Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Today is House policy cutoff, meaning policy-only bills (bills with little to no fiscal impact) that have not made it out of committee are typically “dead” for the session. However, leadership can technically revive a bill at any point throughout the legislative session.
On Jan. 28, the House passed an early action supplemental operating budget to help fund court-ordered, additional mental health treatment capacities, eastern Washington wildfires and Oso landslide expenses, and other emergency services. The Senate made minor changes to the bill, and the governor signed the bill into law Wednesday morning.
Visitors from the 16th District
Last week, the Tri-Cities Legislative Council, along with the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, made its way to the Capitol to discuss critical issues affecting families and businesses in the Tri-City region. They make a point to make it over to the Legislature each year, and they always have a great turnout. It was fun to see folks from home while I'm in Olympia for session!
This week, students from the Washington State 4-H Youth Development Program were in Olympia for the Know Your Government conference. The conference happens each year and is designed to empower students to be civically engaged and develop key leadership skills. It's great to see more youth getting involved in state government and in their communities.
Also this week, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers visited the Legislature. She spoke to our caucus about the importance of empowering families and ensuring they have the proper tools to succeed. We're working toward a lot of these same goals at the state level and on the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee, on which I serve as the ranking chair.
Reconciling recreational and medical marijuana systems
Since the 2012 passage of Initiative 502, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana in Washington, lawmakers and enforcement agencies have been working on creating sideboards for both the recreational and medical marijuana systems. There are currently dozens of bills before the Legislature that would affect the two industries.
There are certainly ambiguities within the two systems, but we must be able to ensure patients continue to have access to the medical system. It's important we take a measured approach to provide meaningful reforms and ensure investments made by constituents in these industries are not lost.
YMCA Champion Award
On Feb. 11, I was honored to receive the YMCA. Each year it is given to legislators who promote youth development and healthy communities. I am humbled to have been chosen for the award and will continue my work in the Legislature to support families throughout our state.
Soon, we'll be seeing more action on the floor as we work to get bills out of the House and over to the Senate for consideration. If you have any questions or concerns regarding a bill we are considering in the state Legislature, please contact my office. My office has received a lot of feedback from many of you and I value your input.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you.
420 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7836 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000