Friends, neighbors –
I’m here to solve problems for our communities. I’m here to break through partisan gridlock. I’m here to work with and for my neighbors, colleagues, teachers, doctors, laborers, and Washingtonians across our state on our collective march toward a better future for all of us. This past week, we passed four of my bills on a unanimous or nearly unanimous vote because folks on both sides of the aisle put the needs of Washingtonians first. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together, and even though I’m still here in Olympia, I want to give you an up-close look at what we’re up to!
That’s why I’m hosting a Mid-Session Facebook Live Chat on Tuesday, Feb. 25, from 7 pm – 7:30 pm. Tune in on my Facebook page to join the conversation and ask questions, make comments and hear all about what I’ve been working on. Want a reminder about my Mid-Session Chat when we go live? Head to my event on Facebook by clicking here or by clicking on the photo below, and hit the “GOING” or “INTERESTED” button. That way, you’ll get a notification on Tuesday evening that we’re live – and it’ll be super easy to click on a link and join us!
P.S. If you have an Instagram account, we’ll also be live-streaming my chat on Instagram Live. That’ll be another good way to tune in on Tuesday.
As a teaser, here’s an overview of unanimously-approved bills:
SB 6128 – This bill extends Medicaid coverage during the postpartum period from the current 60 days to a *full year* post-pregnancy. I’m thrilled that we passed this, because the positive impact it will have on people’s lives will extend far beyond that initial year. One full year of Medicaid coverage means that more parents who have just given birth will be able to spend that precious and critical period of time with their newest family member – the time they need to heal and bond.
This investment in the first 365 days of life for an infant and the first 365 days post-pregnancy for a new parent is an investment in the whole family’s well-being. We know that future health outcomes, housing stability, financial security, and family cohesion improve when an individual’s first year of life – and their parent’s first year of parenthood – is secure. Everybody wins when parents have the breathing room to focus on their health and the health of their baby.
SB 6141 – This bill nearly passed unanimously (47 to 1) and is an exciting step to address our state’s severely low FAFSA completion rates. FAFSA/WASFA (aka the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and Washington Application for Student Financial Aid) is a way for students to find out what kind of financial support they will receive to pursue the higher education option that works best for them and their goals.
When students don’t finish their FAFSA/WASFA applications, don’t know how to start their FAFSA/WASFA applications, or don’t know that FAFSA/WASFA exists to serve them in the first place, we know that they’re far less likely to pursue further education after high school. We want to launch our students into the careers of tomorrow and into the workforce that we so desperately need to thrive as a state. My bill – to give students a financial aid calculator, dedicate a day to FAFSA/WASFA completion in schools, and simplify the financial aid award comparison process – will help us better support our students and grow our diverse, bustling workforce.
SB 6565 – This bill has a personal story behind it. My dad used to drive me to t-ball practice on the back of his Harley, which is a memory I cherish – and which showed me how pragmatic motorcycles are as a form of transportation! I was eager to help when bikers from my district brought forward a suggestion about how to make their lives a little easier as motorcycle-riders in a way that is both simple and common-sense. My bill would allow motorcyclists to park multiple to a car space in parking lots, as well as diagonally to the curb (instead of requiring them to park parallel). This is good policy for both motorcycle-owners and car-owners who will now have more lot space and more street-parking space for their vehicles – and every single senator agreed!
SB 6358 – This bill expands the availability of affordable care to communities like ours – rural or geographically isolated areas – and supports the providers who are caring for us. Currently, when a regular health care provider is temporarily absent (think maternity leave, or when someone is trying to scale back or retire) hospitals and health clinics often use substitute providers to fill in. There have been some barriers to those substitute providers being reimbursed for that work by Medicaid Managed Care Organizations – or MCOs. This common sense clean-up bill fixes the problem!
My 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 here each week on Facebook, and have launched an Instagram account (@senatoremilyrandall) and a Twitter account (practically the same handle – @SenEmilyRandall) to give you more in-the-moment updates.
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 360-786-7650 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,