Greetings from Olympia,
Happy New Year! The 2020 legislative session is underway, and it was a fast and eventful first week. After I was sworn in during the opening-day ceremonies, the Legislature got right to work, holding committee hearings and even voting on bills that were still alive from last year.
As a reminder, I will be serving on three committees this session. I am the ranking member on the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations and Elections committee, and I’m a member of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee and the Health and Long Term Care Committee. This past week, I was also elected by my colleagues to a leadership position within the Senate Republican Caucus. Read more about that by clicking here.
My job this short session is to listen and learn. My goal is to listen to the needs of constituents while considering what is being introduced in Olympia and learning from my colleagues about how to effectively navigate the legislative process for my constituents.
I care deeply about problems of homelessness, mental health and drug abuse impacting communities throughout the district. It’s a statewide issue with a lot of bipartisan agreement, so what will be important is to ensure the resources make it to where they need to go and actually address the problems.
I’ve introduced legislation, Senate Bill 6421, which focuses on agricultural education. It would re-establish a program for farm internships. As a fourth-generation farmer, I care about the future of family farms that make up much of our district. I think that young people can learn a great deal about themselves and this critical part of our state’s economy by working in it.
As a freshmen senator in the minority, I’m not under the impression that I’m going to have some huge impact. But I want you and my other constituents to know that I’m intent on listening to your needs and fighting for you. My goals are to not step on too many toes, work to elevate the discourse in our legislative process and ensure our district has a strong voice in the decisions being made in the Senate.
My door is always open. We may not agree on everything, and as I said in my town halls, I’m probably going to make everyone angry at me at some point. But I’m going to always be honest, and I will always listen to you and take my constituents’ insights to heart when making decisions in the Legislature.