Fully Funding Education
Every child deserves the right to quality education. In 2014, the WA Supreme Court found the WA legislature in contempt of court for not fully funding education. Fulfilling our paramount duty to fully fund education is the legislature’s primary mission next session.
In the past several years, I have worked hard to expand educational opportunities in our state. I spearheaded the Early Start Act, which creates high quality early learning opportunities for low-income children. I also passed legislation that has allowed over 4000 high school dropouts to get their diplomas and GED. Fully funding education is my top priority next session.
The hard-working citizens of Washington deserve stronger support from our state. Washington has the most regressive tax policy in the country. Our overreliance on sales tax privileges those at the top and unfairly burdens low-income and middle-class families. This must change.
I’ve been a fierce supporter of raising the minimum wage, ensuring there is wage parity between men and women in the workplace, and protecting workers’ rights. As a state, we must enact paid family leave so that new parents can spend time with their babies without fear of losing their incomes.
Safe Gun Storage
Children die every year from preventable gun tragedies. Unsecured guns are also responsible for our alarmingly high teen suicide rate. More than 50% of all youth die by suicide with a gun found either in their home, or the home of a friend or relative.
Twenty-eight states have child access prevention laws that require adults to safely store their firearms. I’ve sponsored a bill for the last three years to make Washington one of those states. We need common sense gun safety legislation.
Fighting for Children and Families
My priority is—and has always been—fighting to create an equitable society for our children. Every child deserves an equal right to succeed. That right should never be predetermined by income, race, or background.
I’ve fought tirelessly to increase services and supports for our state’s most vulnerable youth. I’ve passed legislation to create the Office of Homeless Youth Prevention, seal records for most juvenile offenders under the age of 18, expand services for children’s mental health, and support foster parents and children. Recently, I was appointed to co-chair the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission to create a new department for children and families. I look forward to shepherding the Commission’s recommendations through the legislature next session.
Despite our efforts, there is so much more work to be done. Mental health. Gun safety. Services for homeless youth. Supports for foster youth and parents. These are urgent issues that demand our attention. I am committed to fighting for legislation and funding for policies that improve outcomes for children and families.