If you’re getting this e-newsletter for the first time, welcome! I’m Jesse Salomon, your state senator from the 32nd Legislative District. I am one of your voices in the state Legislature in Olympia. I send these e-newsletters a few times a month during the legislative session and periodically when we’re out of session because it’s important you know what your public officials are doing on your behalf.
I am a more effective voice for you when you share your ideas and opinions with me and my team. I send these e-newsletters in hopes that you will provide feedback on the work I’m doing on your behalf. You can provide that feedback by emailing me here. However, if you do not want to be on my e-newsletter distribution, simply click here and you’ll be removed from this list.
2021 Legislative Session
There are a lot of headlines right now about what’s happening in Washington, D.C. But you should also be aware of what your state lawmakers are doing on your behalf in the state Legislature.
The 2021 Remote Legislative Session convened two weeks ago. Legislators gathered in Olympia on Day One to swear in newly elected lawmakers and to adopt emergency rules that will allow us to conduct the 105-day session in a remote environment. This is new to all of us, but lawmakers and legislative staff have been preparing for this possibility for more than nine months, so we’re ready to get to work.
Below are two of the bills I’ll be working on this year.
School Employee Housing
Washington has a severe shortage of affordable housing. Unfortunately, among other problems this creates, some school districts have trouble recruiting qualified teachers because of the cost of housing in the area.
I have a bill, Senate Bill 5043, that will give public school districts the ability to invest local levy dollars on affordable housing solutions for teachers and other school employees in their community. This bill will give school districts more tools at their disposal to recruit and retain top quality teachers.
SB 5043 had a public hearing last Wednesday in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Washington state has been under a mask mandate since last summer. Thanks to this action and many others by Governor Inslee, Washington has fared much better in slowing the spread of the virus than other states that failed to impose similar mandates. I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen in my community and other parts of the state where the vast majority of people are wearing masks and social distancing while out in public.
This wasn’t necessarily the case early in the pandemic. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I received reports early in the pandemic from my district that a few employers were denying the opportunity for employees to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) because they were concerned that it would scare customers. I thought that was a very poor approach to public health that endangered all of us.
I have a bill, SB 5254, that would protect workers if another pandemic breaks out. Employers would be barred from prohibiting employees from wearing PPE when an infectious disease based public health state of emergency is declared. My bill also says that any time an employer requires their workers or contractors to wear PPE, the employer must supply the necessary PPE at no cost to the employees.
These are reasonable expectations we can and should place on employers to protect employees and the public during the next public health crisis.
How to reach me in 2021
The Legislature has gone mostly remote for the year while the public health crisis remains, so I will not be taking in-person meetings with constituents. I promise however to remain accessible. All of my meetings are being done over the phone or through video conference. You can click here to contact my office to set up a phone or remote meeting.
32nd Legislative District