Dear friends and neighbors,
We are now well into the 2023 session and have been working hard on legislation that will benefit our communities in the 37th and across the state. I’m excited to share with you the progress we’ve made since my last update.
Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet with many constituents from our communities who have shared their stories and are advocating for policies that will make our state a better place.
I met with Seattle University students and Pathwaves Washington to discuss the value of deepening our investment in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), childcare and childcare professionals. We also discussed the importance of integrating arts, culture, and beauty into all facets of public investments.
I met with the Seattle Latino Chamber of Commerce, awarded the best Latino chamber of commerce in the US, to discuss the importance of including Latinx small business owners as we consider investments in decarbonization and a clean energy future.
I had the honor of speaking at the One America rally where more than 100 immigrant leaders from across the state came to talk to their legislators and advocate for policies that will benefit our immigrant communities in Washington.
Bill hearings and introductions
Several of my bills have been heard in committee so far, including:
SB 5270 — concerning the Department of Corrections’ (DOC) assistance with federal immigration enforcement activities. It would prohibit the DOC from assisting with a person’s detention, arrest, or deportation for immigration purposes and would prohibit discrimination of detainees based on their immigration status.
SB 5046 — concerning postconviction access to counsel. It would provide additional state-funded services for appellate and postconviction defense opportunities for people who can’t afford a lawyer.
SB 5109 — concerning a new wage replacement program for certain Washington workers. It would establish a wage replacement program for workers who are ineligible for unemployment benefits due to their immigration status.
SB 5365 — preventing use of vapor and tobacco products by minors. It would increase fines for retailers who sell vapor and tobacco products to people under age 18 and focus on offering community-based interventions to help youths quit tobacco use as well as increase enforcement strategies to ensure retailer compliance with tobacco and vapor product laws.
SB 5080 — expanding and improving the social equity in cannabis program. It would make significant amendments to the existing statutes of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s (WSLCB) social equity in cannabis program in order to award retail cannabis licenses to people from the communities most affected by the war on drugs. King 5 — ‘A failure’: How Washington’s cannabis program shut out Black business owners
In the News
A couple of weeks ago, King 5 News published a story on SB 5383, which would repeal the current laws against jaywalking in Washington.
Jaywalking laws have disproportionately affected people of color, low-income communities and those who are homeless. This legislation would remove the criminal citation, not make the streets a free-for-all, and would put more focus on infrastructure and street design.
Remember, your voice is integral in the lawmaking process and helps guide us to shape better policy. Remote public testimony will continue to be offered — along with the return of in-person testimony for all committees — providing every Washingtonian the chance to participate no matter where they live. You can register for in-person and remote testimony here.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out! I’d love to continue hearing from you and I look forward to learning more about your priorities for the upcoming year. Send me an email at Rebecca.Saldana@leg.wa.gov or give me a call at 360-786-7688. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for regular updates throughout the coming months.