow Up to our Telephone Town Hall

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It’s the third week of session and we’re already more than 25 percent done! With the pace of the short, 60-day session, it can often feel like we don’t have enough time to get important work done. While that can be true, I find that taking time to meet with and talk to constituents is a great way to gain perspective on the policies I’m working on in Olympia. In this week’s e-newsletter, I’ll share about some of those visits, as well as an update on some of the bills I’m sponsoring this year, and a video I recorded responding to some of the questions we couldn’t get to at our telephone town hall.

Constituent and Group Visits in Olympia

One of the most interesting parts of the job is when I get to meet with constituents and groups who want to share their stories and why they’re visiting the capitol. Giving up time to travel all the way to Olympia, missing work or school, and being away from family can be hard. Spending time to listen is an important and necessary part of the job and I’m always happy to meet.

In the last few weeks, I sat down for conversations with Spokane County Commissioners Chris Jordan and Amber Waldref as part of the Greater Spokane Incorporated visit.

Rep. Riccelli standing with Spokane County commissioners Chris Jordan and Amber Waldref in front of the dais on the floor of the WA State House of Representatives.

One of my favorite parts of these visits is when I get to meet with students from Spokane. This group of student government leaders from the Community Colleges of Spokane were insightful and smart, and even got to get a photo with the Speaker of the House when we were checking out the House Chamber.

I also met with members of the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and some of our talented pharmacy students from the University of Washington.

Rep. Marcus Riccelli and Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins posing for a photo with student government leaders from community colleges of Spokane.

Bill Update: Physician Assistants and Free School Meals

Two of my top priorities are moving through the House committees and I’m optimistic have a chance of passing the Legislature this year.

HB 2041 is my effort to expand access to health care by allowing physician assistants greater autonomy while balancing patient safety through collaboration agreements. Collaboration agreements sets up the way in which a physician assistant (PA) is supervised or collaborates with a physician. This allows the PA to practice within their scope of expertise, but with a level of autonomy, freeing up time physicians must spend supervising directly. That includes some specialty services, if the PA has 10 years or 20,000 hours of postgraduate clinical experience. This is a great way to expand access to care and has been done in about 25 states already.

The universal free school meals bill (HB 2058) passed out of the Education Committee last week with unanimous support. Hunger is a bipartisan issue and I’m grateful so many of my colleagues agree that it’s time to pass this once and for all. The bill is now in the Appropriations Committee, which looks at the cost of bills and if or how they will fit in our budget. I shared my thoughts in an interview with KHQ. Click here to watch!

VIDEO: Telephone Town Hall Follow Up

Hearing from constituents about the issues they care about is an important part of the job and I appreciate everyone who was able to participate in our telephone town hall last week. A few questions went unanswered, so I wanted to respond to them in the video below.

It is my honor to serve you!







Rep. Marcus Riccelli