Dec. 1, 2021
Dear neighbors, These last months of the year leading up to our 2022 legislative session have been full of long hours and heavy lifting as we prepare to introduce legislation. This year the session will begin on Jan. 10. On even-numbered years, the session lasts just 60 days, which gives us little time to get legislation through the whole process, but we are up to the challenge! We’ll also be focusing on good governance and ensuring that our progressive policies we’ve passed over the last several years are being implemented properly. Here are a few things that I have been up to, and some information on how you can participate in the legislative process from the comfort of your own home!
Committee Assembly Days
The Legislature holds Legislative Committee Assembly Days every fall to provide an opportunity for committees to consider emerging issues, discuss issues that may be of importance during the following session, or review implementation of bills passed in previous sessions. The Senate’s Committee Assembly Days were held on Nov. 15 and 16, with Joint House and Senate meetings on Nov. 17. You can find documents like agendas and other materials, as well as video links and more for each committee meeting at https://app.leg.wa.gov/committeeschedules, just enter in the date range 11/15/2021 to 11/17/2021 and click “search.”
A week without driving
After participating in the Week Without Driving challenge issued to elected officials by the Disability Mobility Initiative last month, I have a few reflections from the experience to share. My job requires me to meet with people in places all over Seattle and the state, which makes getting around without a car very difficult. Fortunately, more accessible ways to take part in meetings and events without leaving home were implemented in response to the pandemic. This made my Week Without Driving a little easier than it would have been pre-pandemic. I saw that without driving a car, I had to prioritize trips and significantly limit engagements to allow for increased travel times and limit what I carried with me. This brought home the reality of how lack of sidewalks and sheltered bus stops means our multimodal system is not currently providing everyone with the ability to live life and participate in our community to the fullest. Our current transportation system and single-family zoning does not make it easy or convenient to take your kids places, run errands, or attend appointments without a car. In comparison to most areas in the state, Seattle has begun to update transportation investments to include all modes of transportation. As a result, the 107 Metro bus route in my district has received investments to make it more reliable and run later. We have built up the light rail system and the Via van program in this area as well, and school routes have become safer. We need to continue to invest more in making our state’s transportation system and infrastructure accessible and convenient for people who don’t drive, especially in areas that have little to no access to public transit. Click here to read more about my experience during the Week Without Driving challenge.
How to participate in the legislative process this year
There are all kinds of ways you can participate in the legislative process. Fortunately last year we started allowing constituents to testify remotely, and we’re continuing with that more accessible system this year! Here is a list of participation options:
- Testify remotely at Senate or House committee hearings. Find committee schedules and agendas here.
- Submit written testimony to a committee. Click here for more information.
- Get your position on a bill noted for the legislative record: The Committee Sign In – Remote Testimony page on the Legislature’s website allows you to select a chamber, committee, and bill, then indicate you wish to have your position noted for the archived legislative record.
- Send me an e-mail at Saldana@leg.wa.gov or all my office at 360-786-7688 to tell me about your position on issues that are important to you and your community.
- Track the progress of bills of interest here.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say about the legislative priorities for yourself, your family and your community! Sincerely, Sen. Rebecca Saldaña Get More Follow me on Facebook or Instagram to get the latest updates on what’s happening in Olympia. Check it out now! Keep in Touch Was this newsletter helpful? Did we miss anything? Your participation helps improve our communities! Contact Information