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Greetings from Olympia!

The past few days have been exceptionally busy. Our first big deadline—policy cutoff—is here. Any bill that has not been approved by its respective policy committee by Friday, February 22, will be considered “dead,” unless it has a fiscal note.

Bills that have a financial impact on the state’s budget have another week to move through the process. This cutoff, known as fiscal committee cutoff, is Friday, March 1.

Many of you have reached out to me and shared your concerns and opinions on various public policy topics. I’d like to personally thank each of you for contacting me. As I attend hearings, meetings, and vote on bills, please know I’m working hard to represent your interests and values. Thank you for all your support!

Sign up for my legislative updates!

One of the best ways to stay connected to my work on your behalf in Olympia is my weekly legislative email update. If you know someone who would be interested in receiving this information, feel free to send them this email and encourage them to sign-up!

Improving the process for identifying highly capable students

House Education Committee, 2019

The Highly Capable Program sometimes referred to as HiCap, provides access, accelerated learning and enhanced instruction for students identified as highly capable. These students learn or show the potential to learn at an advanced academic level. Often, these children are called “gifted.” In fact, the terms gifted and highly capable are often used interchangeably.

School districts do their best to identify these students and help them. Too often, students with this potential fall through the cracks. It’s not uncommon for them to do well in some areas, and struggle in others. I understand how that can happen. When I was in grade school, I was one of those students. Academically, I was capable of advanced academic studies in mathematics, yet struggled in language arts.

This session, I’m supporting a bill that would improve the identification process for highly capable students. House Bill 1641 would help recognize, place and educate these students. The bill would require every student in the state to be screened at least one time before the 6th grade. It also helps school districts develop assessment and referral processes. By putting these standards in place, we can better identify highly capable students of any socioeconomic status. Early identification is a critical component for their success.

The bill was approved this week by the House Education Committee and now advances to House Appropriations where it awaits a public hearing.

Listen to my recent capitol report podcast on this bill by clicking below.

Upcoming town hall meetings!

In a few short weeks, my seatmates and I are planning to hold town hall meetings in Ellensburg, Davenport and Moses Lake. The meetings will take place on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23. Please stay tuned. I’ll be sending out more details soon!

Thank you!

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions on state government-related topics. As always, you’re welcome to contact me anytime. I’m happy to hear from you!

Thank you for allowing me to represent you at the state Capitol!


Alex Ybarra

State Representative Alex Ybarra, 13th Legislative District
470 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(509) 492-4648 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000