Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Please join us next Monday evening, Feb. 13 from 6-7 p.m. for our 7th Legislative District telephone town hall. I will be joined by my seatmates, Rep. Joel Kretz and Sen. Shelly Short, for a one-hour “Community Conversation.” Our automated system will call most land lines in the area, but if you don’t have a land line, or want to join in on your cell phone, you can join the program by calling (509) 476-8976 anytime from about 5:45 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. the day of the event.
We will discuss the legislative session, some of the bills we’re working on, and take questions from you. The great participation from you – our constituents – is what has made these events so successful in the past. I hope you can join us.
Listen in or watch
You can listen to my recent interview with KTTH host Jason Rantz here. We discuss my bill to make drug use illegal again and the problems with restricting police pursuits.
You can listen to Rep. Joel Kretz and I as we discuss the legislative session with KOZI host Jeff Conwell here. Topics include wolves, rural internet, auto theft, drug abuse, crime, law enforcement training, and more.
You can watch my short video update on my bills to crack down on auto theft and create a law enforcement training academy in Eastern Washington here.
This week’s survey question is, “Should the Legislature use the state’s budget surplus for property tax relief?” You can click here to take the survey.
Last week’s survey results are below.
“Should the Legislature implement legislation to make the manufacture, distribution, and sale of certain hard drugs illegal?”
I sponsored two health care related bills last week. The first, House Bill 1713, would create a pilot program to issue medical assistance payments to health care providers and facilities which serve a high proportion of patients enrolled in state assistance programs. Health care providers and facilities would be able to recoup the difference between the state’s reimbursement rate and Medicare’s reimbursement rate, which in some cases, is substantial.
Our rural areas are suffering with a lack of affordable, quality health care. With many people on state programs, and with the reimbursement rates of those programs oftentimes not covering the full cost of the medical services, it is difficult to attract and retain health care professionals. In addition, the private market – those who are paying for health care insurance – end up subsidizing the low state reimbursements rates with higher insurance premiums.
My second proposal, House Bill 1725, would help make sure life-saving insulin drugs are more readily available for individuals under the age of 21. It directs the Washington State Health Care Authority to create the Insulin for Individuals Under the Age of 21 Bulk Purchasing and Distribution Program. The state, like it has done for the COVID vaccine and Narcan, would work directly with suppliers to negotiate and purchase insulin in bulk quantities.
House Bill 1713 has a public hearing in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 1:30 p.m. If you would like to support this bill, you can click here to give written testimony to the committee members.
I appreciate those of you who are participating in my weekly survey questions. I also want to thank those of you who have called or written my office to express your opinions on legislative matters and your support. It is an honor to represent you in the state Legislature. Together, we are “7th District Strong!”