Dear friends and neighbors,  

We are now more than halfway through the legislative session! We’ve been busy all week passing bills off the Senate floor. Bills that started in the Senate have to make it through the Senate by Tuesday or they’ll be done for the session. The exception is for bills that are necessary to implement the budget.   

A piece of legislation I’m excited about seeks to improve civility in our political discourse. It recently passed the Senate with unanimous support. It is a special request from Lt. Governor Denny Heck. Senate Concurrent Resolution 8414 would establish a committee on civic health to build on the work of the Project for Civic Health 

A recent survey in Washington found that nearly one in four people have stopped talking altogether to a friend or relative because of politics. That same survey found that 89 percent of Washingtonians are somewhat or very concerned about the future of our democracy. We can do better.  

This is an issue I care deeply about. For many years I’ve worked with the National Institute for Civil Discourse training legislators in other states on civility (including in subzero blizzard conditions in Minnesota).  

The committee would be led by the lieutenant governor and include legislators from both parties. The committee would need to come back to the legislature with recommendations by next December. Recommendations could include things like enhanced civics education, improved training for elected officials or supporting local journalism.  

Inside Olympia dives into this very issue this week! You can watch here 

Updates on other bills:  

My bill to ensure there’s a clear process for challenging voter registrations cleared the Senate floor last week with unanimous support. It would also help prevent people from being wrongly removed from the voting rolls or led to believe they are not entitled to vote. 

My bill to require semiautomatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in fitness centers passed the Senate with unanimous support as well. The idea for the bill was brought forward by family members of a constituent who passed away from a heart attack while working out at a local fitness center. He was an active community member and a strong advocate for AEDs. His chance of survival would have been greatly enhanced had the facility had an AED. His family hopes the legislation saves lives.   

Working Families Tax Credit 

In early 2023, we launched the Working Families Tax Credit. Since then, it has provided more than $116 million in refunds to 163,000 Washington households, with an average refund of $714 per household. I’m pleased to say the program has helped 249,000 kids! 

Applications for the 2024 cycle opened Feb. 1 and are available through the end of the calendar year. To check if you are eligible for the rebate of up to $1,255, click here. If you haven’t claimed your rebate from last year, there’s still time to do that  

Applications open for Washington Award for Vocational Excellence (WAVE) scholarship 

The 2024 WAVE scholarship portal is now open! WAVE honors Washington’s top career and technical education students. 

The scholarship helps pay for tuition, books and other qualified expenses for college and career training – up to $7,700 over two years. 

The application window is open until March 10. Learn more and apply today here. 

As always, don’t hesitate to each out to my office at 360-786-7642 or You can also follow along for more legislative updates on my official Facebook page.