Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Today marks the end of what has been the busiest week of session so far for me, with committee meetings, hearings on some of my bills, evening floor sessions, and many constituent appointments. We will continue to hold hearings on Senate policy bills over the next week before we shift gears and devote most of our time to Senate floor sessions. Read on to learn more about what has kept me so busy.
Many of you have called or e-mailed me this session to offer feedback on issues. I appreciate hearing from you. Let me know if you have questions, comments, or ideas on issues covered in this newsletter, or anything else involving the legislative session. Call my office at 360.786.7632 or send me an e-mail to Lynda.Wilson@leg.wa.gov.
Yours in service,
BILL NEWS: Bills addressing domestic-violence victims, vehicle-license fraud receive hearings
Two of my prime-sponsored bills received public hearings in Senate committees on Tuesday. The Law and Justice Committee heard SB 6292, which allows domestic-violence victims to receive “real-time” notification when their perpetrators are nearby so they have time to leave or prepare for a possible confrontation. The bill is scheduled for a vote next Tuesday.
The Transportation Committee heard SB 6293, which targets the problem of vehicle-license fraud. There are over 20,000 vehicles in Clark County that are owned by Washington residents but registered in Oregon or other states. My bill allows Clark County to set up a deferred prosecution program for people who receive a citation for failing to legally register their vehicle. This bill is scheduled to be passed from committee on Monday.
My other bills on the move
Here is an update on five other bills that I’m prime-sponsoring this year:
Domestic violence cases
Current state law doesn’t mention Limited License Legal Technicians – or LLLTs – when it comes to a court ordering a respondent to pay fees in certain domestic violence cases. This bill would allow LLLTs to be fairly compensated for their work, and also increase access to justice for domestic violence victims, who make up the bulk of an LLLT’s clientele. SB 5213 is headed to the Senate floor for a vote.
GET program governance
The Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program has been in the news lately after a whistleblower revealed serious allegations of inappropriate conduct and possible mismanagement. An audit I requested is under way, but this bill would add citizens and legislators to the GET Committee in an ex officio capacity so there is better oversight and more accountability. The Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee plans to vote on it next Tuesday.
Abuse of vulnerable adults
After a court of appeals decision took issue with the state’s definition of “willful” when it comes to the abuse of vulnerable adults, the Department of Social and Health Services asked me to sponsor this bill, which better defines “willful” in state law to protect vulnerable adults. This bill is also headed to the Senate floor for a vote.
I-5 Bridge committee
This bill makes a small, technical correction to the Interstate 5 Columbia River Bridge Joint Legislative Action Committee we created last session. This fix is necessary so committee members and staff can appoint co-chairs and have someone to coordinate with for planning purposes while we wait for Oregon to appoint its eight members to the committee. SB 6118 is on its way to the Senate floor for a vote.
Storm and sewer systems in rural areas
SB 6516 amends the Growth Management Act to provide some targeted flexibility for counties and cities to extend storm and sanitary sewer systems in rural areas to maximize economic development opportunities. It will receive a public hearing next Tuesday in the Local Government Committee.
Meet Team Wilson
I have a talented and high-quality team serving in my Olympia office this legislative session. Make sure to introduce yourself to them if you come to visit the Capitol or contact my office for help.
Amber Hardtke, Senior Legislative Assistant
Many of you will remember Amber, my longtime Legislative Assistant, as the friendly voice that greets you year-round when you call or visit my office. This is Amber’s 20th legislative session, so consider her your one-stop-shop for any questions you may have about state government or my work in the Legislature.
Janice Wright, Session Aide
Janice is an Olympia native, joining Team Wilson in early January. She enjoys riding horses, fishing, and most of all, spending time with her two grandsons. If you’re having an issue with a state agency, or just have general questions, you can count on Janice to take care of you throughout this year’s session.
Abby Crowell, Intern
Abby is my Intern for this session and has been a great addition to the office! She attends the University of Puget Sound, where she studies Business and Politics & Government. Abby is originally from Eugene, Oregon, and enjoys competing for the UPS track and field team.
I was very pleased to sponsor Emily Goheen as a Senate page this week. Emily, 15, is a sophomore homeschooled student originally from Vancouver. She likes taekwondo, piano, church, choir and youth group. I enjoyed meeting and talking with Emily over lunch on Tuesday. I’m glad she enjoyed her experience working in the Senate this week!
Phone: (360) 786-7632 Email: Lynda.Wilson@leg.wa.gov