Rep. Slatter’s Newsletter: Town Hall, Link Air Act, Health Care and Orca Bills

Come to our Town Hall on March 23!

I hope you can join Sen. Patty Kuderer, Rep. Amy Walen and me at our district Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, March 23, from 10:30 to noon, at the Redmond City Hall.

We want to give you an update on the 2019 Legislative Session, and we want you to get answers to your questions, as well as share your comments, concerns, ideas or feedback.

48th TH announcement

Transit options: Redmond City Hall is served by Bus Metro routes 232, 243, 542, 930, and RapidRide B Line.

Parking: The visitor parking lot is next to the Redmond Regional Library. From NE 85th Street, turn into the driveway and then make a quick right turn into the visitor lot.

Capitol Vertical

What’s happening now in Olympia?

We recently passed two key deadlines here in the House – one for policy committees and another for fiscal committees.

We’re now spending most of the time on the House floor debating and voting on legislation that made it out of committee by these deadlines. Senators are going through the same process with their bills.

Measures passing off the House floor are going to the Senate for their consideration, just as Senate bills are crossing the rotunda for consideration by House committees.

Bills considered necessary to implement budgets are exempt from these cutoff deadlines and could be voted on up until the last day of session.

Please visit if you’re interested in the status of any bill.

Link-Air Act

My legislation to set goals for electric and hybrid-electric aircraft in Washington passed the House a couple of days ago on an 88-10 vote.

airplane window

House Bill 1397 directs the Department of Transportation to reconvene the electric aircraft workgroup created in last year’s transportation budget to continue studying the electrically powered aircraft industry, to evaluate infrastructure needs, and track progress toward developing electric or hybrid-electric air travel in our state.

I see short distance air travel as a future option to alleviate traffic congestion and get us where we need to go faster, all while creating jobs and boosting the economy,

Read more about the Link-Air Act and how electric aircraft can benefit our future in this press release.

Major Health Care bills passed the House today

  • Drug Cost Transparency: No one should have to decide whether to put food on the table or pay for their prescription drugs. Yet the rising costs of needed medications are forcing too many Washingtonians to make that choice.  House Bill 1224 will require reporting by drug manufacturers on medicines that increase in price and the justification for the increase.
  • Health Network Adequacy: Under some health plans that are supposed to cover something like behavioral health care, accessing the network to get that care is hit or miss. We know stories of people who, in the midst of a crisis are unable to get the care they need when they need it, resulting in tragedies. That’s why it was a priority to pass House Bill 1099, requiring health plans to provide notice about network adequacy to consumers. They would include estimates of the percentage of time enrollees are able to access covered services within time limits set by the state Insurance Commissioner. With this information, consumers could make more informed decisions when selecting a health plan.
  • Cascade Care: Washington is closer to improved access to health care now that we passed House Bill 1523. The bill creates a series of up to three standardized health plans per tier provided on the state health benefit exchange. Cascade Care plans will be designed and procured by the state in an effort to bring stability to the marketplace along with usability, lower cost, and better value for consumers.

Protecting our Southern Resident Orcas

As you know, we have 75 Southern Resident Orcas left, and to save them from extinction we’re taking several bold actions. Yesterday both the House and the Senate passed a slate of bills addressing some of the greatest threats to orca survival:

Orca with calf

  • House Bill 1578 reduces threats to the iconic marine mammals by investing in oil spill prevention.
  • House Bill 1579 increases habitat for Chinook salmon and other forage fish – the primary food source for orcas – with common sense, science-based protections.
  • House Bill 1580 reduces noise and disturbance from vessels to give orcas the space and quiet they need to find food and survive.

Read more about these measures, as well as the ones passed by the Senate in this press release.

Thank you so much for your interest in what we’re doing in Olympia. Don’t forget to check out my latest Legislative Video Update on WA STEM, Career Connect, and Seattle Storm Plates

Be sure to contact my office if you need more information, or just to give me your feedback.