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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We just completed a long stretch of late nights on the House floor, including debate on the two biggest public safety issues facing us this session – Senate Bill 5352, the law enforcement vehicular pursuit legislation, and Senate Bill 5536, the Blake fix, relating to drug possession and treatment.

I shared with you the joint statement Rep. Leonard Christian and I sent to the 4th District media a couple of days ago on the vehicle pursuit legislation passing the House. If you missed it, click here to read it.

First bill signed into law

Last week ended with some positive news as I had my first bill signed into law by Gov. Inslee. House Bill 1656 will clarify unemployment insurance benefits appeal procedures. This was an issue I had worked on with the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD).

Gov. Inslee signs Rep. Schmidt’s House Bill 1656 into law.

The legislation would make it easier for claimants, employers and judges by giving them some clarification on the appeals process. There has been confusion in the current system.

Journey level electrician certifications of competency

I also introduced House Bill 1393 this session, which would have delayed the required date from July 1, 2023 to July 1, 2025 for Washingtonians to complete an apprenticeship program in order to become commercial licensed electricians. Employers and employees in the commercial construction industry said the delay is needed. The public hearing was very well attended and hundreds of people throughout the state signed in as supporting the bill.

While my bill did not make it out of committee, it got the attention of Sen. Rebecca Saldana, who was running a similar measure in the Senate, Senate Bill 5320.

I appreciate Sen. Saldana discussing my bill and the options we could provide for those looking to delay the date for completing the apprenticeship program. Her bill modifies the eligibility requirements for obtaining journey level electrician certification and establishes additional pathways for current trainees to become licensed electricians.

While this does provide some options for those seeking this certification, I plan on working on this issue more during the interim.

Gov. Inslee signs Senate Bill 5320 – relating to journey level electrician certifications of competency.

Taking away parental rights

We debated one of the most troublesome bills of the session last week. Senate Bill 5599 would deny parental notifications for runaway children seeking or receiving protected health services when entering a youth-related facility or host home.

Under the legislation, children can stay at licensed youth shelters without their parent’s knowledge for an indefinite amount of time while seeking medical treatments like gender-transitioning services and medications. I voted no on the bill. The bill passed on party lines, 57-39. Click on the photo below to watch my floor speech.

Stay in touch

While the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn Sunday, I encourage you to stay engaged. Please continue to contact me with any questions, concerns or comments you have about the Legislature or our state government.

Also, the websites below are a great way to follow what is happening in state government during the year. I urge you to check them out.

It is an honor to serve the 4th District in the state House of Representatives.

Suzanne Schmidt

State Representative Suzanne Schmidt, 4th Legislative District
468 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7820 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000