Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Over the past few years, I’ve used e-newsletters to inform you about what’s happening in the Legislature and what issues I’m working on as your state senator.
This marks my final e-newsletter. In mid-January, my Senate term will officially end, and my successor will be sworn on January 14 as the new senator for the 26th Legislative District.
As we celebrate and observe Thanksgiving this week, I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve and represent you and the people of the 26th District in the Legislature these past 10 years, including the last five years in the Senate. I’ve served alongside many wonderful elected officials in the House and later the Senate. I’ve been blessed to have some incredible legislative assistants work in my office, originally Debbie Austin from Port Orchard, who retired, and most recent being Gig Harbor native Holly Cocci. I’ve enjoyed working with these talented and dedicated women plus all the caucus and nonpartisan staff in both chambers.
As I look back on my time in the Senate, I remember the many bills I prime-sponsored. In fact, I introduced 113 bills. Of that total, 26 became law! Whenever I attended a bill-signing ceremony to watch the governor finalize one of my proposals into law, I felt grateful to the stakeholders and staff who helped that bill on its journey through the legislative process. Passing a bill into law is never an individual accomplishment. It always requires teamwork.
During my time in the Senate, I served on many committees. The one constant was the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, which was a good fit for me thanks to my careers in banking and insurance. On this committee, I served as a co-chair in 2014, vice chair in 2015-16, chair in 2017 and, finally, ranking Republican this year, 2018. Issues in this committee were and are critical to our banks, credit unions and property casualty insurance companies.
Over the years I also served on these Senate committees:
- Transportation, 2014
- Trade and Economic Development, 2014-16 (vice chair in 2014)
- Health Care, 2014-16
- Law and Justice, 2017-present (assisting ranking Republican in 2018)
- Local Government, 2017-present (assistant ranking Republican in 2018)
It’s a bittersweet time for me. While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my decade in the Legislature, I’m ready to retire and spend more time with my husband, Lynn Williams. We have made many friends and acquaintances here over our past 30 years and I look forward to what the future holds for both of us.
Thanks to all of you who signed up for my e-newsletters, and to those of you who wrote, emailed, called or visited my office. I appreciated your interest in the Legislature and the issues we have addressed. Your involvement helped me better serve you and our district. Since announcing my retirement, I want to thank you for the many, many notes of good wishes. I will certainly miss the amazing relationships formed.
It has been an amazing journey of public service for these past 18 years. My very first campaign, an elderly gentleman named John came to my campaign office and said to me, “Will you promise me that each time you take a vote, you make sure it is the best you can do for the people?” I made that promise and I have done my very best to represent you, putting you first. Good government policy should be of the people and for the people, and I truly hope I have done that.