Monthly Archives: February 2014

49th LD Telephone Town Hall recording now available

February 24th, 2014|

If you were unable to listen to the telephone town hall meeting last week, the audio recording of the event is now available.

 

Cleveland, Moeller meet with nurses from the district

February 24th, 2014|

Sen. Annette Cleveland and Rep. Jim Moeller today met with a group of nurses from the 49th District who were in Olympia for Nurse Lobby Day. Feb. 24, 2014

Cleveland meets with local firefighters

February 19th, 2014|

Sen. Annette Cleveland today met with a group of firefighters from the 49th Legislative District in her office.

49th LD lawmakers to host telephone town hall

February 11th, 2014|

Sen. Annette Cleveland and Reps. Jim Moeller and Sharon Wylie will host a telephone town hall from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19th.

The three lawmakers will be available to answer your questions live as you listen in to hear the questions, comments and concerns of your neighbors.

If for some reason you don’t get the call, you are encouraged to call the toll-free telephone number directly, 1-877-229-8493, and then enter PIN code No. 18646 when prompted to join the discussion.

 

Legislative Update – Feb. 10, 2014

February 10th, 2014|

Hello –

Entering week five in the 2014 Legislative Session, we have almost reached the half way mark of the session. Here is a little bit of what has been happening in Olympia.

Mark your calendars – Telephone Town Hall, Wednesday, Feb. 19th at 6 p.m.

All three of your 49th District lawmakers will be hosting and answering your questions in a telephone town hall on Wednesday, Feb. 19th from 6 to 7 p.m. During a telephone town hall, thousands of homes across the district are called and if you’d like to listen in or ask a question, just remain on the line. If you know you will not receive a call and would like to participate, please dial toll-free , 1-877-229-8493, and then enter PIN code No. 18646 when prompted. I look forward to speaking with you about our community and our home.

Straight from the floor – Senate votes on constitutional amendment

Last week the Senate voted on a constitutional amendment that would have required a two-thirds majority vote on all bills requiring taxes. I voted with my Senate Democratic colleagues to reject this amendment, as it would have allowed a small minority to rule over the majority. There is a reason our founding fathers did not include a two-thirds vote requirement in our Constitution: our democracy is built upon a simple majority rule, 50 percent plus 1. That’s what makes it a democracy.

A two-thirds requirement would shift control to a very small, one-third minority. That means as few as 17 of our state’s 147 legislators could block any action by the Legislature — a good recipe for political gridlock. It was not the intent of our Founders, or of the people, to cede control of our Democracy to a very few.

Our constituents and the people of Washington state expect us to do our jobs – to collaborate on good policy that moves our state forward, and to invest wisely in infrastructure like transportation that helps spur economic development. When we are locked in political battles and gridlock, no one benefits and we cannot govern as we have been elected to do.

Ideas into action – getting patients the mental health care they need

I introduced Senate Bill 6419 to the Senate Health Care Committee last week ahead of the first legislative cutoff deadline. During the interim, and from meetings with many constituents in Olympia and at home, I was able to take those ideas and develop a bill that will expand existing Medicaid arrangements between border communities. With the passage of this bill, border communities will be able to achieve critical access to mental health care in areas closer to home.

Often, when space is unavailable, people in need of mental health services end up waiting in local emergency rooms, sometimes for hours or even days. When we are able to partner with our friends across the border, we broaden the reach of access to our local communities and can help balance supply and demand.

There is no question of the intersection between access to quality mental health services and violence. Unfortunate recent events in our community underscore this intersect and critical need. While we cannot prevent every crime or tragedy, we can do our best to see that we are taking care of those most in need. The bill was moved out of the committee and now waits in the Senate Rules Committee.

Staying Connected to You

Sen. Cleveland meets with students from the Washington State School for the Blind

One of the best parts of the week is meeting with people from home. I was visited by students from the Washington State School for the Blind, DECA students, our region’s PTA legislative chair and members from the Greater Vancouver Chamber. It is always an honor to serve you and our home community. Please visit the photo gallery on my website to see photos of your Legislature in action.

Until next time,

Cleveland

Greater Vancouver Chamber visits Olympia

February 6th, 2014|

The Greater Vancouver Chamber in the Senate Rules Room.

The Greater Vancouver Chamber in the Senate Rules Room.

The Greater Vancouver Chamber in the Senate Rules Room.

Members of the Greater Vancouver Chamber today met with Sen. Annette Cleveland, Rep. Jim Moeller and Rep. Monica Stonier.

Cleveland works to expand access to mental health

February 5th, 2014|

Addressing quality access to mental health is the driving force behind a bill heard yesterday in the Senate Health Care Committee. Senate Bill 6419will expand existing Medicaid arrangements between border communities to include critical access to mental health and psychiatric care for people living in those areas.

“Living in a border community, we have many challenges that other communities don’t have to face,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver. “This bill will address issues that were made clear during many meetings with constituents over the interim. When patients seeking psychiatric care are able to receive treatment in a timely manner, we are able to better care for those people and not have them waiting in our emergency rooms.”

The Health Care Authority and the state Department of Social and Human Services are currently working together to make sure that people living close to our state’s borders have access to physical care in case they need to cross the border for treatment. Cleveland’s legislation would expand that same cross-border cooperation to include access to mental health and psychiatric care for Medicaid enrollees at no additional cost to the state.

“When we are able to partner with our friends across state borders, we will have many more opportunities to get people the treatment they need closer to their own communities. This bill addresses timely access to mental health care for patients and also addresses challenges faced in our emergency rooms, with our law enforcement officers and the safety and health of all our border communities.”

 

 

Cleveland meets with PTA Region 3 Legislative Chair

February 4th, 2014|

Sen. Annette Cleveland met with the WSPTA Region 3 Legislative Chair Heather Lindberg in her office.

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    Cleveland meets with students from the Washington State School for the Blind

Cleveland meets with students from the Washington State School for the Blind

February 3rd, 2014|

Sen. Annette Cleveland met with students from the Washington State School for the Blind.

Legislative Update, Feb. 3, 2014

February 3rd, 2014|

Hello –

As we begin week four in the Legislature, I’d like to share a quick update and let you know what I’ve been doing for you, our community and our state.

Ideas Into Action

I spend a great deal of my time, both in Olympia and during the interim, back home in our community meeting with constituents. It is my first responsibility to ensure that I listen to you — and the issues, challenges and ideas you share. As I work to bring a number of these ideas forward in the form of legislation this session, I will share periodic updates with you on these ideas.

This past week, I presented a bill that was heard in the Senate Health Care Committee that would help the Medical Quality Assurance Commission develop a proactive approach to its work through an education and quality improvement program for physicians and physician assistants. This quality improvement program would be an opportunity for physicians and physician assistants to hone their skills, receive additional training and work with other professionals without the need or threat of disciplinary action, before any need for that type of action occurs. In this way, we can better ensure that these professionals have the tools they need, thus increasing the safety of patients throughout our state.

On the Senate Floor – Protecting Middle-Class households in Our Communities

Last week, a bill came to a vote before the Senate that proposed a “reform” for our state’s structured settlement system. This reform opens the option for all employees injured on the job to accept one lump sum of money instead of a settlement that would be paid out over time. I voted against this bill because, while this might sound like a reasonable idea in theory, young employees who are permanently injured and unable to be retrained in another career might accept cash settlements that don’t truly cover their actual needs, and run out of money.

Why is this bill important to our community? All workers in our community and across the state deserve the surety to know that if they are injured on the job, their future is secure. Our households have enough to worry about as it is; suffering a permanent injury without receiving enough benefits to make ends meet should not be one of them.

Access to College and Greater Opportunity

The DREAM Act, to provide greater access to state need grants, remains a priority for me and for Senate Democrats. Last Friday, I was proud to support the DREAM Act that would extend to deserving children who grew up in our country without documentation the same access to eligibility for state need grants that our students currently receive.

Another other bill that passed on the floor with my support that day will broaden access to college by allowing our active-duty military servicemen and women the ability to qualify for in-state tuition if they relocate to our state. Both of these bills strengthen our community by allowing more people access to higher education and higher-paying jobs.

Staying Connected

Sen. Cleveland, former Rep. Deb Wallace and members of the aviation community

While I am in Olympia during the Legislative session, one of the most rewarding aspects of my days here are meetings with folks from home. Last week, I was pleased to meet with former 17th Legislative District Rep. Deb Wallace and members of our state’s aviation community. I am very proud of the rich aviation history of our community. Pearson Field in our district serves as the longest continuously operating airfield in the country and is vital to not only our history but our future. The aviation industry and general aviation supports and spurs economic activity in our community and region.

In addition, our ability to be prepared for, and quickly respond to, emergencies and natural disasters is critical and our general aviation airports and pilots help to ensure that we are ready for any unforeseen event. Pearson Field is home to The Civil Air Patrol’s Fort Vancouver Composite Squadron, which focuses on emergency preparedness as well as providing educational opportunities to our young people and search and rescue services. Pearson Field is a critical link in our region’s transportation infrastructure system. I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss these issues and learn more about general aviation in our state.

For more photos of people I’ve met with during the week, I encourage you to check the photo gallery portion of my website.

Meeting with you in Olympia is one of the many ways to keep open the link to home. If you are in the Olympia area and would like to meet with me, please give me a call.

Until next time,

Cleveland