Happy New Year! The calendar turning to a new year also means a new Legislative session is upon us. The 2023 session begins on Monday, January 9th.
My priorities going into session, as always, are to help build opportunity and prosperity for the people of Spokane and throughout our great state. Based on the needs in our community, my specific areas of focus for this session are:
- Increasing affordable housing options
- Expanding access to behavioral health services
- Supporting small businesses
- Strengthening public safety
- Improving access to high quality, affordable childcare
- Ensuring access to reproductive health care services
- Protecting the Spokane River
Anyone interested in participating in the Legislative process should keep in touch with our office, check out leg.wa.gov for the latest information, and watch TVW.org where all the legislative action is live-streamed and recorded.
New Staff Member: Welcome, Daniel!
I am pleased to welcome Daniel Garcia to our office. He will be serving the people of the 3rd Legislative District as our Associate Legislative Assistant. Daniel joins fellow Legislative Assistant, Veronica Moorehead, who joined our team in October.
For the last year, Daniel worked for an organization representing Washington’s public four-year colleges and universities. In his free time, you can find him exploring state parks, finding the best coffee and tea shops, or hiking.
Daniel graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with his Bachelor of Arts (BA) in psychology. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) at The Evergreen State College.
Please join me in giving Daniel a warm welcome!
This is a recurring newsletter feature where we check in on the impacts to our community from previously passed bills.
In 2019, I sponsored Senate Bill 6670 to encourage access to state parks through cooperative programs with libraries. What started out as a pilot program in 39 libraries has now expanded to every library in the state.
The program, Check Out Washington, allows library card holders to reserve a limited edition Discover Pass for a week at a time. Users can make visits to WA State Parks or lands owned by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) free of charge.
Circulation data shows that Discovery Pass checkouts have increased year over year, benefitting over 18,000 people last year alone. Additionally, more passes have become available for the communities that need them most. Last year, the Washington State Parks Foundation raised additional funds to provide over 400 more passes to libraries. In 2022, the combined circulation for the Spokane Public Library and the Spokane County Library District resulted in over 500 pass checkouts.
You can find your local library here: Directory of WA Public Libraries.
Keep in Touch
Your input is essential for me to effectively do my job of representing our community. Please reach out to me at any time with questions, feedback, or comments at Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov.