Dear friends and neighbors,
We’re already halfway through the 2023 session, and just wrapped our eighth week. I’m excited to share our progress with you and introduce my incredible team!
This week, we’ve spent day and night working hard to pass all Senate bills before our next legislative deadline on March 8: house-of-origin cutoff.
Here are some of the highlights:
On Wednesday, I successfully amended a bill I co-sponsored to better support our counties and cities (like Kent and Auburn) in the 47th district! SB 5466 aims to create more opportunities for housing near transit centers and gives local jurisdictions flexible tools to meet these targets in ways that reflect the unique characteristics of their communities.
Initially, the bill prohibited cities and counties from requiring off-street parking as a condition of permitting development within a transit station area. But my amendment exempts local jurisdictions from complying with that provision if they work with the state Department of Transportation to conduct studies and determine if the lack of minimum parking requirements make on-street parking infeasible or unsafe for the authorized units.
On Friday, my bill — SB 5683 — was pulled from the Senate Rules Committee and will be heard on the floor sometime next week! It creates child-specific foster care licenses for Indian children to keep them with their family or tribal members.
As a former foster parent and an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe, this an issue close to my heart. History has shown us all too well how detrimental it can be to remove Indian children from Indian families. By creating these licenses, we recognize the unique needs and cultural heritage, leading to better outcomes and promoting community involvement.
We have a responsibility to do right by our children, and that’s exactly what the bill does. It also ensures tribes have the same access to foster care services and resources.
Stay tuned for additional updates!
Meet my team
None of this work would be possible without my incredible staff. I am so grateful for all they do each day to help advance our neighbors’ priorities and want to officially introduce them!
Jade (middle) serves as my legislative assistant, while Jessi (left) is my session aide and Jamie (right) my intern. Each plays an integral role in our office, helping coordinate with constituents and stakeholders on legislation, scheduling meetings, tracking bills, overseeing correspondence and more.
Save the date: Telephone town hall
Join 47th Legislative District Reps. Debra Entenman and Chris Sterns and me for a telephone town hall 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, where we’ll discuss the 2023 session and our ongoing work to support our communities’ needs and priorities.
You should receive a call that day! If you don’t, you can participate by dialing 877-229-8493 and using ID code 116361. I can’t wait to talk with you soon!
I’d love to hear from you and look forward to learning more about your priorities for the upcoming year. Send me an email at Claudia.Kauffman@leg.wa.gov, or give me a call at 360-786-7692. You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram (@SenClaudiaKauffman) for regular updates throughout the coming months.