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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2021 legislative session began on Monday, Jan. 11th. It's a bit of an understatement to say this session will be unlike any other in state history.
The first day began with the National Guard standing behind fences surrounding the Capitol building, and only legislators, a few staff, and some press—wearing masks and social distancing, were allowed inside. New remote and virtual procedures were put in place because of the governor's pandemic-related restrictions.
For the rest of the 105-day session, most lawmakers will work remotely from their homes. Committee meetings and voting will be conducted through computer programs like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Obviously, convening a completely virtual legislative session comes with challenges for both lawmakers and constituents. During these tough times, I assure you I remain committed to an open and accountable state government.
Along with answering your calls, emails, and meeting with constituents via Zoom, I'll be sending regular email updates on my activities. Additionally, this update contains links to several legislative tracking tools, so you can stay informed on the actions of the Legislature.
Stay connected during the virtual session
My legislative website | Here you will find my contact information, bio, news releases, email updates, videos, opinion pieces, bills, and other information.
The Capitol Buzz | A weekday roundup of online news stories. Click on the link to subscribe.
The Current | An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans. Click on the link to subscribe.
TVW | The state's own version of C-SPAN, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
The Ledger | A legislative news aggregator.
Legislature's website | Bill reports, committee agendas, and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature.
State agencies | You can find a list of all state agencies, boards, and commissions here.
Tracking a bill?
Click here to find information on specific bills. In addition, when you visit my website you can easily view the legislation I'm sponsoring or co-sponsoring by clicking “Sponsored Bills.”
Bill tracking instructions
- Go to leg.wa.gov
- On the left-hand panel, click “Bill Information.”
- If you know the bill number, enter it in the search field and hit enter.
- Don't have a bill number? Under the section “Standard Reports,” you'll find alternative tracking tools. You can search based on topic, legislative digests, cross-references and or within a specific biennium.
- If you click on the House Floor Calendar, this helpful tool gives you a detailed list of all bills scheduled to be heard on the House floor each day.
Let your voice be heard! Want to testify on a bill or other important public policy? Click here to sign-up.
Need more information? Please reach out to me directly if you need more details on specific bills or key public policy proposals.
I'm honored that my colleagues recently appointed me as the lead Republican on the House Education Committee, which considers issues relating to K-12 education. Coronavirus has robbed our students of months of the quality education that they deserve. I look forward to working with my fellow lawmakers, educators, and others as we take on the challenge of getting our kids safely back in school.
Along with my role on the Education Committee, I will serve on the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee, which considers a wide variety of legal issues. This assignment puts me front and center in defending our state's constitution and those individual rights that belong to every Washingtonian.
And finally, I will also serve as a member of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee, which considers a wide variety of issues related to the provision of physical and behavioral health care services.
My COVID-19 experience
I remain convinced that the people of the 13th District include some of the most caring, highly motivated people in the state. At the conclusion of the legislative session in March 2020, I returned home to a community wrestling with the unprecedented public health threat of the COVID-19. The virus hit Quincy hard, with the first death in Eastern Washington. I'm proud to say that rather than rolling over, community leaders, both civic and private, courageously came together to combat and mitigate the effects of the pandemic. I'm proud of the collaborative work that people did for our communities to help those grappling with the virus.
Unfortunately, in early October, I was struck by COVID-19. I'm extremely grateful that although the recovery process has been slow, it was only a mild case, and my experience was not too difficult.
Listen to a recent podcast on my bout with COVID-19, and my new role as ranking member on the House Education Committee.
As always, contact me with your questions, comments or concerns about state government-related issues. I look forward to hearing from you!
It's an honor to serve you!
470 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7808 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000