We are now in the third week of this 105-day legislative session. In the Senate alone, there have already been over 300 new bills introduced since the beginning of session and many more are expected to be filed in the coming weeks. Here’s an update on some of the bills I have prime-sponsored.

  • Oil Train Safety: The oil trains moving through downtown Spokane at up to 50 miles per hour (the current federal speed limit) pose a unique threat to public safety because of the elevated tracks they travel on, which is why I introduced Senate Bill 5098. This bill would allow cities such as Spokane to set lower speed limits for trains that are carrying hazardous materials like Bakken crude oil. We are currently waiting to see if SB 5098 gets a hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee.
  • Improved Early Learning Access: Senate Bill 5107 would make it easier for local municipalities, school districts and non-profits to amplify the state’s early learning investments and create greater access to high quality early learning for the kids that need it most. The bill had a great hearing last Thursday and is waiting for a committee vote.
  • Young Voter Registration Equality: Again this year, I introduced this voter pre-registration bill. Senate Bill 5110 would allow 16 or 17 year olds to pre-register to vote. This would give young voters the same access to “Motor Voter,” the most effective way to register voters, as older voters have.
  • K-2 School Suspensions: Young students who are expelled or suspended are up to 10 times more likely to drop out of high school and face more difficulties down the line. From 2013 to 2016, the number of suspensions and expulsions for these young students has increased 39.8% to a statewide total of 8,800 incidents. That’s why I sponsored Senate Bill 5155, which would encourage school districts to use proven restorative and preventative practices when a child is having a problem and prohibit the use of suspensions for K-2 students for more than the remainder of the day.
  • Campaign Finance Transparency: As long as I serve in office, I will be resolute in my efforts to make our elections more transparent and more accountable to voters. So far this session, I’ve introduced two bills tackling campaign finance reform – Senate Bill 5108 and Senate Bill 5219, Both bills would help to instill accountability and transparency by closing campaign finance disclosure loopholes.

Tele-Town Hall

I want to encourage you to participate in a telephone town hall hosted by my 3rd Legislative District seatmates and me.

Under this tele-town hall format, thousands of constituents will receive telephone calls just before 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30, asking if they would like to stay on the line and participate. Participants may ask questions for their lawmakers and hear our answers to other questions as well.

If you would like to participate, you may call in at 877-229-8493 and enter the ID code 116276.

Sign Your Student Up to be a Page

Do you know a student between the ages of 14 and 16 interested in civic participation? Sign them up to be a legislative page. During this unique one-week hands-on experience, pages:

  • Deliver important messages to legislators.
  • Work in the Senate or House chambers during floor debates.
  • Learn about state government.
  • Participate in mock debates.

Click here or call my office at 360-786-7604 if you would more information.

Keeping in Touch

If you have a comment, idea or question, please let me know. I would love to hear from you!

You can email me at andy.billig@leg.wa.gov or call me at 360-786-7604.