Friends and neighbors,
We have officially made it through the fiscal cutoff in the Senate, which means that every bill that had money attached to it had to have been passed by the Ways & Means or Transportation committee. This week, we spent a lot of time on the Senate floor voting on a wide variety of bills, ranging from police accountability measures to cybersecurity and additional support for the Employment Security Department. We’ll be doing a lot more of that in the coming weeks, up until the house of origin cutoff on March 9. You can watch us live whenever we’re on the floor at TVW.org.
Quick bill update
A few of my bills are still making their way through the process and just waiting to be considered on the Senate floor, and one has already made it over to the House.
A bill I worked on this session, which would have implemented universal healthcare in Washington, unfortunately won’t be making it through this year. Another bill moving through the Legislature, Senate Bill 5399, would create a universal healthcare commission, with a goal to implement universal healthcare in Washington by 2026. While I know that might not sound soon enough, at least it’s a step in the right direction. I will continue to push for progress.
Vaccine distribution update
As of Feb. 25, about 13 percent of Washington’s population has received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The inequity of distribution is an important issue I’m raising with the state Department of Health. We still have a ways to go to make sure our communities are safe, especially our most vulnerable communities, but we are making progress.
The City of Seattle recently announced a standby sign up list for leftover vaccines at specific vaccination sites. If you are 65 or older and live in a disproportionately affected part of the city, you can sign up here. You can find the full list of vaccine sites in your area, in many different languages, at CovidVaccineWA.org
Healthcare special enrollment period
If you need health coverage, Washington Healthplanfinder has opened a special enrollment period through May 15. You can contact the Customer Support Center between 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at 1-855-923-4633; TTY: 855-627-9604 to learn more and initiate coverage.
Save the date for my upcoming town hall!
Representatives David Hackney, Steve Bergquist and I will be hosting a town hall in just a few short weeks! You can join us on Wednesday, March 17 at 6 p.m. to hear a quick legislative update from your 11th District legislators, and then we’ll use the rest of the time to discuss any questions you may have about the issues you care about.
I hope to hear from you there!
But, in the meantime, don’t forget that you can always reach out to my office at Bob.Hasegawa@leg.wa.gov or (360)-783-7616.