The 2019 Session has begun and the legislature is full of energy! All members of the House took our oath of office last week and it was quite a remarkable sight. I was sworn in to begin my eighth term and I am excited to be back in Olympia representing all of you.
Expanding Access to Building Trades Apprenticeships
Over the next decade, the demand for skilled workers in the construction trades is expected to increase. In Snohomish county, the average age of a building trades apprentice is in the late twenties. This represents a lost decade of productivity in the industry and presents a prime opportunity to develop a clear education pathway into careers in the building trades.
On Tuesday, I introduced HB 1418. Under this measure, the Marysville school district will collaborate with Everett Community College, the Arlington school district, other local school districts, local unions, and local industry groups to develop the Regional Apprenticeship Pathways Program. This program would be recognized by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council and would offer course credit for High School and College Students. If passed, this legislation would give young people in our district the skills that they need to find good paying jobs.
My bill has garnered great support, with twenty-six of my colleagues backing it. It is scheduled for a hearing in the College & Workforce Development Committee on January 30th. A companion bill is also making its way through Senate.
I’ll keep you posted on its progress.
Every year, students ages 14 to 16 come from all over the state to serve as legislative pages at the House of Representatives. Pages perform a wide variety of responsibilities, from presenting the flags to distributing amendments on the House floor.
In addition to contributing to the efficient operation of the legislature, pages receive daily civics instruction, draft their own bills, and participate in mock committee hearings.
Pages are sponsored by members of the Legislature, usually from the district in which they live.
Taking part in the page program is a great opportunity for young people to gain a unique perspective of the legislative process. If you have a teen who could benefit from this experience, I encourage you to consider sending him or her to Olympia for a week.
For more information, please visit the House Page Program website.
How can you get informed and involved in your democracy?
The House and Senate are now at work in Olympia in a session that is scheduled to last 105 days.
Here’s a quick guide on how to contact your lawmakers, learn about the issues or share your views on legislation being debated:
- Call or email your legislator.
- Read the How a Bill Becomes a Law
- Learn how to read a bill.
- Research issues important to you and understand the whole issue.
- Testify at a committee public hearing. View calendar here.
- Tune into broadcasts of hearing and floor action online on TVW.
As a constituent, your views and interests, combined with your participation, are crucial to decision-making here in Olympia.
Our democracy is strongest when everyone has the ability to learn about the issues and share their comments, questions and ideas. I hope to hear from you soon!