Letter from Olympia

Senator Hans Zeiger 25th District Letter from Olympia
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Letter from Olympia

Dear Neighbor,

The last few weeks have been very busy in Olympia with meetings and committee hearings. I am spending much of my time working on legislation to address our state’s crisis of homelessness—more on that in my latest video update. I am also working on bills to provide regulatory relief for farmers (inspired by farmers in the Puyallup Valley), promote job opportunities for teenagers (inspired by a local coffee shop business), legalize spring blade knives (inspired by a South Hill-based knife manufacturer), grow the data center industry in Western Washington, and protect our elections process. 

 

Keeping our elections secure

Election security is vital to our democratic process. While Washington is a national leader in election security, there are additional steps we need to take to protect democracy in our state. Lawmakers in Olympia must make election security a priority this session. That’s why I’m sponsoring Senate Bill 6412, an Office of Secretary of State-request bill, which would promote election security. Here is how this bill would cut down on election fraud:

  • Invest $1.8 million in election security to draw $8.6 million in federal matching funds, helping state and local election officials to administer secure elections, which would keep up with changing technology and cyber-threat tactics.
  • Prevent ballot tampering by defining a clear chain of custody for ballots and making knowing destruction or failure to deliver a voted ballot a class C felony.
  • Limit entry points to election systems by removing electronic methods of ballot return for military and overseas voters, given the threat to voter confidentiality and exposure to cybercrime using email, fax and other electronic ballot return methods.
  • Provide post-election security by removing low value-added machine recounts and replacing them with statistically significant audits.

Legislative video update

week 3 video

See my latest video update where I talk about what lawmakers in Olympia can do to this session to help those struggling with homelessness and the different ways it impacts all of us.

Promoting recovery from substance use disorder

Our behavioral health system is inadequate on many levels, especially when it comes to substance use treatment. Too many Washingtonians face a long road in their struggle with substance use disorder. After a relative passed away in 2018 following years of suffering from substance use disorder, I decided that I wanted to do more in the legislature to help people on their journey to recovery. I wanted to work on legislation that could help us to fill gaps in our system.

That’s why I am sponsoring Senate Bill 6311, which was heard in the Senate Behavioral Health Subcommittee on Friday. The bill says that when an individual presenting signs of substance use disorder enters certain health care facilities, there are some assurances we will make to them as a matter of public good. Patients will receive an evaluation, medically necessary services for treatment until they can be transferred to the appropriate inpatient or outpatient treatment, information about various treatment options, notification of discharge to emergency contacts, and referral, with patient consent, to recovery coaching from peer counselors.  

This bill cannot stand alone; it must be part of a combined, bipartisan effort to address our state’s opioid crisis. We have a long way to go to build our behavioral health workforce. We have a long way to go to build community behavioral health facilities. But I am confident that if we keep up the momentum that is now underway in the legislature, we can do what is needed.   

Contact Me

As always, I value hearing directly from you. If you would like to contact me, please call, email and again, stop by if you’re in Olympia.

Email: Hans.Zeiger@leg.wa.gov

Phone: (360) 786-7648

Thanks for the privilege of serving as your state senator.

All the best,

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