Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are past the mid-way point of the 2019 legislative session. For several days, we have spent long hours and late evenings on the House floor debating and voting on bills. The House has passed more than 320 bills—with more yet to come. You can view a complete list of all the bills approved by the House by clicking here.
Floor action continues to be our focus this week as we close in on another important session deadline: house of origin cutoff. By Wednesday, March 13th, all bills must be passed out from the chamber in which they originated, or they will be considered “dead.” The only exceptions are bills necessary to implement the budget. For an up to date look at bills scheduled to be heard on the House floor click here.
As the ranking member of the House Education Committee, I am deeply committed to policies that increase student success. Special education is designed to help students with a wide range of conditions including ADHD, autism, cognitive and physical disabilities, and several other conditions. Unfortunately, special education outcomes have been neglected for too long in our state. Barely half of Washington's special education students receive a diploma—putting us in the bottom 1/4 nationally.
Although funding is a factor, this goes beyond money. Teachers need improved professional development to support best practices in special education. Local school districts should be given more access to Safety Net resources. We also need to do a better job transitioning and supporting training after high school. And finally, families need help when navigating our sometimes complicated special education system—including assistance when interacting and advocating for their children with their local school districts. It's time to stop ignoring special education services.
Watch my recent legislative update video on K-12 special education:
You are invited to a town hall meeting!
I'm hosting a town hall meeting with Rep. Keith Goehner, R-Dryden, Saturday, March 23. We will be providing an update on the 2019 legislative session. Community members in the 12th District are invited to attend, ask questions and share comments about state government-related matters. I look forward to seeing you there!
Date: Saturday, March 23, 2019
Time: 10:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.
Location: Wenatchee Valley College, The Grove Recital Hall, 1300 Fifth Street
I'd like to thank everyone who has sent me an email or called my office about legislation being considered in Olympia. Your input is invaluable to my work for our communities. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or comments on state government-related issues. Better yet, if you are planning a visit to Olympia, come by and see me. I'm always glad to hear from you.
Thank you for allowing me to represent you at our state Capitol!