Sponsored bills that are now law:
HB 2259 Keeping Students Safe - This bill was signed into law in 2020. It provides the office of the superintendent of public instruction the authorization it needs to ensure all employees who have unsupervised access to children and individuals with developmental disabilities have background checks using the FBI database.
HB 2762 Supporting Corrections - This bill was signed into law in 2020. It supports our state's correctional staff by providing testimonial privilege for peer-to-peer counseling programs. Correctional staff face much higher rates of depression, PTSD and related mental health challenges than the general population because of their service. This bill allows corrections staff the same peer to peer support programs as first responders.
HR 4621 Remote Testimony - This resolution brought remote testimony to the House committee system for the first time. Often times travel across the mountains is prohibitive. Remote video testimony sites now exist in Ellensburg, Tri-Cities, and Spokane to provide better access to those of us who live in Eastern Washington.
HB 1131 - In response to COVID-19, this bill allows the State Board of Education the flexibility to waive private school instructional hours and days during an emergency. This flexiblity already existed for public schools. This bill passed the Legislature unanimously and was signed into law.
HB 1143 - The Walla Walla Watershed Management Partnership was created to give added flexibility in managing water in the Walla Walla Basin. After 12 years, the pilot was scheduled to conclude. However, the Partnership's water banking program proved to be a useful tool to incentivize water conservation. While planning for a long-term solution to the basin's water needs is currently moving forward, this bill extended the water banking program for another two years, thereby protecting previously banked water rights from the "use it or lose it" policy. This bill also passed the Legislature unanimously and was signed into law.
HB 1145- This bill was in response to the law requiring grocery bags to be 40% recycled material. Columbia Pulp, a large employer in the 16th district, was producing wheat straw pulp for use in paper manufacturing. The bill allows this innovative material to be used to satisfy that 40% requirement. Passed the Legislature unanimously, this bill is now law.
Capital Projects for our district
Dayton Hospital Dental Funding - Secured $250,000 for the Columbia County Health System in the Capital Budget to build a dental lab to serve Medicaid patients on campus. Due to the higher Medicaid reimbursement for rural health clinics, CCHS can provide those services relieving the burden on private providers.
Flood Damage Funding - Thanks to collaboration with local governments in Columbia County and Waitsburg, $75,000 for 2020 flood damage was secured to repair levees in Waitsburg and Starbuck.
Pasco Economic Revitalization - $350,000 for downtown economic revitalization to help Pasco leverage needed funds to develop its business center.