Friends, neighbors —

More and more frequently we are hearing news reports of record-breaking droughts, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, rising ocean levels, and animal extinctions. These side effects of climate change demand our attention as we ask ourselves: will we be able to pass on a healthy, livable planet to our children and grandchildren? In fact, it is our children and grandchildren whose collective voices are the loudest, calling us to address climate change as the leading policy, business, and moral issue of our time.

I’m so proud of these young leaders. They give me so much hope.  But they shouldn’t be alone in the fight for their right to clean air and clean water. That’s why I use my voice in the Legislature to advocate for policies designed to protect our environment. We owe it to present and future generations to take decisive action that protects our climate, cleans our air, and creates clean-energy jobs. 

Today, I want to give you an overview of the sustainable, earth-conscious legislation signed into law this past session, along with an update about what’s to come.

Randall plus students - enviro walk out

Renewable fuels

The transportation sector is responsible for more than 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, a greater proportion than in most states, largely because the electricity sector produces less carbon here. As a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, at the forefront of my mind is not only how we cut commutes and make our roads safer but also how we make the transportation sector more sustainable. That’s why we passed HB 1512, providing municipal electric utilities with greater authority to make investments in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. 


Reducing Plastics Waste and Recycling Contamination

One of my favorite things about our beautiful 26th District is our access to clear salt water. Not only do our harbors and beaches advance our local economies by providing jobs and encouraging tourism, they’re also simply beautiful. And it’s on us to make sure they stay that way. In Olympia, we want to do everything we can to keep harmful plastics and other garbage out of our waterways and marine systems. Last session, we passed many waste reduction bills, including: 

  • SB 5397 (HB 1204) directs the state Department of Ecology to study the management and disposal of plastic packaging and provide recommendations to the 2021 Legislature for reducing plastic waste as well as requiring greater product “stewardship” by manufacturers of plastic packaging. 
  • HB 1543 (SB 5545) creates the Recycling Development Center within Ecology to further the development of markets and processing for recycled commodities by reducing the contamination of separated recyclables that reduces the value of the material collected. 
  • HB 1569 requires compostable packaging to meet specified industry technical standards and to be labeled in ways that do not mislead consumers. 

kids sand shells

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change threatens our economy, public health, safety and quality of life — and it will worsen if we don’t address greenhouse gas emissions and work hard to lower them. The longer we wait, the higher the cost will be. That’s why we passed several important bills aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions in buildings and appliances and by promoting clean energy.

  • HB 1257 (SB 5293) requires the state Department of Commerce to establish an energy performance standard for existing large commercial buildings, beginning with the largest buildings in 2026.  
    • HB 1257 is a first-in-the-nation model for reducing significant emissions from our buildings sector. It presents a chance to have cleaner buildings, a better environment, and a higher quality of life. 
  • HB 1444 (SB 5115) adopts efficiency standards for certain appliance types, continues the Community Energy Efficiency Program, and provides $12.5 million for energy efficiency upgrades and solar power installation in public buildings. 
    • HB 1444 requires “what’s on the shelf” to be the most-efficient product available. That will particularly benefit renters and tenants by ensuring that apartments, homes and commercial spaces run on equipment that meets at least minimum requirements. 

green dress

This past session saw some huge progress in the direction of sustainability and leaves me excited about our greener, healthier future. We still have a lot of work to do, but with your help and your input, I know that our district and our state can continue to sustain the most beautiful coastlines, the healthiest marine life, the most majestic forests, the coolest volcanoes — and overall be the best state ever.

Around the 26th 

I hope you can join me at my last coffee hour of the year at the downtown Bremerton Kitsap Regional Library on Nov. 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. You can see more details here. I’m so sad this is our last one of 2019, as I have had a wonderful time meeting so many of you and hearing your feedback and new ideas for making our communities the best they can be. I’m already looking forward to starting these coffee hours back up again next year!

My week in service

I believe in transparency, and I want to keep you all informed about what I’m doing on behalf of the 26th District in Olympia. That’s why I’m making a practice of posting my legislative calendar each week on Facebook. You can see this week’s here.

Keep in touch

I’m eager to hear from you about your priorities. I hope you’ll follow me on Facebook so you can see what my team and I are up to. And please feel free to reach out anytime at (360) 627-7610 or The more we hear from you, the better our work in Olympia can reflect our shared values and goals.

All my best,