Friends and neighbors,
As week 6 in the Legislature comes to a close, bills are making their way through the process and important committee deadlines are coming up. With everything moving along at the speed of light, I wanted to share some updates about my bills and other caucus priorities.
We’re already passing important legislation off the Senate floor, including $2.2 billion of investment in schools, undocumented residents, rental assistance, public health funding, food assistance, and more. Since we’ll be in session until April, this is just the first step to helping our state and communities recover from this pandemic.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
As for other priorities, here are some updates on how things are moving:
Senate Bill 5105 would implement recommendations of the Office of Equity task force. This is an important step to make sure our commitment to equity is not a hollow promise, but that we instead follow through with action. This is still moving through committees, so I’ll keep you posted as it progresses.
Senate Bill 5204 would move Washington to a universal healthcare model so that all of our residents can access the support they need. The bill is stuck in committee, so it may not make it through the process this year, but this is a goal that we must continue to work towards.
Senate Bill 5238 would create a Washington state creative economy workgroup to develop a strategic economic development plan for our state’s creative economy. Numerous studies have been done regarding film, music, stage, theater, visual arts, and how technology interweaves with them all. No more studies are needed. What we need is a plan going forward, which is what this bill does.
Senate Bill 5188 would create a Washington state public bank to ensure that dollars earned in our state are invested in our communities – not Wall Street. My colleague Sen. Patty Kuderer is sponsoring this bill, and although it doesn’t include everything we would hope to see in a public bank bill, it is making great progress by moving through the Senate.
To comment on these bills or any other, head to app.leg.wa.gov/SCIRemote/Senate.gov
Feb. 19 Day of Remembrance
Next Friday, Feb. 19, is the Day of Remembrance. I am sponsoring Senate Resolution 8607, which remembers the Executive Order signed by President Roosevelt during WWII that incarcerated 120,000 Japanese Americans simply because of their ethnicity. This day reminds us how fragile our freedom is and why we must be constantly vigilant to protect our Constitution. Although I wish we could honor the day in-person, you can tune into TVW to watch the Senate resolution on Feb. 19 or the House Resolution from Representative Santos on Feb. 15. Normally, we would be having the Nisei Veterans and other community members meet with both caucuses, eat bento boxes together in the Capitol, and listen to presentations and updates from our community, but the event will be just as memorable over Zoom.
It’s broadly acknowledged that the best thing we can do to reopen our economy and get everyone back to work is to gain control over the coronavirus. Getting vaccinated is an extremely important part of controlling the spread of the virus. While America has been struggling with a vaccine shortage, distribution will inevitably ramp up across Washington and it’s important that we continue to follow CDC guidelines to ensure our communities stay safe and healthy. That means continuing to mask up, practice social distancing, and stay home when able to.
You can head to CovidVaccineWA.org to find out if you are eligible for the vaccine, see nearby vaccination sites, and more. For all other COVID information and data, you can find that over at https://coronavirus.wa.gov/.
Happy Lunar New Year!
Finally, I would like to wish you all a happy Year of the Ox! Our 11th District encompasses an amazing diversity of ethnicities and cultures from around the globe. Within Chinese culture, the ox signifies movement and hard work. So, hopefully this reflects movement towards a better year filled with many achievements for all, along with bringing good health, prosperity, and joy to you and your family. Though we may be unable to enjoy the usual festivities and events held within our community to bring in the new year, I hope you can celebrate in a safe and healthy manner with your family.
Don’t forget to like my Facebook page! You can click the photo above to watch the latest Legislative update on my page.
As always, reach out to my office with any questions or concerns about legislation, or what’s happening in our community.