Dear Neighbors,

Happy New Year! With the beginning of another year comes another legislative session, and we are ready to go. I have prefiled 12 bills on issues from preventing identity theft to protecting survivors of crime to fighting the opioid epidemic. You can find a list of all my bills for this biennium here. Here are some highlights.

Keeping Washingtonians Safe

There are certain situations in which some people simply should not have access to deadly weapons. That includes people who are in crisis and pose a clear danger to themselves or others. It includes people with a history of violence who are found incompetent to stand trial when charged with a crime or those who are guilty of domestic violence harassment. The Legislature and the people of Washington have passed laws in recent years to enact these changes. The research shows that these laws save lives.

That’s why I’m sponsoring SB 6163 to give judges the discretion to restrict the use of firearms by individuals charged with the felony of driving under the influence. A recent study by UC Davis Violence Prevention Program found that for handgun owners, a prior DUI conviction is an indicator of future arrest for violent offense including murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault—and a 300 percent increase in future risk of domestic violence arrest.

Menstrual Hygiene Products in Schools

Without menstrual products, nearly 1 in 5 American girls have either left school early or missed school entirely. When I visited their class, some extraordinary students from Mr. Dawson’s AP Government and Politics class at Lake Washington High School proposed a bill that would provide free feminine-hygiene products in middle and high schools across our state. I’m proud to sponsor that bill, SB 6073, this session.

More to Come

The prefiled bills are only a part of what I’m working on this year. Since the 2019 session ended, I have been listening to community members, advocates, and experts about the most pressing problems facing Washington, and I will be sponsoring legislation to tackle many more. This includes reforming our Involuntary Treatment Act, providing safe harbor for children who are survivors of commercial sexual exploitation, and improving the child support payment system.

How to Become a Senate Page

We still have some slots for Senate pages this legislative session! During each week of the session, students from across Washington state come to Olympia to serve as pages.

Pages spend a portion of each day assisting with the Legislature’s work and a portion attending Page School. Both provide the opportunity to learn about the role of the Legislature, its process and its participants. For the Monday-through-Friday work week they serve, pages are paid $35 per day. Pages do not work overtime or on weekends, regardless of the Senate’s work schedule.

For more information about the page program, or to download an application, click here.

Stay in Touch

We cannot do our work in Olympia without hearing from you. We are eager to hear your concerns and hopes for our state. Please follow me on Facebook to stay up to date on our work and, most importantly, feel free to reach out anytime. The more we hear from you, the better your Legislature can reflect our shared values and goals.