Dear Friends and Neighbors,  

The gavel has fallen, the ink has dried, and my final bill of the 2023 legislative session has been signed into law!  

This year, eight bills that I sponsored successfully advanced to the governor’s desk for his signature and to be signed into law. My legislation aligns with the priorities I have held since first joining the Senate: enhancing childcare access, fostering educational opportunities for children within our K-12 public schools, and thoughtfully reforming our child welfare, juvenile justice, and corrections systems.  

SB 5225 expands access to affordable childcare, while simultaneously strengthening Washington’s childcare workforce. This bill allows more families and childcare workers to qualify for state-subsidized childcare through the Working Connections Childcare Program. Childcare workers will now have access to a safe place for their own children so they can return to classrooms. It also expands eligibility for families in the therapeutic court system to support parents’ success and provide stable, consistent care for their children, as well as providing access to childcare for parents who, because of their documentation status, were not eligible for the program. 

SB 5316 waives burdensome background check fees for applicants to our state’s childcare workforce. This bill helps break down barriers and eliminate delays that too often stand in the way of getting qualified applicants into these crucial roles – and into the classroom to care for our youngest learners.  

SB 5315 is a response to an investigation that found Washington was not properly regulating third-party entities that serve our students with disabilities. This bill makes immediate changes to establish clear approval processes for these authorized entities, including on-site, pre-approval visits by the Office of Public Instruction. It also requires OSPI to develop a complaint process, so parents can report noncompliance and violations of students’ rights.  

SB 5127 permits the redaction of a student’s personal information from public release of any type of communication with a school. It simply clarifies current law to include modern forms of communication, like email.  

SB 5134 increases supports to people leaving Washington’s systems of incarceration by upping gate money from $40 to $300. By providing sufficient gate money, it will help those reentering better cover basic expenses and help them reduce the likelihood of engaging in criminal activity to survive as they re-enter, reintegrate and become contributing members of our communities.  

SB 5131 ensures money sent to incarcerated people for commissary purchases reaches them. Those in Washington’s prison system must pay for basic needs items, like soap, toothpaste, hygiene products and foods to supplement their caloric intake. Money to pay for these often comes from families and friends on the outside and is subject to very high deductibles. This bill removes those deductibles and much of the financial strain on families will be alleviated.  

SB 5114 creates a network of centers across the state to provide healing, support, and transitional services for survivors of sex trafficking. This bill offers supports like safety planning, housing and relocation, substance use disorder treatment, and other trauma-informed services.  

SB 5355 is a student-sponsored bill that requires Washington schools to provide education on sex trafficking prevention and awareness. Students will be taught about race, gender and socioeconomic status as it related to victims and perpetrators, medically and legally accurate definitions of sex trafficking, and information on reporting systems and basic identification training. It requires this instruction happen between grades 7-12, which corresponds to the time young people are most vulnerable of being victimized.  

With the culmination of a highly productive legislative session, I am now shifting my focus toward the upcoming year. I am eagerly anticipating the opportunity to get back out in the community, meet with constituents and stakeholders, and begin planning what we will tackle next.  

As always, I am honored to serve the 30th Legislative District and be your advocate in Olympia.  

All my best,  

Sen. Claire Wilson