(360) 786-7608|mark.mullet@leg.wa.gov

News Release

Senate passes Mullet bill to expedite organ transportation

February 17th, 2020|

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate voted today to increase the expediency of vehicles carrying organ transplants by according them the privileges and paraphernalia of emergency vehicles.

Donated organs have limited time outside of the body before they become unusable. However, because of the large service area of donation organizations in Washington state and in the Pacific Northwest overall, it can be challenging to get the organs to their needed destinations in time.

Senate Bill 6580, sponsored by Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), would grant vehicles that are transporting organs the same considerations as ambulances, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. This would include the use of lights, sirens, signal preemption devices and high-occupancy vehicle lanes, and would speed travel for vehicles containing organ transplants.

“Transporting organs is a time sensitive process, and we should be treating it as such,” said Mullet. “There’s no additional cost to treating this process as urgently as it deserves, but there is a huge benefit for those waiting on life-saving transplants.”

After passing the Senate on a unanimous vote, the bill will now head to the House for consideration.

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For information: Courtney James, Senate Democratic Caucus Communications, 360-786-7853

Senate passes Mullet bill expanding access to school counselors

February 12th, 2020|

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate voted 43-3 today to approve legislation defining the duties of high school counselors.

School counselors are highly educated and provide vital resources for the academic, career, personal, and social needs of all students. However, many counselors in Washington are asked to cover for other positions and perform tasks such as proctoring exams, acting as crossing guards, and watching over recess.

“Right now, we’re seeing these specially trained professionals be pulled away from their jobs to perform duties that are not their responsibility,” said Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), sponsor of the bill. “Counselors are meant to provide students with the resources they need to succeed in high school and plan for their post-graduation lives, so that’s what they should be doing.”

Senate Bill 6480 requires school districts to develop and implement written plans for a comprehensive school counseling programs. The bill also requires school counselors to spend at least 80 percent of their work time providing direct and indirect services to students.

“School counselors are extremely important to our kids’ education,” said Mullet. “I’m confident this proposal will boost the amount of time counselors can spend helping students with their academic and personal lives.”

After passing the Senate, the bill will now move to the House for consideration.

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For information: Courtney James, Senate Democratic Caucus Communications, (360)-786-7853

E-News – Prioritizing Education for our Students

February 12th, 2020|

Dear friends and neighbors,

As session reaches the halfway point, I want to highlight some of the important work being done around education policy in Olympia. Education is our state’s paramount duty, so every year you can expect that legislators will be working to improve outcomes for kids. Here are a couple of the education issues I have been advocating for this year:

  • Defining the role of school counselors: School counselors are a vital resource and we should be investing in more of them. But we also need to be sure that the current counselors aren’t being asked to fill in for other jobs. In our state right now, many school counselors that have master’s degrees are being asked to monitor kids at recess, proctor exams, and even act as crossing guards. That’s not right. The Seattle Times recently wrote about a bill that I’m sponsoring which would define the duties of school counselors. I’m confident this proposal will boost the amount of time counselors can spend helping students with their academic and personal lives.

  • Public charter school funding: As the longest serving member of the Senate Education committee, I have heard from hundreds of public charter school students and their families throughout the eight years I’ve been in the Senate.  They love their public charter schools, but the state is still not guaranteeing the same level of funding for these public school students as their peers receive.  As a result, we have seen public charter school closures or relocations, which puts an undue stress on the students. You can read more about the lack of resources some of our kids are facing and how I’ve worked to fix the disparity in this piece by the Seattle Times editorial board.
  • Dual credit courses: Many of our kids are preparing for their futures by taking dual credit courses which give them the opportunity to earn college credits in high school. Unfortunately, AP and IB classes require fees for testing, and College in the High School and Running Start can cost hundreds more. Rather than creating barriers, we should be letting as many students as possible take these courses, regardless of cost. That’s why I’m sponsoring legislation that would eliminate the costs for students enrolled in these programs.

If you have any questions or comments on these bills or anything else happening in Olympia, I encourage you to reach out to my office.

Best regards,

Save the date and times for the upcoming 5th District Town Halls on Feb. 22!

  • 1st: Maple Valley
    When: 9:30-10:30 a.m.
    Where: Tahoma High School Performing Arts Center
    23499 SE Tahoma Way, Maple Valley, WA 98038
  • 2nd: North Bend
    When: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    Where: North Bend City Hall
    920 SE Cedar Falls Way, North Bend, WA 98045
    *Note: I have a family obligation for this town hall, Rep. Ramos and Rep. Callan will be there*
  • 3rd: Issaquah
    When: 1:30 -2:30 p.m.
    Where: Blakely Hall At Issaquah Highlands
    2550 NE Park Dr, Issaquah, WA 98029
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    Senate approves Mullet bill to expand access to retirement plans

Senate approves Mullet bill to expand access to retirement plans

January 17th, 2020|

OLYMPIA – The Washington Senate voted 26-20 today to approve legislation that would provide Washington State employees who have previously not had access to retirement plans an easier option going forward.

Senate Bill 5740, sponsored by Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), gives employers the opportunity to auto-enroll employees in a new state sponsored account, or to continue enrolling them in pre-existing retirement programs. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) would be offered at no additional cost to the employer.

Employers would have the option to withhold a portion of each employee’s earnings from each paycheck and invest it in an IRA available to the employee upon retirement. Employees who do not want to participate could opt out at any time. Businesses that have fewer than five employees or have been in existence for fewer than five years would be exempt.

“Right now, we are facing a societal problem where there are far too many people in our state who can’t live off of what they save from working,” said Mullet, who chairs the Senate Financial Institutions, Economic Development & Trade Committee. “This bill would give a sense of security to many Washingtonians who have not had the option to save for retirement in the past and would benefit both employees and employers.”

The bill also would allow the state to partner with Oregon, which already has a similar auto-enroll plan, to avoid spending some $10 million to develop its own program.

“I’m always on the lookout for more cost-effective ways for government to function, and this bill lets us do that in a way that will benefit all Washingtonians,” Mullet said. “Everyone in our state deserves the dignity that comes from financial security in retirement.”

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

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For information: Courtney James, Democratic Caucus Communications, (360)-786-7853