|Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I am full of gratitude for being reelected for another term to the Washington State House of Representatives. It is one of my life’s biggest honors to represent the 41st Legislative District, and I am excited to continue this meaningful work for another term.
During the interim between legislative sessions, I went out of my way to meet with constituents and nearly every local city councilmember and mayor across our 5 cities. There were undoubtedly some common priorities and themes that people shared: the need for more affordable housing and childcare, increased funding for special education and children’s mental health services, an assault weapons ban, ongoing efforts to tackle climate change, and workforce issues across a variety of fields. It is also clear that our local school districts and cities have some budget challenges ahead due to the increased cost of living, state policy changes and state restrictions on funding. I will be working on all of these issues during this legislative session and I will keep you up-to-date on our progress as often as possible.
My legislative committees
I am excited to share that my colleagues once again elected me as Chair of the committee focused on children, youth and families—with an expanded jurisdiction. The new committee is the “Human Services, Youth and Early Learning Committee,” which includes children’s mental health, developmental disabilities, child welfare, childcare and early learning, juvenile justice, youth homelessness, safety net programs and more! I will also continue to serve on the Appropriations Committee which oversees the operating budget of the state government.
I’m excited about serving on a new committee that is important to our district: the Innovation, Community and Economic Development, and Veterans Committee. The committee includes issues relating to life sciences, aerospace and other technology industries and businesses, economic development, and economic resiliency. With the 41st Legislative District home to world-renowned businesses and entrepreneurs who are solving problems in new and groundbreaking ways, I am excited to focus on issues to further develop our innovation economy and related workforce issues. In addition, my appointment to the Washington State Block Chain Workgroup will provide a direct connection to policy development in this area.
Getting in touch
Here are some ways to continue to stay involved in the legislative process this year:
- Watch — TVW.org broadcasts all the debates and votes that happen in the House and Senate, along with committee meetings and other events you may be interested in.
- Research — Look up legislation by lawmaker or by topic.
- Learn — Learn about the legislative process, from start to finish.
- Testify — Committee testimony will continue to have a virtual option, so instead of driving to Olympia to weigh in on legislation during the committee process, you can continue to do so from home. Written testimony is also an option, and you can always share your story with me. Learn more about how to testify.
- Get in touch — You can reach my office by emailing me here or are welcome to call the legislative hotline number (toll free 800-562-6000). This year, I will be accommodating in-person and virtual meetings. To schedule a meeting, please contact my Legislative Assistant, Yuval Berenstein, at Yuval.Berenstein@leg.wa.gov, who I am thrilled will be continuing in our office after his first year nearly 100% virtual!
Serve as a Legislative Page!
The Washington State Legislature has one of the best Legislative Page programs in the country. Because we are operating in-person again, and many youth did not have an opportunity to participate during COVID, our page program is back and for this year, open to youth ages 14-18. I invite you to apply.
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.
To help lower-income families participate in the program, the House of Representatives created the Gina Grant Bull Scholarship; check out the FAQ page to see if you can apply.
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 them to Olympia for a week.
This year, the legislature is making a one-time exception for students who are 17-18 years old and were unable to previously participate due to the COVID-19 pandemic—I encourage anyone interested to apply!
For more information, please visit the House Page Program website.
This will be a busy and fascinating session and I highly encourage you to stay engaged with me and my seatmates, Representative Thai and Senator Wellman. Rest assured, I will do my best to keep you informed of my work on your behalf.
Thanks again for sending me to Olympia to be your voice,
Rep. Tana Senn