Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Today is policy committee cutoff, which means most bills that have not passed out of their respective committees will be considered “dead” for the session. Here is a brief update on legislation I've sponsored:
House Bill 2301 would restructure the State Need Grant program to award only the community and technical college rate for a student's first two years of postsecondary credit. Grant money saved during those first two years would be used by the state to fund State Need Grants for thousands more eligible students whose grants are currently unfunded.
There has been an incredible amount of support for this bill from the community, but it did not pass out of the Democrat-controlled House Higher Education Committee before the deadline. However, I do not believe my efforts have been in vain, and am optimistic the bill will have a better chance of passing in the 2017 legislative session.
House Bill 2591 would require timely notice by the Department of Social and Health Services or the supervising agency to a child's foster parents of their right to be heard in court or at a hearing. The bill was amended and passed out of the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee with a 9-2 vote. Unfortunately, the way it was amended by another member may create an obstacle for the court to get the best information that would result in the best outcome for a foster child. I am continuing to work to make it the best bill possible.
I also introduced House Bill 2902, which would fund our charter school system by creating a business and occupation tax credit to incentivize businesses to donate revenue to a charter school fund. The bill did not receive a hearing, but there are several other bills I'm supporting that would save our charter schools.
For more on the above bills, as well as the latest on the Human Rights Commission rule, click here or on the image below.
Upcoming town hall meeting
On Saturday, Feb. 20, I will be joining Sen. Fain and Rep. Sullivan to host a town hall meeting at the Golden Steer Restaurant in Kent. Town halls always provide an excellent opportunity to meet with constituents and hear ideas and concerns about the issues facing our communities. I hope you will join us on the 20th!
WHAT: 47th Legislative District town hall meeting
WHERE: Golden Steer Restaurant in Kent (23826 104th Ave SE, Kent, WA 98031)
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 20 from 1-2 p.m.
Sponsoring a House page
I recently sponsored Chiawana High School student Baylee Easterday as a page in the House. As part of her page duties, Baylee learned to navigate the many buildings on the Capitol campus and delivered messages and documents to legislators and staff. Additionally, she attended page school to understand the operations of the Legislature. Her time in Olympia culminated with the presentation of her mock bill to start high school classes later in the day in an effort to improve student learning and retention rates. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sponsor Baylee, and hope she had a great time here at the Capitol!
If you know of a student who would be interested in serving in the House Page Program next session, please click here to learn more. To become a page, applicants must have a legislative sponsor, be between the ages of 14 and 16, and obtain written permission from their parents and school. Pages earn $35 per day.
Please continue to get in touch with me with any comments, questions or concerns you have. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is (360) 786-7918.
It is an honor to serve you in the Legislature.