Friends and neighbors,
It’s my favorite time of year! The time for making laws…and history! The 2020 session begins with a new face at the House rostrum: Speaker Laurie Jinkins! I was proud to vote yes on the House floor Monday for Washington’s first-ever woman and first lesbian Speaker of the House. It is also the first time in nearly two decades that a new Speaker takes the gavel.
In her opening day speech, Speaker Jinkins said that while her title may be Speaker, she sees her primary job as listening. She also made clear her commitment to equity and inclusion, and to expanding opportunity for all people in our state.
This is an exciting new chapter for the legislature and for our state. I look forward to working with Speaker Jinkins to pass good policies that put people first and help communities across Washington thrive.
A Fair Start for Kids
No doubt, we will have a whirlwind 60-day session. I have spent months gearing up for passing bills, in particular related to child care, that directly help families across our community. Many of the ideas have come directly from you and other people across the state. So never hesitate to share your ideas. I hope you will watch and share this video from House and Senate Democrats about the child care crisis and need.
Child care is more expensive than college these days. It’s costing our kids. It’s costing our families. And it’s costing our businesses. In the past few months, I’ve traveled from Vancouver to Bellingham and Bellevue to Spokane. Everywhere I went, parents and businesses told me that we need more affordable child care and we need it now. It is good for kids. Good for working families. Good for the economy!
That’s why I introduced bipartisan legislation this week to make child care more affordable and more accessible for families across Washington state. The Fair Start for Kids Act is a multi-faceted approach to solving the child care crisis that aims to make child care more accessible and affordable, bolster the child care workforce and supply, and provide parents with more resources as they raise young children.
But I can’t do this alone. I need to hear from you. Please share the video above and your child care story using the hashtag #ChildCare4All.
For the legislative session, our office has moved back to Olympia. You can reach me and my legislative assistant, Emma, at (360) 786-7894 or e-mail me at Tana.Senn@leg.wa.gov or Emma.Palumbo@leg.wa.gov. I hope to hear from you! We’re here to serve you.
P.S. I’ll be sending e-mail updates regularly, but you can also follow me on Facebook for real-time updates.