Friends and neighbors,
At the start of the legislative session, it was clear we needed to act to address challenges facing our state and communities. I met with my colleagues and together, we identified five main priorities to guide our decision-making.
We focused our work on building healthier communities, prioritizing a healthy planet and strong economy, delivering safety for all, ensuring everyone has a place to call home, and making certain that every child in Washington can succeed.
I can confidently say that we passed legislation that is not only rooted in these priorities but puts people first.
Build healthier communities
Building healthier communities includes everything from increasing access to affordable healthcare to supporting the healthcare professionals who provide the care we all need.
This year, the Legislature passed policy to make significant investments in our state’s behavioral health system, reduce barriers of entry to the healthcare workforce, and safeguard reproductive health care and abortion access.
Healthy planet, strong economy
This was the first year we could invest funds generated from the Climate Commitment Act. This money will go toward electrification and clean-energy projects so we can restore and protect our state’s environmental resources.
We enacted policies to support our state’s transition to clean energy, with a focus on engaging and protecting vulnerable and overburdened populations, as well as tribal and rural communities. Focusing on these investments now will not only bring about cleaner air and water, it will ensure a cleaner and safe planet for future generations.
Safety for all
Whether at school, at the store, or at home, everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities. This year, we passed historic legislation to improve firearm safety, prevent gender-based violence, and support all survivors.
As chair of the Senate Human Services Committee, I am tremendously proud of the work we did to improve public safety through corrections, juvenile justice and re-entry.
A home for everyone
Ensuring a home for everyone was the theme of this legislative session. With our current housing crisis, it was imperative that we work to improve housing affordability and financing, landlord-tenant issues, oversight of housing authorities, and homelessness prevention.
The legislation passed this year will not only expand our housing supply, but protect tenants, prevent homelessness, cut red tape for private construction, and move us toward being a place where all families can afford to live.
Success for every child, from childcare to the classroom
We want every child in Washington to succeed. That is why we voted to increase access to services, promote student health and safety, create tools for individualized student learning, and improve access to early learning and childcare.
We dramatically increased funding for special education, continued our efforts to address food security for students, and embraced different learning styles so we can better support our evolving education system.
We accomplished so much this year, but as always, there is still more work to be done. We are heading back into a special session to address the Blake decision and I am committed to continue working toward an agreement.
I am grateful for your support, trust, and as always, I am proud to represent you in Olympia.
All my best,