Monthly Archives: July 2019

Wilson opens district office to improve access

July 15th, 2019|

Having been entrusted by you to represent one of the most diverse districts in the state, I consider it my responsibility as your state senator to make sure all communities feel their voices are heard — and to make sure I am easily accessible.

To that end, we have opened a district office in Federal Way in the Chamber of Commerce Building at 31919 1st Ave S., Suite 207. This office is staffed during the legislative interim and can be reached by calling 206-592-2738.

I hope you will find that this makes it easier to contact my office with any questions about community needs or legislative policies. Bring me your thoughts, your ideas — if you have a concern, I want to hear it.

My goal is a Washington where all can enjoy equitable access to education, health, security and prosperity. That won’t happen overnight. But by working together, I know we can get there.

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    First legislative session prioritized education, health care and transportation

First legislative session prioritized education, health care and transportation

July 8th, 2019|

My first year as 30th District state senator has focused on three priorities: the education of our children, access to adequate health care, and transportation in and around our 30th District communities. Here are highlights of those efforts during the 2019 legislative session. (For more information on a topic, simply click on the bill number)

We improved educational opportunities at all levels

  • Increased K-12 funding and local levy flexibility (SB 5313)
  • Passed anti-bullying legislation to keep kids safe (SB 5689)
  • Expanded access to child care and early learning (HB 1344, SB 5437, SB 5089 , HB 1391)
  • Improved student learning and pathways to graduation (HB 1599)
  • Expanded tuition grants for limited-income households. (SB 2158)
  • Explored educational options to reduce recidivism. (SB 5433)

We addressed people’s primary concern: health care

  • Created a public option for health care insurance (SB 5526).
  • Protected Washingtonians against federal health cuts (HB 1870)
  • Created nation’s first long-term health care program (HB 1087)
  • Passed multiple strategies to address the opioid crisis (SB 5380)
  • Created Indian Health Advisory Council (SB 5415).
  • Protected patients from “surprise billing” fees (SB 1065)
  • Required transparency in prescription drug costs (HB 1224)
  • Improved care by ensuring nurses receive rest breaks (SB 1155)
  • Protected public against measles outbreaks (HB 1638)

We funded transportation projects and airport research

  • Accelerated Gateway project on SR 509 and SR 167 (SB 5825).
  • Adding lanes to I-405, extending express lanes on SR 167 south.
  • Studying lower toll rate options along SR 509 and I-405.
  • Created a commission to find site for a new airport (SB 5370)

Numbers help shed light on first legislative session

July 1st, 2019|

Throughout the 2019 legislative session, and even since the session finished in the wee hours of April 28, folks have asked me what my first session as a state senator felt like. In a wide-ranging interview with The Washington State Wire, I said it was “like jumping on a hamster wheel and drinking out of two fire hoses at the same time,” among other things. You can read the interview here.

My main impression is that the Legislature is a very, very different environment and one that most people never see or experience. So I’ve made it a point, through Facebook posts and tweets, to share insights and examples that “open the doors” of your Legislature and let you see what it looks like on the inside. Another way to open those doors, now that session has concluded, is by looking at the numbers.

For instance:

97 — the number of visits my Olympia office received from constituents.

19 — the number of meetings I had on the key topics of early learning and childcare.

209 — the number of handwritten letters or postcards my office received.

888 — the number of phone calls to my office.

6,826 — the number of emails to my office.

61 — the number of Senate committee hearings I participated in.

4 — the number of visits from elementary schools.

32 — the number of times Bill the bird visited outside my office window. Bill, in case you didn’t know, is a seagull who apparently took up residence on the ledges of the Legislative Building and was a regular visitor outside my office window, brightening my days with his chirps and general presence. (CAPITOL HUMOR: In answer to a question posed earlier in session, Bill never did quite become a law.) Anyway, I hope this gives you a little different view of your Capitol.