Friends and Neighbors,
The legislative session always takes some twists and turns and this week was no different as I took on some new responsibilities. I’ll be digging back into my roots in local government more in the coming weeks, but you can read more about that below.
Many bills are in the early stages of being heard and passing committee. Once a bill is introduced, it needs to be heard and passed out of the policy committee that covers the subject area of the bill. If it’s going to cost the state money, it then goes to the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. Otherwise, it passes to the Rules Committee that decides which bills are eligible to be pulled to the Senate floor for a vote. You can read an update below on my bills that have passed this step.
I am very blessed to have strong support from my great staff and I’d like to introduce them to you:
Left to right:
Debbie Austin – Senior Legislative Assistant
Jessica Varvil – Intern, Saint Martin’s University
Holly Cocci – Session Aide (served as intern last year)
My team is doing a great job already this session and I rely on them to help get all our important legislative work done. I’m very thankful for the work they’re doing!
My Senate Page for the Week: Graysen Doane
I sponsored Graysen Doane as my Senate page for this past week. Graysen is from Fox Island where she lives with her parents, Jim and Bethany, and she’s really interested in government and is considering a career in politics. I hope you stick with it and we see you back here in Olympia to serve your community, Graysen!
Graysen is a freshman at Gig Harbor High School. If you know of any students who might be interested in being a Senate page, send me an email and my office can try to get them scheduled for the program. Spots are filling up fast!
Bill Update: Passed Committee and Moving Forward
These are the bills that I am the primary sponsor of and have already passed out of committee. They are now in the Senate Rules Committee where they can be pulled and brought to the Senate floor for a vote.
SB 5007: Addressing the licensing of surplus line insurance brokers
SB 5031: Setting rules for virtual/online currency
SB 5042: Allowing funeral planning and services to be included in group life and disability insurance policies
SB 5077: Allowing temporary housing assistance for individuals released from the Washington corrections center for women
SB 5144: Updating rules for state credit unions
SB 5157: Making interest rate and fee changes for pawnbrokers permanent
Follow along online! Click here and put in a bill number to track the progress of a bill which shows up in this handy graph:
New Responsibilities: Acting Chair of Local Government Committee
I’m returning to my roots by taking over as Acting Chair of the Local Government Committee. This week, my colleague and chair of the committee, Sen. Brian Dansel, received an appointment to serve the Trump administration in Washington, DC. I am very proud of Sen. Dansel and know he will serve the people of this state and nation with a lot of skill and integrity. Congratulations, Sen. Dansel!
Taking on these issues comes easily to me. I’m happy to take on this added role and I’m ready to continue working on the local issues that are affecting communities across the state. I have a long history of service in local government with my eight years as a Kitsap County Commissioner.
I will continue to chair the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.