Greetings – Lawmakers wrapped up the second week of this two-month “short” legislative session. We have about two more weeks of public hearings on proposed legislation, then we’ll get to work debating and voting on bills full time on the Senate floor.

An effort I’m strongly supporting this year is the expansion of access to early learning opportunities for more families across Washington.

One of the best investments we can make as a state is in education for our youngest learners. Some studies have shown for every dollar spent on quality early childhood education, society gets a return of around $8.

Providing learning opportunities for children as soon as they’re born increases their social, emotional, and cognitive development and boosts their chances of achieving greater success in school.

This is why I’m a proud co-sponsor of Senate Bill 6253, to get more young children into early learning programs.

The bill will:

  • Expand access to all children who need these services;
  • Make it easier for families to sign up and enroll; and
  • Change the current qualification system from one that cuts off families from subsidies when they make just one penny over the limit to one that gradually increases the co-pays and decreases the subsidy using a tiered scale.

The bill had a public hearing this week and I look forward to moving it out of committee and voting for it on the Senate floor soon.

When I’m not in Olympia working on legislation, I spend as much time as I can meeting with organizations and local leaders in the Puget Sound area to learn how best I can be of service to our community.

Rep. Jesse Salomon and Navos CEO David Johnson

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with David Johnson, CEO of Navos, a behavioral health facility in West Seattle. Our state needs to continue making investments in behavioral health treatment.

Sen. Jesse Salomon and Representatives from Whooshh

I also had the pleasure of meeting with representatives from Whooshh Innovations, who are developing new environmental management technologies like the “Salmon Cannon.” Click here to see how it works. The salmon cannon was also recently featured on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

This innovative system helps salmon get upstream faster and with less stress. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife stated in a recent media story that the cannons have the potential to help rebuild the salmon population in some areas.

Thank you for the opportunity to be your voice in the state Senate. As always, please share any questions, comments, and concerns you may have about bills under consideration in the Legislature. I welcome your feedback.

Senator Jesse Salomon
32nd Legislative District