February 14 Newsletter

February 14th, 2019|


We are now over a month into the 2019 legislative session and, through snow and sleet, the Senate is hard at work passing bills out of committee!

This session, I’ve introduced a combined 37 bills, joint memorials and resolutions, on issues ranging from reducing gun violence, expanding access to our democracy and strengthening supports for youth experiencing homelessness.

Kuderer Sworn In

If you’d like to see the full list, you can view and learn about each of my sponsored bills by clicking this link. In the meantime, here are some highlights from the session so far!

Sen. Kuderer is sworn in

Women In Cloud

Only five percent of all tech industry leaders are women. If that were true of the Legislature, I would be one of only a few women working on behalf of nearly 7.5 million Washingtonians. If that were the case, it would rightly be viewed as an abject failure in fair representation.

That’s why I sponsored Senate Resolution 8602 recognizing the work of Women In Cloud, an organization dedicated to expanding the leadership role of women in the tech industry and ensuring that digital spaces are more than just inclusive for all, but created by all!

Read more coverage of the resolution and the WIC conference from Geekwire: ‘We cannot let the next generation down’: Women in Cloud Summit rallies crowd to turn the tide in tech

Tobacco to 21

When I was growing up, my parents offered to pay each of their nine children if they reached age 21 without ever smoking. Seven of the nine were paid, including me, and all of us remain nonsmokers to this day. What my parents innately knew, medical science has now confirmed. If you don’t smoke by age 21, it is extremely unlikely you ever will.

That’s why I once again introduced legislation to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco and vaping products to 21. According to the CDC, more than 90% of adult smokers began before the age of 21. And the alarming increase in vaping in schools has jeopardized the years’ long downward trend in the number of Americans who smoke.

We all know someone who has suffered and possibly died from a smoking-related illness. If we can interrupt this cycle, we know it will save more lives and reduce healthcare costs. We’ve already heard the bipartisan bills in the House and Senate. We can make Washington healthier this year!

For more, I recommend you read the following December 30 op-ed to The Seattle Times: Raise sales age to 21 for all tobacco products to save our youth

Banning High Capacity Magazines

Mass shootings and individual acts of gun violence have become sadly routine in our society. Everyone, from all sides of these issues, knows what that news cycle looks like. Students in “active shooter drills,” buying bulletproof backpacks, and experiencing the horror of burying their classmates. Enough is enough.

High capacity magazines, like the ones used in the tragic Las Vegas and Thousand Oaks shootings, enable mass carnage. Closer to home, the shooters in Mukilteo and Burlington both used high capacity magazines to take eight lives far too early.

The argument that more than 10 rounds is needed for self-defense is not persuasive, especially when the NRA’s own statistics show that only about 2 rounds are ever fired in defense.

Limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds, as I have proposed in Senate Bill 5062, strikes a balance, allowing critical time for first responders to intervene and save lives while permitting magazines with enough ammunition to maintain self-defense.

Full coverage from the Tacoma News Tribune: Gun magazine sizes, other firearms restrictions at play in renewed debate at Capitol

Snowed In

Snowed in at the Capitol!

Eviction Reform

When I was elected Chair of the newly formed Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Committee, I knew one of our greatest challenges was to overhaul our statewide housing and homelessness systems to focus on prevention.

So when we heard testimony that evictions were the number one cause for homelessness in our state, I knew we had an entry point to keep people in their homes.

Right now, residents in Washington can be evicted with only three days’ notice, even if they’re only a day late and a buck short. That’s a full 27 days shorter than the law gives commercial tenants. Twenty six states have notice periods longer than three days. Senate Bill 5600 would give a little more grace and flexibility to tenants across our state by increasing the eviction notice to 14 days.

You can watch the full press conference on Housing and Homelessness from TVW here.

Lastly, I want to invite you to head on over to my new official Senate Facebook page where I’ll be providing more regular updates and inviting your thoughts and feedback as the session progresses. We’ve got an aggressive agenda in 2019 and I want to hear from you as we make big changes to put hardworking Washingtonians first!

Best Regards,