Dear friends and neighbors,

This week, the chamber of origin cutoff means yet another shift in schedule. We have been on the Senate floor the last few days working to pass Senate bills. After the cutoff on Tuesday, Feb. 13, any Senate bills that did not pass the Senate will not progress this session, with the exception of bills that are necessary to implement the budget (NTIB).

As majority leader I do not sponsor many bills, but two bills I do have this session, SB 5774 and SB 5917, passed the Senate before the deadline and are now being considered in the House of Representatives. You can read more about SB 5917 below.

Day in the Life of a Senator

I am often asked, “What does a typical day in Olympia look like?”  Every day is different, but a single day in the Legislature usually entails a packed schedule of constituent meetings, committee hearings, bill testimony, budget meetings, and debate on the Senate floor. At this link, you will find a brief behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of a senator.

Eliminating a Hate Crime Loophole

Last fall, Spokane’s pride crosswalks were vandalized in a coordinated act of hate. These events shook our community and left Spokane residents feeling hurt, angry, and confused.

Community members assumed that these hateful acts must be considered hate crimes, but we soon found out that there is a loophole in current state law that does not allow the prosecution of hate crimes for defacement of public property.

For example, if someone paints a swastika on a business, it is a hate crime. However, if someone were to paint a swastika on a school building, they cannot be charged with a hate crime under current law. That does not make any sense.

I found this loophole appalling. So did Councilmember Zach Zappone. He and I worked to produce SB 5917 – a bill that would close the loophole in the statute to allow public property to be included within the definition of a hate crime.

You can read more in the two media accounts below:

Stay in Touch

I always welcome your feedback. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at