Rep. Slatter’s Newsletter: Town Hall, Big Bills Pass, Green Transpo and More!

48th ld town hall

Save the Date: Town Hall Meeting!

I am happy to let you know that we have scheduled our 48th Legislative District town hall for March 23.

I am excited to join Representative Amy Walen and Senator Patty Kuderer at the Redmond City Hall at 10:30.

I hope you’ll join us!

Day of Remembrance

Yesterday was Day of Remembrance. We adopted House Resolution 4610, honoring Japanese Americans who suffered relocation and internment during World War II. In her speech on the House Floor, my colleague, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, said that if one American cannot depend on our Constitution, then no American can count on our Constitution. And that we must reflect upon the fragility of our civil liberties and our responsibility to remain vigilant guardians of these precious rights, liberties, and freedoms.

Day of Rem

Policy Committee ‘cutoff’

With hundreds of bills introduced each session, it can be quite a challenge to make sure that everything keeps moving along. Cutoff dates are self-imposed deadlines that the legislature sets to funnel and narrow down the number of bills that can be considered at each stage of the legislative session.

The first cutoff deadline is quickly approaching. Policy committee cutoff is tomorrow, February 22. If a bill does not pass out of a policy committee by the cutoff date, it is dead for this session. The only exception to these cutoff dates are bills that are necessary to implement the budget.

These cutoffs are essential for the effective operation of the Legislature, but it makes for a high paced, sometimes tense period for legislators, lobbyists, and the citizens we represent who closely watch if their bills pass or die.

If the bill passes the first cutoff date, then it continues in the process.

Many bills are introduced during the session, but remember not all bills will become law

Bold Green Transportation Legislation

How will Washington state lead the way when it comes to new technology and ideas for a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system? We know that the transportation sector is responsible for a significant portion of our state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

green transpoWashington Democrats have put forward House Bill 2042 to support the decarbonization of transportation and help our state take the lead.

As the second vice-chair of the Transportation committee, I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the bill. The legislation includes major reforms to move away from the costs and pollution of fossil fuels and toward cleaner technology, including:

  • Making electric vehicles more affordable and accessible for everyone;
  • Increasing the network of electric car chargers across the state;
  • Helping transit agencies transition to electric buses;
  • Solving the last-mile problem in mass transit, to get you from a ferry terminal, bus stop or train station to your final destination; and
  • Enhancing efforts to get cars off the road through increased carpooling, vanpooling, telecommuting, walking, biking, or taking mass transit instead of driving alone to work every day.

This legislation works hand-in-glove with clean fuel and electricity reforms moving through the House Environment & Energy Committee.

The goal of all these related reforms is to keep Washington state a world leader on new ideas in clean technology, and to leave our children with a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system.

Update on major legislation passed this week in the House

Long Term Care

I am happy to report that House Bill 1087, which builds upon the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program with a new long-term care insurance benefit, passed out of the House today. Click here to read the press release.

This legislation will bring peace of mind to Washington families by helping with the costs of long-term care for their loved ones.

Tobacco 21

When kids get addicted to tobacco at an early age, there are tremendous negative health impacts for the rest of their lives. So I am very glad we passed House Bill 1074 out of the House with bipartisan support. This measure will raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21.

Research shows that 90 percent of adult smokers got started when they were teens, and smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

Raising the smoking age to 21 is a national movement that keeps getting stronger. I am hopeful this is the year we’ll get it to the governor’s desk.

ask vandana sq

Ask Vandana: School Safety & Vaccines

Watch my latest Ask Vandana video on a package of bills focused on school safety, and the reasons why I support the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine measure currently under consideration in Olympia.

As always, thank you for reading my newsletter. Please give my office a call or send me an email if you need more information on any legislative issue, or just to give me feedback.