Dear friends and neighbors,

Less than a week remains in the 2022 legislative session, and we have been spending long days on the Senate floor passing legislation to improve lives in our state. I will report on our progress when the session concludes next week.

For now, I wanted to share a few thoughts on the crisis unfolding in Ukraine. During college and law school, I spent about two years living what is now Russia and Ukraine, including four months in Kiev in the summer of 1992.  In that first year after the fall of communism, newly independent Ukraine was full of hope and promise. I made many friends there and felt their hope and joy as the Ukrainian people finally had a chance to write their own destiny.

Like many of you, I feel heartsick watching what is happening to those brave and proud people. Earlier this week the Senate voted to add $20 million to the 2022 supplemental operating budget to assist refugees from Ukraine who settle in Washington state. The state has also been taking steps to cut any financial ties that our agencies have with Russian companies. On Wednesday, I introduced Senate Resolution 8662 to show our state stands with the people of Ukraine and Ukrainian Americans. You can watch my remarks here.

I want to thank everyone who attended our 43rd District Town Hall. Reps. Macri and Chopp and I received some excellent questions. For those who would like to watch, it is available here. The 2022 session is scheduled to end on March 10, and future e-newsletters will provide updates on the final budgets and policy bills passed by the legislature this year.

Best wishes,