Home | About Leonard | News & Media | Email Updates | The Ledger | Contact
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
With only about 60 hours remaining in the 2023 legislative session, the House and Senate are negotiating their differences on key bills and finalizing the details of the three state budgets: operating, capital, and transportation.
We'll have more information to provide about the budgets after end of business on Sunday.
Parental rights at the forefront
The bill to deny parents the right to know where their children are in certain circumstances has generated national attention.
Senate Bill 5599 would exempt youth shelters and other similar organizations from parental notification requirements if a child enters their facility seeking or receiving “gender affirming” treatment or reproductive health care services.
It passed the House and Senate over the objections of legislative Republicans and is headed to the governor's desk to be signed into law or vetoed.
This is one of the worst bills to come out of the 2023 legislative session – it will cause enormous emotional stress and financial damage to family and friends of missing children.
I also believe this bill is an unconstitutional violation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The state has no right to separate children from loving parents.
Anti-gun bill update
Unfortunately, all three anti-firearm bills proposed by Democrats in the House and Senate have advanced to the governor's desk for his signature:
- House Bill 1143 would impose training, permitting, and waiting period requirements on gun owners and firearm dealers with large fines and possible jail time.
- House Bill 1240 would outlaw the manufacture, importation, distribution, sale, or offer for sale of any so-called “assault weapon” with an emergency clause to go into effect once signed.
- Senate Bill 5078 would hold gun manufacturers legally responsible for how individuals misuse their products.
Like the anti-parental rights bill, you can be sure there will be lawsuits to follow.
State distribution of abortion medication
On April 4th, Governor Inslee executed an emergency contract to purchase 30,000 doses of the abortion medication known as mifepristone after a federal judge in Texas ordered a nationwide injunction on its sale. That same day, a federal judge in Seattle issued a separate ruling precluding the FDA from imposing additional regulations on the sale of mifepristone, in direct conflict with the ruling out of Texas. The U.S. Supreme Court will have the last word.
On April 5th, Senate Democrats sponsored Senate Bill 5768 to direct the Department of Corrections to purchase, at a cost of $1.275 million, and distribute the 30,000 doses of mifepristone to healthcare providers and healthcare entities across the state.
I don't believe the Department of Corrections has the wholesale license, experience, or resources to be stockpiling pills and acting as a widescale pharmaceutical distributor. It should instead be focused on keeping our correctional facilities and communities safe.
Washingtonians already have the right to obtain an abortion – but this bill goes further by forcing state taxpayers to pay for it.
House Democrats passed Senate Bill 5768 yesterday evening and its headed to the governor's desk for his signature.
Upcoming town hall meeting
On May 27th at 10:00 a.m. Rep. Suzanne Schmidt and I will host another town hall meeting at CenterPlace Event Center (2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley).
As always, residents of the 4th District are welcome to join us for a discussion about the 2023 legislative session and other important topics in our region and state.
We look forward to seeing you there!
- My legislative website | Find my contact information, bio, news releases, email updates, videos, opinion pieces, bills, and other information.
- The Capitol Buzz | A weekday roundup of online news stories.
- The Current | An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans.
- TVW | TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
- The Ledger | A legislative news aggregator.
- Legislature's website | Bill reports, committee agendas, and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature here.
- State agencies | List of all state agencies, boards, and commissions here.
- Participating in the Process | Information about how you can participate in the legislative process
Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or comments. I encourage you to provide feedback and get involved. I am here to serve you and everyone in the 4th Legislative District.
It's an honor to serve you.
122C Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7984 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000