Rep. Sells’ newsletter: Children’s Day / Homeless College Students / Simple Majority for School Bonds


Children’s Day

On Monday we celebrated our nation’s presidents, but it was also Children’s Day at the Capitol. The House of Representatives has observed Children’s Day every biennium since 1995. The resolution we adopted this year (HR 4612) includes quotes by Lady Bird Johnson, Herbert Hoover, Plato and Nelson Mandela.

This day serves as a reminder that the policy and budget decisions we make in Olympia must be geared toward building a better Washington for future generations.

On Children’s Day we can invite family members to visit, and it always puts me in a good mood to see little kids laughing and running around the marble halls of this historic building. They also have an opportunity to see what it’s like to be in session right on the House Floor. In this photo, I am showing my granddaughter, Aislinn, the voting buttons on my desk.

Mike and Aislinn

Giving Homeless College Students a Hand

About a third of college students in the United States are struggling with hunger and stable housing, and nearly 10 percent are homeless.

Learning is more difficult for hungry and homeless students, no matter what their age. House Democrats have worked hard to put in place programs like Breakfast After the Bell and free and reduced-priced lunches to help kids in K-12 focus on school. Once they graduate, however, they no longer have this safety net and they continue to struggle through college.

graduation

I am cosponsoring a bill that would create pilot programs at a handful of colleges and universities, on both sides of the Cascades, to collect data and help students experiencing homelessness and who were in foster care when they finished high school, by providing:

  • Access to laundry facilities, storage, locker rooms and showers, and technology;
  • Reduced-price meals or meal plans;
  • Access to short-term housing or housing assistance, especially during seasonal breaks; and
  • Case management services.

The bill made it out of the College and Workforce Development Committee earlier this month and was referred to the Appropriations Committee

We know that going to college is a dream for many, but for students who are struggling to meet their basic needs, that dream can be unreachable. This legislation could be the difference between having to drop out and making it to graduation.


Simple Majority for School Bonds is Long Overdue

If I won my election with 59% of the vote, that would be considered a landslide. Yet if a school bond vote receives similar support, it’s considered a failure.

That’s because Washington State has an archaic and undemocratic law on the books that requires local school bond votes to receive 60% support in order to pass. This is a Great Depression era policy that’s left too many students struggling to learn in deteriorating classrooms and even in dilapidated portables.

simple majority

The threshold for school bonds should be set at a simple majority. This change is important so all kids can learn in safe, comfortable classrooms.

I am a proud cosponsor of HB 1184 and HJR 4203, which would lower the school bond threshold to a simple majority.

Many thanks to the Everett Herald editorial board for voicing their support for simple majority school bonds. This change is long overdue.


Thank you for reading my newsletter.  As always, you are welcome to contact my office with questions, concerns or just to give me some feedback.

Sincerely,

Sells sig