OLYMPIA – Washington will extend its public-health approach to substance use disorder by establishing a temporary new legal framework the possession of controlled substances and providing nearly $90 million to significantly expand treatment infrastructure, under a bill passed today by the Legislature. In a Feb. 25 decision in the case of State v. Blake, the Washington State Supreme Court struck down the state statute that made possession of controlled substances a class C felony, removing all state criminal penalties for possession. Read More
Manka Dhingra is Deputy Majority Leader of the Washington State Senate. She brings two decades of experience as a prosecutor and behavioral health expert to her roles as chair of the Senate Behavioral Health Subcommittee and vice chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee. She also serves on the Ways & Means Committee.
Dhingra was first elected to the Senate by the constituents of the 45th Legislative District in November 2017, the first Sikh legislator elected in the nation. Since then, she has sponsored and passed legislation addressing a wide range of issue areas, including: curbing domestic violence and sexual assault, preventing firearm violence, providing property tax relief for seniors and people with disabilities, prosecuting financial fraud, and reforming the criminal justice system with an evidence-based approach.
During her time in the Senate, Dhingra has helped pass legislation and funding to transform the Washington State behavioral health system, reorienting it around prevention rather than crisis response. She continues to strive to ensure that Washingtonians with behavioral health needs get the treatment they need and deserve.
Read Manka’s full biography here.
Manka in the News
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