This is the first week of the 2023 legislative session and I’m excited to be back in person at the Capitol with my fellow legislators, staff, and advocates. We did good work mostly remotely over the past two sessions, but there’s no replacement for everyone being here together, and I think it’s going to make for one of our most productive legislative sessions in years.

While legislators will be here in person and I’m always glad to have constituents come down to Olympia to visit, committees will also be taking testimony remotely. If you can’t make the trip down to Olympia, don’t feel like you are excluded from the process. There’s information here on how you can testify remotely on the bills important to you. Of course, you can also always reach me at with your feedback and concerns. Your stories about the issues and the impact that legislation has on your lives, families, and businesses are crucial for me when I talk to my colleagues about why a particular bill you’re interested in is so important to pass – or in some cases, to not pass.

As I wrote to you last fall, there’s a bunch of important issues I’m going to be working on for you – from making it easier to build affordable housing, to addressing the drug addiction crisis in our state, to ensuring that we have enough nurses in our health care system so that every patient can get high-quality care, and a whole lot more. But I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about a bill I just introduced that I’m particularly excited about.

College in the High School

College in the High School dual credit programs are a fantastic opportunity for high school students to take college courses in their own high school and get both high school and college credit for them. It’s like Running Start, but the classes take place right there in the high school instead of expecting students to travel to a college campus in the middle of their school day. These programs accelerate and enhance student success, a benefit that extends well beyond the individual to businesses and households throughout the community. Plus, every college credit a student can get in high school saves them money on their college costs down the road.

I think College in the High School is great and I want these opportunities to be available to as many students as possible, but right now, students have to pay to participate. I don’t think this is fair. Students and their families should not have to pay for classes they take while they’re still in high school, and charging for these classes just worsens the divide between rich and poor students. My bill, SB 5048, would make College in the High School free for all students.

This would particularly have an impact here in the 5th Legislative District. The percentage of students in dual credit programs in Issaquah, Snoqualmie, Riverview and Tahoma is among the highest in the state, and Tahoma has one of the largest College in the High School programs in the region.

With a growing state budget, there’s no reason we can’t make opportunities like this open to every student. I’m excited about this bill and looking forward to helping more students access College in the High School.

Communities should be safe and feel safe

When I’m talking to folks from our district, I hear about public safety all the time. It’s clear that making sure everyone in our community is safe and feels safe has got to be a top priority for us here at the legislature this year. You know me and my style – I’m not on the far right or on the far left, I want to bring folks together so we can get it right. To me, getting it right means giving our police the tools and training to do their jobs well. It means being able to hold folks who are in trouble accountable so that they participate in drug treatment. It means focusing on data to guide our policy in a smart, holistic way.

On the first day of session this week, I took a few minutes in my office to record a video talking about this issue and shared it on my Facebook page. It’s just about a minute and a half long – check it out here (or click the screenshot below) and feel free to share on your own social media!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or feedback about any of the issues coming before the Legislature this year, feel free to contact me at any time at I look forward to staying in touch with you.

Take care and stay safe,

Sen. Mark Mullet