Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On Monday, lawmakers returned to Olympia for the start of the 2022 legislative session. The Washington State Legislature is considered a part-time legislature. In even-numbered years we meet for 60 days, in odd years 105.
I had hoped we would be conducting business in-person this session; however, for the time being, we are back to an all-virtual session due to COVID-19 response. If you'd like to follow how the operational procedure looks, I encourage you to bookmark this website as things will continue to change as session moves on.
I know virtual meetings, committee hearings, and testimony are challenging, but I encourage you to stay active in the legislative process.
My 2022 priorities
Death with Dignity Act Modernization
- Allowing prescription mail delivery, with delivery safeguards
- Reduces the waiting period from 15 days to 3 days
- Expands the list of practitioners allowed to participate in the law
- Requires Department of Health to post hospitals' policies online
House Bill 1141 was passed of the House floor in 2021, heard in the Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee, but didn't make it to the Senate floor for a final vote. This year the bill was passed again on the House floor on day one of voting action. I am hopeful the Senate can move it through their chamber quickly this year.
This bill is a direct response to a 16th District constituent experience, which showed improvements to the law are needed.
Safe Routes to School Program and transportation funding
As part of the House Republicans comprehensive 2022 transportation funding plan, I've sponsored House Bill 1607 which would investigate a shift of the Safe Routes to School Program to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) with direction to better coordinate funding with the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for safe pathways to new schools.
OSPI has the best and most up-to-date knowledge and information pertaining to every public school across the state. My bill would provide an opportunity for OSPI and WSDOT to analyze this much needed program and determine if students would be better served having the program administered by OSPI rather than through the department of transportation.
Safe Routes to School is a national program that receives federal funding that is allocated to state departments of transportation to be used to make infrastructure improvements so children will have safe routes to travel to school. The program provides funding for new pathways for bicycle and pedestrian travel, as well as educational programs on safe travel.
School board transparency
It's important for parents, students, and the public to have access to school board meetings in an effort to help keep parents involved in their children's education. I have sponsored House Bill 1973, to increase school board meeting access. My bill would require school boards to record and retain the audio of each meeting. The records would be searchable by date and available for five years.
During the course of the past couple of years, hospitals and long-term care facilities have restricted visitation to family members to visit dying loved ones. This is excessive and cruel. I've sponsored House Bill 1983 to increase patient's visitation rights in hospitals. The language is similar to that used in long term care facilities. Under the Governor's current emergency powers, the law could be waived for up to 30 days, but subject to legislative oversight thereafter.
Insurance coverage for colon cancer screenings
When someone uses an at-home colon cancer screening kit, submits their samples, and receives a positive screening result, the next step is generally a colonoscopy to verify the cancer diagnosis and begin the plan for treatment. Currently, insurers are not required to cover a colonoscopy if an at home test was completed. House Bill 1939 would ensure coverage for the subsequent colonoscopy after a positive home test diagnosis as a continuation of the screening process.
Funding for charter schools
I've co-sponsored House Bill 1591 with Rep. Laurie Dolan (D) of the 22nd District. This bill would provide local effort assistance funding to charter schools to improve access to extracurricular activities and enrichments for students. In 2021, I offered an amendment to the budget that was similar to this bill, but it was removed in final negotiations. This bill will provide funding parity for charter public school student students, many of whom come from low income families and face additional challenges.
Please reach out to my office at any time to set up a meeting, ask questions, or have a conversation about the issues that matter most to you. Even in this virtual world, my door is always “open.” My contact information can be found at the bottom of this email.
I also want to take this opportunity to share information and a list of resources with you. These will provide a detailed look at the work happening behind the scenes on your behalf – and on behalf of everyone in Washington state. I encourage you to bookmark the links below, and please share them with your friends and family.
- Visit my website | Representative Skyler Rude
- Visit the Washington State House Republicans website
- Follow Washington State House Republicans on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram
- Sign-up for The Current | The Washington State House Republicans newsletter
- Sign-up for The Capitol Buzz | A daily summary of online news from across the state, highlighting policies, politics, and other issues that affect Washingtonians
- Bookmark The Ledger | Washington State House Republicans news aggregator
- Visit the Washington State Legislature website
- Bookmark House Committees | How to sign-up to testify
If you have further questions or thoughts, please continue to reach out to my office.
Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve!