Dear Friends, 

This week, we have seen tremendous progress on a number of fronts as our work continues in Olympia.

I feel so uplifted each day going into work, surrounded by similarly passionate individuals who are willing and eager to roll up their sleeves, do the hard work, and help create a better Washington for all of us.

On this Fantastic Friday, I want to highlight four bills that are working their way through the State Legislature. These are just four among many important pieces of legislation that I am proud to work on, and I will continue to keep you updated!

Our work in Olympia is ongoing, and I am only able to do these important things with your support. I am eternally grateful that you have sent me to serve on your behalf these past years, and I am excited for the great things we will accomplish together!

If you have any questions or comments about any of this legislation, please reach out! And keep a look out for additional updates on other bills moving forward in the coming weeks.


Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday. 

“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff

HB 1479 

The first piece of legislation I would like to highlight for you is House Bill 1479: An act relating to restraint or isolation of students in public schools and educational programs.

Recently, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published a report titled “Washington Schools Routinely Physically Restrain and Isolate Students, Disproportionately Subjecting Students with Disabilities, Black, Homeless and Foster Care Students to Traumatic Practices that Violate State Law.”

This report was eye opening and highlighted an issue that many of us have been fighting for years – isolation and physical restraint of Washington’s students.  I am proud to work on behalf of our students at every level, and this is a necessary step to ensure that all are put in a position to thrive.

Among other things, the legislation:

  • Modifies provisions related to student isolation and restraint, including by prohibiting chemical restraint and mechanical restraint, and by prohibiting isolation beginning August 2, 2025.
  • Prohibits the creation of isolation rooms and requires isolation rooms to be removed or repurposed by August 1, 2025.
  • Modifies incident follow-up and reporting requirements.
  • Adds training and professional development requirements.
  • Establishes technical assistance and other forms of compliance monitoring and support.
  • Requires a report on the impacts of room clears on students

For more information on the bill, click here.


HB 1715

The next bill I want to discuss is House Bill 1715: An act relating to enacting comprehensive protections for victims of domestic violence and other violence involving family members or intimate partners.

This is an issue near and dear to my heart. Having spent so much time working to establish the first of its kind Missing and Murdered Indigenous People alert system, I understand the importance of protecting victims, and we must ensure that those who suffer from domestic violence are taken care of.

Signing the MMIP Alert System into Law!

Among other things, the legislation:

  • Creates the Domestic Violence Lethality Hotline to perform lethality assessments and a high lethality designation on domestic violence perpetrators.
  • Requires electronic monitoring with victim notification technology to be available statewide.
  • Requires the development of plans to expand access to attorneys for victims of domestic violence in state and tribal courts and the maintenance of a list of attorneys who represent domestic violence survivors.
  • Requests the Washington Supreme Court’s Gender and Justice Commission to convene a work group to establish practice and training standards for attorneys representing domestic violence survivors.

For more information on the bill, click here.

HB 1209

Third, we have House Bill 1209: Restricting the possession, purchase, delivery, and sale of certain equipment used to illegally process controlled substances.

We have unfortunately seen a significant increase in the number of fentanyl pills seized in Washington State in recent years. In 2022 there were 300,000 pills seized in Skagit County, and over 559,000 in Whatcom County – this is compared to 18,000 pills in Skagit in 2021 and 20,000 pills in Whatcom in 2020.

House Bill 1209 would address this growing issue by limiting the ability to possess, purchase, sell, or deliver certain equipment needed to create controlled substances, aimed at reducing the supply in the market.

Among other things, the legislation “makes it a felony offense to possess, purchase, deliver, sell, or possess with intent to sell a tableting machine or encapsulating machine knowing or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that it will be used to manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance, other than cannabis, in violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

For more information about the bill, click here.

HB 1187

Finally, I’d like to quickly discuss House Bill 1187: Concerning privileged communication between employees and the unions that represent them.

I will always prioritize Washington’s workers as your representative in Olympia – we need to raise up those who go to work each day to support their families and themselves, and there is no stronger way to build a healthy workforce than to have healthy Unions.

HB 1187 would help make it safe and confidential for Union employees to talk to Union representatives, ensure that their discussions remain private.

Here is a statement on the legislation from Union representatives:

“Union members rely on confidentiality when talking with stewards or other union representatives about issues at work; WPEA stewards and staff work hard to protect the confidentiality of those communications. Just like talking to a lawyer, a doctor, or a counselor, talking to a union rep can involve personal or sensitive information that must remain confidential. But that kind of communication with a union rep doesn’t have the same protection under law that communication with a lawyer or counselor does. This year, we’re working to pass a common-sense, bipartisan bill to protect communication between union members and their union representatives.”

Among other things, the legislation:

  • Creates an exception from examination and disclosure for a union representative and a union employee concerning any communication between the union representative or union employee made during union representation.
  • Applies the exception from examination and disclosure to employees of, and the organizations that represent: employees of college districts, public employees, faculty at public four-year institutions of higher education, civil service employees, ferry employees, port employees, and labor unions.

For more information on the bill, click here.