Town Hall Meetings
Thank you to the more than 200 people who attended our 3rd Legislative District Town Halls on Saturday. Rep. Ormsby, Rep. Riccelli and I received comments and questions on a range of topics. I appreciated all of the thoughtful input from everyone that attended.
Whether you were able to make it to a Town Hall meeting or not, I encourage you to stay in touch as we move through the rest of the Legislative session.
Bill Update: Consumer protection legislation passes Senate
Do you remember from Schoolhouse Rock the first step in how a bill becomes a law? It starts with a constituent saying, "There ought to be a law." Just prior to the house of origin cut-off last Wednesday, the Senate passed SB 5458, which requires that any asbestos-containing building material must feature a label that clearly identifies it as containing asbestos.
This legislation started when I received an e-mail from Bill, a concerned constituent who works for the Spokane Clean Air Agency. He said, “There ought to be a law,” and now we’re well on our way to making that idea a reality! It is always nice to see such clear examples of direct constituent input leading to productive legislation, especially legislation that will help increase consumer safety and transparency. SB 5458 passed by a vote of 47-2 and will next head to the House Of Representatives for consideration.
Education Legislative Panel
Last Sunday I was glad to have the opportunity to serve on two legislative panels in front of almost 500 school directors and superintendents from around the state at the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) Annual Conference. I shared with the attendees my thoughts on the education bills being considered this session and the need to fully fund basic education.
When you look at student performance for Washington compared to other states, we are generally in the top 1/3 in most categories, yet we are in the bottom 1/3 compared to other states in per pupil funding. Those rankings indicate to me that we are getting a good value for our educational dollar. But, we can and should do better. We have passed a number of significant reforms in recent years, including all-day kindergarten, small class size for K-3 grades, and the Teacher Principal Evaluation Program, but we have not properly funded them. The next big education reform for Washington State is fulfilling our moral and constitutional obligation to fund the reforms already on the books and provide a high quality education for every student in our public school system.
It was great to see many of our local school districts represented, including school directors and superintendents from Spokane Public Schools, Mead, East Valley and Central Valley. Thanks again to WSSDA for inviting me to participate.
Keeping In Touch
Please keep in touch with questions or comments at anytime. If you have feedback, I’d like to hear from you. You can reach me in Olympia by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone at 360-786-7604.
And if you know someone who would like to get their own copy of my weekly e-newsletter, tell them they can go to my website at http://www.senatedemocrats.wa.gov/senators/billig/ and click on the link to “Sign up for my e-newsletter” – I’ll be glad to keep them in the loop!