Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The shooting of Deep Rai, a Sikh man who lives in Kent, was a shock to all of us who respect and value human life. I'm appalled whenever someone commits a racially motivated act of violence against another, and the fact this shooting took place in our community sickens me. I continue to pray the suspect will be captured soon, and I know local law enforcement and the FBI are working tirelessly toward that effort. Kent police released a sketch of the suspect yesterday, and are offering a $6,000 reward for his capture. They have also set up a phone line for tips: 253-856-5808.
There is no place in our district, state or our country for people who commit violence against individuals due to their race, gender, or anything else. These kind of acts are deplorable, and we must do whatever we can to ensure those who commit them are swiftly brought to justice.
There will be a community unity rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow at Kent Lutheran Church (336 Second Ave S.) to stand together for Mr. Rai and against discrimination and hatred. I look forward to seeing our community come together as one, and hope you will join me at the rally.
Bills switch chambers
The beginning of March is always a busy time during 105-day sessions due to the impending arrival of house of origin cutoff, when all bills must pass out of the chamber in which they were introduced. Bills that do not survive this deadline are considered “dead” for the year unless deemed necessary to implement or pass the budget. There's nothing quite like the whirlwind pace right before this cutoff date, as we spend long hours on the floor debating and voting on bills. From last Wednesday to this Wednesday, the House passed 323 bills, which are now being considered in Senate committees. Conversely, Senate bills are now being considered in House committees.
With split control of the Legislature — Democrats have a 50-48 majority in the House, Republicans have a 25-24 majority in the Senate — it is always interesting to see the give-and-take that occurs when bills switch chambers.
My latest video update
In my latest legislative video update, I discuss tomorrow's unity rally, the car-tab sticker shock many are feeling as a result of the passage of Sound Transit 3, as well as yesterday's public hearing on my innovation schools bill. Take a look.
Sponsoring House page Melissa Byerly
This week, I sponsored North Mason High School student Melissa Byerly as a page in the state House. Melissa attended page school every day this week, delivered messages and documents to legislators and staff, and fulfilled other tasks critical to the efficient operation of the Legislature. Thank you for your service, Melissa!
Upcoming 47th District town hall
On Saturday, March 18, I will be joining Sen. Joe Fain and Rep. Pat Sullivan to host a town hall meeting at the Golden Steer Restaurant in Kent. These town halls provide an excellent opportunity for us to provide an update on the session, and to hear your thoughts about how we can work together to solve the challenges facing our district and state.
WHAT: 47th Legislative District town hall meeting
WHERE: Golden Steer Restaurant in Kent (23826 104th Ave SE, Kent, WA 98031)
WHEN: Saturday, March 18 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
I look forward to seeing you next Saturday!
Please continue to contact me with your comments, questions and concerns. My phone number and email address are below. I also welcome you to contact my legislative assistant, Roy Atwood, to set up a time to meet with me.
It is an honor to serve you.