Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2020 legislation session is just around the corner. Being your representative – your VOICE – in the state Legislature continues to be one of the highest honors of my life. Please know that even if we don't agree on every issue, my door is always open and I am willing to listen to you and your concerns. I represent ALL of the people in the 4th Legislative District.
I've spent the past several months meeting with many of you, hearing your concerns and representing you at various meetings and hearings. My contact with you helps shape the legislation I sponsor each year.
This session is a quick, 60-day session which means it will come and go very fast. The fast pace means that bills must be ready to go the second the gavel drops on the opening ceremonies.
This year, I've already got two bills ready to go:
Road maintenance and preservation – This bill will elevate “road maintenance and preservation” within WSDOT's planning process. Rather than being an afterthought, proper maintenance would become a high priority. This is important for an effective police and fire response, the safety of our kids on school buses, and the general safety of all travelers. With a lot of attention on transportation funding after voters passed I-976, and with Olympia's incessant focus on huge mega projects in the Puget Sound, I want to make sure we take care of the massive road maintenance backlog. It should be a priority of the department.
Making child care more affordable – Child care in this state has risen almost $2,000 per year over the past three years. It has become unaffordable for too many in our region. We need to make it easier for child care facilities to hire quality people without hamstringing them with unnecessary mandates and regulations. We all want good, quality, SAFE child care, but in many cases the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Family has gone too far, resulting in less child care options at an increased cost to parents.
My bill would give child care centers more options on how to conduct their training, giving them more options and flexibility. This is the number one complaint I've heard from the many small businesses in our district that care for our children.
Serving as a House page
If you know of a young person who would like to participate in the legislative process and see firsthand how the Legislature works, let them know about the Washington State Page Program. Students between the ages of 14 and 16 qualify, and with permission from their parents and schools can serve for a week in Olympia. They get paid $35/day while delivering campus mail, presenting the flags during ceremonies, delivering mail to the House floor, and attending page school. This is a great opportunity for our local students. Please pass along this information to anybody who might be interested.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you in Olympia. The 60-day session begins the second Monday in January (Jan. 13). If you would like to come and visit during the 2020 session, please do! Call my office and we'll always make time for constituents from back home.