Dear friends and neighbors:
We are nearing the halfway mark of the 2023 legislative session in Olympia. Over the next two weeks, the full Senate will debate and vote on dozens of new policies before the March 8thdeadline to pass bills out of the Senate for consideration in the House. You can watch all the floor action live at TVW.org.
Town hall on March 11
Reps. Nicole Macri and Frank Chopp and I will be holding a town hall meeting on March 11th from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Seattle First Baptist Church on First Hill, 1111 Harvard Ave. We are excited to see constituents in person and to answer your questions about this year’s legislative session.
‘Love Equally: The Journey to Marriage Equality’
Last week, a new exhibition called “Love, Equally” opened at the capitol in Olympia. It honors the 10-year anniversary of Washington’s marriage equality laws. I am humbled to be featured in the exhibit and was honored to be asked to speak at the launch event along with many others who have worked tirelessly for equal rights in our state. You can watch my remarks here.
Name change protections
Last year, I received a message from a constituent who was concerned about how Washington’s laws concerning legal name changes left some people vulnerable to harassment and violence. This is especially true for trans and nonbinary people, refugees, and those fleeing domestic violence and abuse. This session I introduced Senate Bill 5028 to strengthen safety and privacy protections. Under current law, people must experience domestic violence before they can request a sealed name change from the court. SB 5028 would remove that requirement while making the name change process more accessible. I’m pleased to report that the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 45-3 and is now awaiting action in the House.
Children take over the Legislature
Every year the Legislature takes a day to celebrate all the young people in our state and our lives. The Senate floor was full of guests on Monday, including my husband Eric and four sons Trygve, Leif, Erik and Anders. They were able to watch the Senate pass resolutions honoring the Day of Remembrance and Black History Month, plus a lively debate on Senate Bill 5257, which would ensure elementary students in public schools have access to at least 30 minutes of safe, inclusive, and high quality recess time a day.
Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. I hope to see you at the town hall in a few weeks.