Stories: Listening | Helping | Leading

As state lawmakers, we understand that every piece of legislation introduced means something to someone. In fact, our constituents are often the inspiration and driving force behind the bills and amendments we support. These are people who have the courage to come forward, share their stories and initiate change.

It is our job, as the voice of our communities, to bring these compelling stories to the legislative process. It is our responsibility to listen, help put ideas into bill form and lead solutions through the Legislature. This includes working with stakeholders and encouraging public involvement.

Below are just a few of these compelling stories. As you will see, some are still a work in progress. That work continues throughout 2018.

If you have a story to share or an idea to convey, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Protecting children with autism through the Travis Alert Act

It’s a day Threasa and Darren King will never forget. Shortly after moving to their new home in Wapato, their then-6-year-old son, Travis, wandered away from the house. In a 2016 Yakima Herald-Republic article…

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Helping homeless and foster youth graduate

Improving the lives of at-risk youth has been Rep. Michelle Caldier’s mission since joining the Legislature in 2015. Growing up in foster care, Caldier witnessed the dysfunction of the system on a near daily basis…

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Letting our aging farmers and their tax burdens retire

Although farmers have a high degree of freedom and flexibility when it comes to running their farms, they may feel their ability to retire is constrained. Many retirement-age farmers are finding…

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Enabling more students to graduate on time

Rep. Drew MacEwen is deeply concerned about statewide tests being linked to high school graduation. Based on the overwhelming number of emails he received on the issue from students and parents during the 2017 legislative…

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Protecting communities from the scourge of meth

“It was late in the night and I just needed a place to sleep inexpensively,” wrote a Yelp reviewer in 2015 about the Sterling Motor Inn in Burlington. He didn’t know he might have been exposed to methamphetamine…

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Addressing car-tab sticker shock from Sound Transit 3

Skyrocketing car-tab fees are a cause of concern for many residents in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. The hike in license plate tab fees, along with increases in sales taxes and property taxes, fund the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) project…

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Creating affordable housing for veterans

Most of us don’t have to consider where we will retreat to after a long days work. We know where we will rest our heads when it is time to go to sleep at night. Our individual images of home are often engraved in our minds….

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Promoting JROTC and CTE programs for youth

The 26th Legislative District has a rich military culture. You cannot drive into the district over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, or take the ferry over from Seattle, without seeing the vibrancy of harbors of ports, aircraft carriers…

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Creating healthier forests and making firefighting safer

The 2014 wildfire season for Washington was unlike any other with more than 1,400 wildfires burning nearly 390,000 acres of private, state federal and tribal lands. As bad as 2014 was, the 2015 wildfire season proved even worse…

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Helping incarcerated mothers during pregnancy, labor and birth

Mothers behind bars are invisible to most of us. Nevertheless, the incarceration rate for women has skyrocketed in the past three decades, and most are in their prime-childbearing years. Medical services for expectant…

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Addressing our state’s teacher shortage

According to the U.S. Department of Education, Washington state is experiencing teacher shortages in 16 subject areas, including many of the sciences. In multiple surveys in recent years, more than 90 percent…

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Ensuring fair treatment in our state’s tax system

Imagine you’re a business owner who discovered a clerical error on tax reporting papers. You decided to do the right thing and report it to the state Department of Revenue (DOR). Your reward is a fine of hundreds of thousands of dollars…

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Supporting emergency medical services in rural hospitals

Providing health care in rural regions presents unique challenges. Providers and patients deal with remote geographic locations, small or outdated facilities, limited workforce and physician shortages, and…

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Bringing manufacturing jobs back to Washington

Over the last 40 years or so, northeast Washington has seen some of the highest unemployment numbers in the state. In August 2017, Ferry County led the state with 9.6 percent unemployment, with Stevens and Pend Oreille…

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Helping landowners protect their property from wildfire

For six years, a property owner in Kittitas County tried to reduce the wildfire risk on his property. In Washington state, small forest landowners have been required to go through the Farm Labor Contractor Act to reduce…

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