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Here's some good news for gloomy times

Here's some good news for gloomy times

Friends: In these pandemic-heavy times, it can seem like little good is going on around us. It might be only human to feel that way, but it’s not accurate. Plenty of good things are going on — they’re just not as obvious as the upsetting things. Take, for example, what’s happening in our state’s Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP). In 2020, I sponsored a proviso in the budget to get PCAP $1.2 million. Among other things, that money helps pregnant women with substance ...

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With Afghans, we should follow Evans' example

With Afghans, we should follow Evans' example

Friends: Forty-six years ago, upon the fall of Saigon, thousands of Southeast Asian refugees fled violence and persecution in their home countries. Like the governors of other states at the time, Dan Evans could have ignored their plight. The Vietnam War had divided the country and left wounds that would take decades to heal. Many Americans wanted to simply look the other way. Evans, Washington’s Republican governor at the time, saw things differently — especially after he learned that the governor of ...

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Pandemic relief remains our top priority

Pandemic relief remains our top priority

Friends: Though the COVID-19 pandemic presented enormous challenges to Washingtonians both at home and in the workplace, our state has weathered the hardships better than most if not all other states. As businesses closed and people faced losing their homes, we took swift and sweeping action to limit the damage and position our communities for a strong recovery. In the early weeks of session, the Legislature passed a comprehensive, bipartisan $2.2 billion measure (HB 1368) to allocate mostly federal funds to ...

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It’s not always 'my bill' or even a bill at all

It’s not always 'my bill' or even a bill at all

Friends: When a bill passes the Legislature and is signed into law by the governor, people tend to credit its success to the lawmaker who sponsored it. But one of the bills I sponsored this past session demonstrates just the opposite: Senate Bill 5027 became law because Dean Olson of Edmonds worked relentlessly to lobby lawmakers to vote for it. Dean is president of the Washington State Communication Access Project, which supported the bill. Dean is also someone who began losing ...

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Legislative update: Police accountability and protecting our watersheds

Legislative update: Police accountability and protecting our watersheds

My primary focus as a state senator is working on legislation that benefits the residents of the 32nd Legislative District and all Washington residents. However, the work does not stop there. One of the more interesting parts of this job is finding new opportunities to use my voice for positive change outside of Washington state.

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Condemning violence against Asian and Pacific Islander residents

Condemning violence against Asian and Pacific Islander residents

Friends: The rise in hate crimes against Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) residents over the past year is deeply disturbing. I stand with our Asian and Pacific Islander community partners and Governor Inslee in strongly condemning these acts of violence. Anti-Asian hate crimes increased by nearly 150% in 2020. I have no doubt this increase in violence is due to misdirected and ill-advised blame over the emergence of the virus. Words have impact and referring to the virus as ...

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Decriminalizing Poverty, Rebalancing a Broken Tax Code & Our Virtual Town Hall

Decriminalizing Poverty, Rebalancing a Broken Tax Code & Our Virtual Town Hall

Friends – This week marked the halfway point of the 2021 legislative session. Lawmakers are getting quite a lot done for the people of Washington in a session many weren’t sure could even happen during a pandemic. We are doing the people’s work thanks to the great efforts of legislative staff, state and local public health officials, and legislators. Last Tuesday was a key deadline for bills making their way through the Legislature. We call it the “House of Origin Cutoff,” meaning ...

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Save the Date! March 15: Virtual Town Hall

Save the Date! March 15: Virtual Town Hall

Friends: We’re about one-third of the way through the 2021 legislative session. We have now passed the deadline for bills to be voted out of committees in order for them to be still considered “alive” for the rest of the session. As I shared in my last update, the Legislature has already approved nearly $4 billion in economic relief for small businesses and families.

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