The Mom’s Agenda // Point Roberts

Dear friends and neighbors,

As we transition to enjoying the summer, I wanted to let you know that I’ll continue to send monthly updates with more details about what the legislature accomplished this session and what I’m working on with our community. Our government only works when we’re communicating! So please respond to these e-mails with your thoughts for legislation in the future!

Moms’ agenda

Earlier this year, I wrote to you about the mom’s agenda – a list of bills that mom legislators brainstormed to help parents and working families. At the time, moms were on the brink, the child care industry was on the verge of collapse, and women were leaving the workforce in record numbers. We took major steps to help working families this session and I’m committed to building on them in future sessions so we finally have systems that allows all parents to work and care for their families. This year was a great start as we passed nearly every bill we advocated for:

Child Care and Early Learning

  • HB 1213 — Fair Start for Kids Act to make child care more affordable and accessible
  • HB 1331 — Lowering local impact fees for child care centers
  • HB 1370 — Early Learning Facilities Fund to build more child care centers
  • Mental health child care consultation in the state budget

Paid Family and Medical Leave

  • HB 1073 — Paid Family and Medical Leave expansion to cover to families who lost eligibility for the program as a result of job losses or furloughs due to COVID-19
  • SB 5097 — Paid Family Medical Leave expansion beyond individuals related by blood or marriage to ensure all families can care for each other

Health Care

  • SB 5068 — Extends Medicaid post-partum coverage to save the lives of mothers and set families up with a foundation of health
  • HB 1225 — School Based Health Centers that would allow families an option for their kids to access health care at school with appropriate safeguards for family input

Resources for Families

  • HB 1297 — Working Families Tax Credit, a state policy that is similar to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and would put money back in the pockets of working families
  • HB 1151 — Allowing more emergency and food assistance
  • HB 1342 — Eliminating copay for students qualifying for reduced price lunches
  • HB 1325 — Making the PALS referral line permanent so doctors advising pregnant and post-partum women can easily refer them to behavioral health resources
  • HB 1373 — Behavioral health resources for students

Point Roberts

People living in Point Roberts continue to suffer from the prolonged closure of the U.S.-Canada border. The extension of limited border travel to July 21 will have serious consequences for the community. This week, the Everett Herald Editorial Board wrote a piece that hit the nail on the head: “The caution and appeals to “follow the science” and the data throughout the pandemic, observed by leaders such as Inslee and Trudeau, have largely proved to be the correct call and have been responsible for saving thousands of lives. But measuring the risk that remains against the continued economic and community harm of restrictions — especially for places like Point Roberts — calls for a reexamination of that scale.”

Many leaders in our community including myself, Rep. Rule, Governor Inslee, U.S. Representatives DelBene and Larsen, and others have called for consideration for Point Roberts unique circumstances for months. Rep. Rule and I will be hosting a meeting with community members to see what more we can do to ensure this Point Roberts isn’t another casualty of the pandemic.

Stay well,

Sharon