Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Just a quick reminder to join me and my seatmates, Rep. Chris Corry and Sen. Curtis King, both R-Yakima, for a 14th District Virtual Town Hall tomorrow evening, beginning at 7 p.m. Details are below.
To join us, please register by going here. Then be sure to log on at 7 p.m. tomorrow, March 23. We will provide a legislative update and take your questions live. I look forward to talking with you!
Update on my bills in the Senate
Public hearings have been held on nearly all my House-approved bills in their respective Senate committees. One has passed a Senate committee, and executive action (voting) has been scheduled on most of them. Here is an update on those bills:
- House Bill 1114 – Sentencing Guidelines Commission: This bipartisan-sponsored bill addresses the state’s Sentencing Guidelines Commission membership, including adding four voting members to give more representative voices. I am a member of this commission. This bill passed the House unanimously on Feb. 8. It is now in the Senate Law and Justice Committee where a public hearing was held March 9. The measure is scheduled for a committee vote this evening at 6 p.m.
- House Bill 1117 – Power supply inadequacy: This bill passed the House and Senate unanimously last year, but when it arrived on the governor’s desk, he vetoed it. The measure would ensure the state continually addresses plans to help avoid energy blackouts, brownouts, or other inadequacies of the electric grid. I have met with the governor’s office to address his concerns. The bill passed the House unanimously on March 4. It is now in the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee with a vote scheduled for Friday.
- House Bill 1171 – Motorcycle Safety Board: This measure would add two certified motorcycle riders to represent motorcycle safety instructors, one from the east side of the Cascade mountain range and one from the west, to Washington’s Motorcycle Safety Board. This bill passed the House unanimously on March 3. It is now in the Senate Transportation Committee with a public hearing scheduled for tomorrow at 4 p.m.
- House Bill 1512 – MMIWP and Lucian Act: The bill is recommended by the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People (MMIWP) Task Force and the Office of the Attorney General. It would provide resources for immediate actions that need to take place when a person vanishes. The bill recognizes missing and murdered indigenous people, an issue I first brought to the forefront in 2018 legislation. It is also named after four-year-old Lucian Munguia, who was reported missing on Sept. 10 from Sarg Hubbard Park in Yakima and drowned in the Yakima River. The measure passed the House on March 1 with a unanimous vote. Read my press release for more information. It is now in the Senate Law and Justice Committee with a vote scheduled this evening at 6 p.m.
- House Bill 1564 – Would ban over-the-counter sexual assault kits: Do-it-yourself at-home rape kits can mislead survivors to believe they have evidentiary value, when in fact, they are not admissible in a Washington state court. A New York company teamed up with a University of Washington sorority to offer its “Early Evidence Kits,” which Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson says deceives a Washington consumer to believe they have equivalent value to a free sexual assault evidence kit administered by a medical professional. Several states, including Washington, have written cease and desist, and/or warning letters against the sale of the kits, often stating unlawful business practices. My bill would prohibit the sale of these DIY kits in Washington state. It’s wrong for companies to profit from sexual assault survivors. Congress is also addressing the issue. The bill passed the House on Monday, Feb. 27, with a vote of 96-0. For more information, read my press release. A public hearing was held on the bill on March 8 in the Senate Law and Justice Committee with a vote scheduled this evening at 6 p.m.
- House Bill 1779 – Reducing toxic air pollution: Also known as “Mary’s Law,” this bill was brought to me by a constituent who was harmed by breathing carbon monoxide through the vents of a vehicle. The measure seeks to convene a state interagency carbon monoxide work group to investigate how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. The measure passed the House unanimously on March 7. The measure also passed out of the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee yesterday. Hopefully, it will go to the Senate floor for a vote.
YesVets program continues to open employment doors for Washington veterans
When I first came to the Legislature, one of the first bills I sponsored to pass the Legislature and be signed into law by the governor was House Bill 2040. This bill created the “One Business, One Vet” program that was later renamed “YesVets.” The idea behind the bill was to encourage employers to hire at least one veteran.
I’m pleased to report that this program has become a phenomenal success! New figures released by the Washington State Department of Employment Security (ESD) show 1,569 employers across the state have participated in the YesVets program and 7,123 veterans have been hired since the program began Feb. 1, 2016.
I’m grateful to our employers who are providing jobs and opportunities for our returning veterans. Employers seeking to participate in YesVets can submit an online application or contact a Local Veterans Employment Representative to get connected with veterans seeking job opportunities. Once a business signs up and hires a veteran, they are recognized with a YesVets decal. Continued participation is recognized with annual decals.
We have more than 520,000 veterans living and working in Washington state. This is a small way we can thank them for their service. For more information, visit YesVets webpage and read my news release.
Contact my office for more information
If you have questions, comments or suggestions about legislation and state government, feel free to reach out to my office. I am here to serve and represent you. My contact information is below.
Honored to serve you,