E-News Edition 143

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As other states enact abortion bans, Washington leaders prepare to enact new protections

Gov. Jay Inslee and several state legislators met in Bellingham on Friday to begin rolling out the initial policies of a choice-defending agenda for the 2023 legislative session.

Inslee affirmed his intent to amend the state constitution to explicitly enshrine the right to abortion and the right to accept or refuse contraception.

Rep. Sharon Shewmake previewed a sanctuary policy that will provide patients and providers with legal protections from criminal or civil action against them for lawful reproductive health care.

Sen. Manka Dhingra and Rep. Vandana Slatter announced a health data bill that will close an egregious legal loophole that allows non-health care organizations to collect, share or sell private health information.

"We have storm clouds on the horizon. There are those that would like to threaten a woman's right of choice," said Inslee. "This right must be enshrined in the basic foundational document in the state: our constitution. This private right and most intimate decision must be protected."

"Every single year, new bills are introduced to ban or restrict basic freedoms," said Rep. Sharon Shewmake. "Politicians in Olympia or D.C. have no right making this decision for women."

Read more about event on the governor's website.

Gov. Jay Inslee and state legislators met Friday in Bellingham to announce a pro-choice 2023 legislative agenda.

Rep. Vandana Slatter, Rep. Sharon Shewmake, Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Manka Dhingra, Western Washington University student Isabella Arnett, Sen. Liz Lovelett, First Spouse Trudi Inslee, WWU executive director for counseling, health and wellness Dr. Sislena Ledbetter, Rep. Alicia Rule, and Rep. Debra Lekanoff met on Oct. 21 at the WWU campus in Bellingham, Wash. to announce a pro-choice legislative agenda for the 2023 legislative session. Inslee shook hands with WWU students after the event including Isabella Arnett, a graduate student studying English who shared her experience feeling marginalized as a teenager for her thoughts on bodily autonomy.

Local leaders and families describe urgently-needed improvements for pedestrian and cyclist safety

Michael Weilert, a 13-year-old boy from Parkland, was killed at an SR-7 crosswalk in July.

Michael Weilert, a 13-year-old boy from Parkland, was killed at an SR-7 crosswalk in July. His parents, Amber and David Weilert, advocated for pedestrian safety improvements during a Wednesday roundtable hosted by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Gov. Jay Inslee hosted a roundtable discussion about cyclist and pedestrian safety on Wednesday at the Pacific Lutheran University campus in Parkland. Inslee wanted to hear from families and local leaders about strategies such as signalized crosswalks, separated bike lanes, and other life-saving solutions.

The meeting included state agency leaders, local legislators, local advocates, and the families of victims of traffic violence.

David and Martha Jones are the parents of Cooper Jones, killed in Cheney in 1997 while riding his bicycle. Teena Johnson is the wife of Thomas Johnson, killed on his bike in Port Orchard in 2020. Amber and David Weilert are the parents of Michael Weilert, a 13-year-old boy killed in Parkland in July while crossing SR-7 at a crosswalk. The families each urged legislators to crack down on impaired and distracted driving, and to prioritize the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in infrastructure planning.

The state Department of Transportation is planning short-term improvements to improve safety along the corridor where Michael Weilert was killed. The department's Active Transportation Plan contains investments that will improve pedestrian safety along state roadways. The recent the Move Ahead Washington transportation package will fund safe routes to school and active transportation safety improvements statewide to prevent similar tragedies.

Inslee visits high school health care career training academy

Gov. Jay Inslee visited the Mount Tahoma High School Health Care Career Academy on Oct. 19.

Gov. Jay Inslee visited Mount Tahoma High School on Wednesday to learn about their Healthcare Career Academy, introducing students to healthcare careers and the essential duties of medical professionals using lifelike demonstration equipment.

There is a shortage of healthcare workers nationwide - a Tacoma high school is part of the solution. Mount Tahoma High School offers a Healthcare Career Academy that introduces students to health care careers. The classroom is packed with lifelike demonstration equipment that helps students understand the body and learn to draw blood, sew sutures, and more.

Gov. Jay Inslee visited the school on Wednesday to observe the program and to meet its students. The program, which is also available at Stadium High School, is a four-year, part-time program including classroom education, hands-on activities, on-the-job training, industry certifications, internships, and job shadowing. The program is possible thanks to collaboration among Tacoma Public Schools, healthcare industry leaders, higher education and local nonprofit partners.

The need for additional health care workers continues to grow. Inslee has supported health care workforce development by establishing a nurse educator loan repayment plan as part of the Washington Health Corps. The most recent supplemental budget included funding to expand enrollment in nursing programs. These programs introduce health care careers to K-12 students, support low-income students pursuing health care education, and establish nursing programs at community and technical colleges and state universities. The budget also included funding to improve retention and recruitment for long-term care facility staff.