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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thank you for subscribing to my legislative updates. We are now past the halfway point of the legislative session, and the action has really picked up. The House has voted on more than 200 bills in the past two weeks, and we will continue voting today until house of origin cutoff at 5 p.m. By that time tonight, all non-budget bills must be passed out of the House or be considered dead for the year.
House Bill 1800 unanimously approved in the House
On Monday, my bill to speed up the termination of parental rights for some children who have been in foster care for at least one year unanimously passed in the House.
Instead of waiting for the normal 15 months of out-of-home care to pass for a child whose parents have had no contact with DSHS or service providers, House Bill 1800 would require filing a termination petition after 12 months.
I strongly value parental rights, but when it is clear that a child's birth parents have no interest in reunification, we need to more quickly enable that child to find a permanent, loving home with their foster or other adoptive parents.
This is a small, but important step in the right direction for the stability and well-being of these children. The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.
To watch my floor speech on House Bill 1800, click here.
My opinion column for the Auburn Reporter
Last week, I had the opportunity to write an opinion column for the Auburn Reporter about the new flu shot mandate for foster families. In the column, I write about the mandate being emblematic of larger problems with state government, and my work to get it overturned. Here is an excerpt from my column:
“Legislation is often the only recourse available for changing specific rules. It is remarkable that one unelected administrator can make a rule that detrimentally affects thousands of Washingtonians, and it takes 76 elected officials to change that rule (50 state representatives, 25 state senators and the governor). Doesn't that seem contrary to how our founders intended our state to be governed?”
To read the piece in its entirety, click here.
Town hall meeting March 21
On Saturday, March 21, I will be holding a town hall meeting with my fellow 47th District lawmakers, Rep. Sullivan, D-Covington and Sen. Fain, R-Auburn. The meeting is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Golden Steer Steak n' Rib House in Kent.
The address is:
23826 104th Ave. SE
Kent, WA 98031
All three of us will share updates from the legislative session, as well as answer questions from the audience. I hope to see you there!
I want to continue to hear from you as the legislative session progresses. Please feel free to get in touch with me with any questions, comments or concerns you have about issues facing our district and state. My contact information is below.
It is a privilege to serve you in the people's House.
436 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7918 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000