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King 5: Washington lawmakers push to vaccinate school employees more quickly

King 5: Washington lawmakers push to vaccinate school employees more quickly

Even as teachers in neighboring Idaho and Oregon are being vaccinated, in Washington most educators currently will have to wait weeks or even months before they'll become eligible. At the moment, only seniors and healthcare workers qualify to get the shot. Teachers, and several leading lawmakers, have been pushing for that to change. The first push from lawmakers came in mid-January, with a bipartisan letter to the governor urging a change in the phases. At the time, school employees (along with many other kinds of critical workers) were divided up between those over 50 and those under 50. The difference ...

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E-Newsletter: Week 3

E-Newsletter: Week 3

I thought I would post a photo of this week’s calendar to keep you informed of my various roles in the Senate. Most meetings and committees start at 7:30 or 8 a.m. and end at 6 or 7 p.m. After my last meeting of the day, I work on amending bills, reviewing the bills I’ll be hearing in committee, or answering emails.

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The Stranger: Duwamish Excluded from Bill Requiring WA Schools to Teach Tribal History

The Stranger: Duwamish Excluded from Bill Requiring WA Schools to Teach Tribal History

If you’ve been in Seattle for any length of time recently, you’ve probably seen a land acknowledgement on a building, at an event, or in artwork created here: “We are on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe.” Nice words to say! But when it actually matters, will Seattle honor them? Senate Bill 5161, currently working its way through the legislature thanks to primary sponsor Lisa Wellman of Mercer Island, would make sure Washington schools incorporate local indigenous history into ...

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E-Newsletter: Week 2

E-Newsletter: Week 2

Dear Friends and Neighbors, If you’re getting this e-newsletter for the first time, welcome! I’m Lisa Wellman, your state senator from the 41st Legislative District. I am one of your voices in the state Legislature in Olympia. I will be sending updates each week during the legislative session because it’s important you know what your public officials are doing on your behalf. Your reactions to my newsletter last week were so positive that I’m encouraged to continue this practice. Thank you for your messages! You’ll be hearing from me weekly about the 2021 Legislative session. Let me know if ...

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E-Newsletter: An unprecedented Session 2021 begins

E-Newsletter: An unprecedented Session 2021 begins

Dear Friends and Neighbors, This week, we began a legislative session unlike any other. Due to the historic nature of this session, the constantly changing landscape, and the heightened need for communication, I’m planning to send a weekly newsletter keeping you updated with the day-to-day major activities of the Senate. On Monday, we convened on the Capitol campus in Olympia for the only in-person floor session of the year. As I started the drive from Mercer Island, I had a pit in my stomach. The reports of potential violence and intimidation put all of us on edge. Thankfully, the ...

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KNKX: Lawmakers urge Inslee to prioritize all school staff for COVID-19 vaccine

KNKX: Lawmakers urge Inslee to prioritize all school staff for COVID-19 vaccine

Republican and Democratic leaders of education committees in the Washington Legislature are urging Gov. Jay Inslee and the state Department of Health to change state vaccination guidance so that all school employees are prioritized to receive a coronavirus vaccine in February, instead of putting school employees over age 50 ahead of other school staff. The letter was signed by Democratic Sen. Lisa Wellman and Republican Sen. Brad Hawkins, chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, and Democratic Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos and Republican Rep. Alex Ybarra, chair and ranking member, respectively, ...

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Wishing You A Safe Holiday

Wishing You A Safe Holiday

Dear Colleagues, Friends and Neighbors,

As the year draws to a close, I know we are all anticipating a very different New Year and are also cautiously optimistic for a safer time in the near future – a time when children can return to school, businesses can reopen, and families and friends can gather to celebrate important events together. I am holding out hope for the days I can hug my children and visit my grandchildren again, as I know many of you are as well.

Of course, we ...

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E-Newsletter: Governor Inslee's Reopening Plan

E-Newsletter: Governor Inslee's Reopening Plan

Dear Friends and Neighbors, Because of election year restrictions, this is the last e-newsletter you will receive from me until November. During that time, I will also be unable to update my website. Before those restrictions take effect, I wanted to update you about some important issues currently facing Washingtonians. Most of you will have heard that Governor Jay Inslee has announces a plan for re-opening Washington state. I stand behind the governor and his plans. For the sake of our health and our economy, we must take a phased-in, measured approach to re-opening the various parts of our ...

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