Welcome to the 2018 Session
Today marks the beginning of the 2018 Legislative Session. I am excited to be back in Olympia, and I look forward to continuing to advocate for policies that will make a difference in our district and around the state.
This session is short – only 60 days – but there is much to accomplish. The Legislature needs to pass supplemental budgets and address the work left from the 2017 session. Now that the Senate has a Democratic majority, lawmakers will be able to continue conversations on important legislation that has languished for years. Furthermore, we will get back to a government that works effectively and efficiently.
Throughout the session, I will provide updates on policies I am working on. As a sneak peek, I’ve provided some brief information about my top bills.
Equal Pay – My top legislative priority is passing the Equal Pay Opportunity Act. I am thrilled to see it cross the finish line this year! It’s time for us to make strides in addressing gender inequality in the workplace, especially by closing the gender pay gap. The Act prohibits pay secrecy policies, allows discussion of wages between employees, and bans retaliation against workers that ask for equal pay.
Condo Liability – In order to help address the affordable housing crisis, I’m introducing legislation that encourages the building of more affordable condominiums – a critical component for many families in building equity. Specifically, the bill addresses liability reform which is identified as one of the main barriers to further condominium development.
Housing for those with Developmental Disabilities – There is a desperate need for housing options for those with developmental disabilities. My bill allows parents of children with developmental disabilities to donate their homes to supportive living nonprofits and, in exchange, their child may stay in their home for their lifetime. This provides piece of mind to parents, stability for disabled adults and expands the state’s supply of supportive living housing.
Business of Childcare – Washington State has a shortage of viable child care options for families. To increase options, my bill would help develop business training for childcare providers in managing and sustaining a childcare business.
Children’s Mental Health – This session I will continue my work on Children’s Mental Health—including extending the Children’s Mental Health Work group I have been chairing.
I am honored that multiple organizations chose to recognize my role in advocating for critical legislation in the 2017 session.
As a long-time advocate for children’s mental health, it was particularly meaningful to receive the American Academy of Pediatrics’ National 2017 Child Health Advocate Award. The award recognized my bipartisan work, along with Rep. Tom Dent (R- Moses Lake), to pass two key pieces of children’s mental health legislation last session.
In addition, I had the privilege of receiving the Supported Living Champion Award for 2017 from the Community Residential Services Association in recognition of my ongoing advocacy for people with developmental disabilities.
Thank you so much for these recognitions!
Visit us in Olympia
Now that we are back in Olympia, feel free to schedule a visit! Tours are available and I will do my best to step out or schedule time to connect with you while you are on campus. Even if you can’t make it down during the session, please always feel free to give me a call or send me an email to share your comments and ideas.
My Olympia office is in the John L. O’Brien Building, Room 309, the phone number is 360-786-7894, and my email is Tana.Senn@leg.wa.gov.
I always look forward to hearing from the great people of the 41st District!
Rep. Tana Senn