Today was policy cutoff day at the legislature. That means that we’ve introduced the last new bills of this session, and now we turn to moving the best of these bills along in the process. It’s our first big deadline, and I’m excited that we’re going to be able to keep moving so many great bills to improve our transportation system, make college more accessible, and expand health care to everyone who needs it.
Speaking of health care—I hope you’ll join me on Monday at 6:00 p.m. LIVE on Facebook to hear about the Pathway to Universal Health Care bill. I’ll be joined by some of our fellow Washingtonians who will share their personal stories about how access to—or lack of—health care can change lives.
Have questions you’d like us to answer? Just respond to this email and we’ll add your question to Monday night’s discussion!
*Even if you’re not on Facebook, you can keep an eye on what’s happening each day in Olympia—and watch my first floor speech—on TVW!
Spotlight: Supporting veterans and military families
On Wednesday, I gave my first speech on the floor of the Senate.* The bill I spoke about, SB 5603, is all about ensuring that the families that are serving us are served by the work we’re doing for them. It would allow the children of service members who are relocating to enroll in school before they have an address in district. This will improve the transition to a new school for the kids, for their families, and for their school districts. As we welcome many families connected to the USS Carl Vinson to our community this year, we want to make sure that no matter what the makeup of your family or how soon you know that you’re coming to our community, we clear the ground for you.
As I’ve talked to service members, veterans, and neighbors around our community, I’ve heard about ways that we as a state can better support our veterans and military families. That’s why I’ve sponsored four other related bills this session:
- SB 5571 will boost the economy around military bases by authorizing cities and counties near bases to establish military benefit zones. This program will allow for tax incentives and state grants to fund investment in public infrastructure, including streets, parks, and broadband access.
- SB 5713 requires that disabled veterans who are entitled to federal Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services benefits qualify for in-state tuition at public higher education institutions in Washington.
- SB 5755 increases the tuition and fee waiver for gold star families and expands tuition waivers to more veterans and National Guard members.
- SB 5900 creates the position of LGBTQ coordinator in the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs. The coordinator will conduct outreach to LGBTQ veterans, their spouses, and their dependents, and connect them to benefits and services earned through their service.
This week in Olympia
I believe in transparency, and I want to keep you all informed about what I’m doing on behalf of the 26th District in Olympia. That’s why I’m making a practice of posting my calendar each week on Facebook. You can always see the last week’s calendar on my Facebook page.
Keep in touch
We are all eager to hear from you about your priorities. I hope you’ll follow me on Facebook so you can see what we’re up to. And please feel free to reach out anytime at 360-786-7560 or Emily.Randall@leg.wa.gov. The more we hear from you, the better our work in Olympia can reflect our shared values and goals.
All my best,