Friends, neighbors —
We’re already 27 days into the 2023 session! Our team continues to take advantage of every day to champion our communities’ priorities in Olympia.
Scroll down to catch up on our exciting work so far and find helpful information:
#1: So excited to report THREE of our bills got public hearings this week!
👉🏽 SB 5373 to reimburse ARNPs and PAs at the same rate as physicians
👉🏽 SB 5394 to grow practice opportunities graduates of international medical schools
👉🏽 SB 5555 to address the behavioral health crisis by creating certified peer specialists
👏🏽 Plus, SB 5292 to support passenger-only ferries made it out of committee!
#2: We also introduced THREE new bills!
👉🏽 SB 5666 to help community or technical college students with housing costs
👉🏽 SB 5685 to increase access to essential dental care by expanding dental therapy
👉🏽 SB 5703 to expand the Washington College grant to cover more middle income families
#3: The Senate honored our Washington National Guard members for their tireless work helping Washingtonians by passing a resolution (you can watch my floor speech here!).
So many of us — whether our neighbors, our parents, our aunts and uncles, our friends — know someone who has served or is serving in the military as active duty or reservists. And Bremerton is home to the Guard’s Washington Youth Academy, which helps young people develop their leadership skills and think about their paths forward.
Guard members serve in our food banks and vaccine clinics, they are ready in times of disaster. And they also balance their service with other job, family, and volunteer responsibilities. Some even balance additional public service, like our own WA Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, former Sen. Hans Zeiger, and naval reservist Sen. John Braun.
#4: Best thing about being a senator? Hearing from students throughout our communities! I got to hang out with a group of 7th graders from Marcus Whitman Middle School earlier this session, and received the kindest notes afterward (take a listen here!).
During their visit, we talked about what issues they had on their minds: What are we doing to protect trans youth from violence and discrimination? And have we considered school start times that are informed by adolescent brain development?
Hearing from people of all ages is critical to this job, so we can take that feedback and be effective policymakers. Big thanks to these students for using their voice!
#5: Great news — the Working Tax Credit is LIVE! 🥳
Soon, over 400,000 WA families will have extra money (up to $1,200) in their pockets — families like Nijhia Jackson’s (read more about her story here!).
Nijhia, a student at Olympic College, lives in Bremerton with her husband and two sons. Like many of our neighbors during the pandemic, the federal COVID relief payments acted as a lifeline for them, helping cover everyday costs. And now, Nijhia’s family will likely qualify for $900 thanks to the new tax credit. Click the link to find out if you’re eligible.