Dear Friends, 

This past week has been a busy one. With the Legislature in session we are moving forward with a number of important bills and measures aimed at supporting Washingtonians across the state.

I want to take a moment this morning to once again thank you for your ongoing support – getting to work each day in Olympia is a dream come true, and there is no greater honor than representing you in the Peoples’ House. Our work is for you, and I am so grateful to have you beside me.

Later on in today’s newsletter I’ll provide updates on legislation that is moving forward, but I’d like to highlight a few people I had the pleasure of meeting with this week!

I am honored to support our tribal Police, Washington State Police, Washington State Sheriffs, and City Police throughout our great state. We will continue forward with our work to raise recruitment and provide additional support for training and education, ensuring that those who keep us safe are properly prepared to go out on the job.

Additionally, I’m proud to support greater equity in fees paid by our Tribal police departments for training at the Criminal Justice Training Academy – we must ensure that all levels of law enforcement, across all jurisdictions, receive the necessary training to protect Washingtonians and tribal citizens alike.

It has been a pleasure to work with Nick Streuli, Governor Inslee’s Legislative Director!

Nick and I first met and worked closely to ensure that migrant farm workers received necessary PPE during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. He continues the important work of supporting all Washingtonians, and I feel blessed to have such compassionate and hard working partners in the Executive Branch.

Finally, I’d like to give a shoutout to Representative Kristine Reeves from the 30th LD!

Kristine is working hard on a bill that would allow the Department of Natural Resources to have the authority to issue carbon credits and balances to address forest management and climate change. We first partnered up on passing the HEAL Act, and she continues to be a legislator who ensures all voices are heard, and is an incredible person to work with in Olympia!

Thank you for all your hard work, Representative Reeves. I look forward to working together in the future!


Keep reading for more on this Fantastic Friday. 

“Stay Safe, Stay Healthy”
Rep. Debra Lekanoff

Supporting Riparian Habitat 

As those of you who have read my newsletters these past years know, protecting our salmon population and supporting their recovery and growth is an absolute priority for me. It is at the foundation of so many important things – environmental protection, cultural and economic support, and government-to-government relationships.

It is with that in mind that I want to celebrate the recent, bipartisan, passage of House Bill 1720 – aimed at rehabilitating riparian habitat (the land on the side of creeks, tributaries, and rivers) and helping to restore salmon runs throughout Washington State.

This bill was passed following negotiations between key agriculture representatives and sovereign tribal leaders, and is an important step forward in building the trust we need in order to truly begin to make meaningful change.

I’m thrilled that this is moving forward, and I am hopeful it will become law soon! For more information about the bill and its creation, click here.


Legislative Updates! 

This week we saw a tremendous amount of progress made during the current legislative session. It is truly a wonder to work in Olympia these days – so many dedicated individuals focused on a shared goal of improving Washington and helping Washingtonians.

While there are a great number of moving pieces of legislation being considered, I want to take a moment to highlight a handful of bills that I have sponsored – specifically, ones that have moved forward off the floor in one way or another.

Here are the bills that moved off the floor this week:

H.B. 1117 – Creating a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People Cold Case Investigations Unit

H.B. 1290 – Concerning training for tribal police officers and employees

H.B. 1332Supporting public school instruction in tribal sovereignty and federally recognized Indian tribes.

H.B. 1555 – Concerning extradition of persons to and from Indian jurisdiction.

H.B. 1399 and H.B. 1735 will be turned into provisos.

A special thank you this Fantastic Friday to Representative from the 45th LD! Representative Goodman and I worked in tandem to draft and pass H.B. 1290, and I am eternally grateful for his support and ongoing commitment to supporting Washington’s tribes!

Thank you, Representative Goodman!  

NCEL Annual Report

Next, I would like to share with you an exciting update: the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators released their full 2022 Annual Report!  

Working with NCEL is something I am incredibly proud of, and it is an honor to sit on their Executive Board as we continue the great work across the country. Today, I’d like to take a moment and share some of their highlights from 2022 – here is their year in review:

  • NCEL organized and circulated five nationwide sign-on letters with 483 legislators from 49 states and territories joined together to call for establishing a National Biodiversity Strategy, centering health and climate in U.S. public housing, providing dedicated funding for states to recover endangered wildlife, improving gas furnace efficiency standards, and ensuring equity in the America the Beautifulconservation initiative.
  • The work of the NCEL network received 146 media hits in 2022, which means more attention and more support for state efforts.
  • Throughout the year, NCEL hosted 60 in-person and virtual events to inform, inspire, and connect state lawmakers around strong environmental policy solutions. 
  • NCEL sent delegations of staff and state legislators to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) and the Biodiversity Conference (COP15) to learn and showcase the leadership of U.S. states in addressing the climate and biodiversity crises. 
  • Strong state environmental policy continued throughout 2022. It was another very active year for bills supporting low-carbon transportation systems, plastic pollution solutions, offshore wind energy, and outdoor engagement.

Check out their full report here.

This is work that will continue in both the short and long term, impacting the entire country – so keep an eye out for additional updates, and click here to learn more about NCEL!

Our Sacred Obligation 

Earlier this week, Children of the Setting Sun co-hosted a virtual screening of Our Sacred Obligation, along with a Q&A session afterwards with Indigenous leaders from the film.

Our Sacred Obligation covers the ongoing movement to restore salmon to abundance – an important mission that we have already discussed earlier in this newsletter!

This is an incredibly important mission we are on, and I am grateful that there are so many other people who are similarly passionate about supporting our salmon population, and taking the necessary steps to help them thrive.

Here is a quick write-up about the film:

Our Sacred Obligation recounts the history of the Yurok Tribe’s struggle against the colonization of the Klamath River, which has sustained them since time immemorial. A land reclamation project and a series of dams have brought the Klamath River salmon populations to the brink of extinction. But the Yurok are fighting back. Supported by their ancestors and the recent success of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe on the Elwha River, the Yurok are using their sovereign treaty rights to fulfill their sacred obligation to bring down the dams and restore the river.

For more information about the Salmon People Project, please visit”

Anacortes School District Shoutout

Finally, I want to congratulation some incredible students from Anacortes!

Here is what the Anacortes School District Facebook page had to say about them:

“Competing for their first time ever, Juniors Dane Kiser and Myron Johnson took 3rd and 5th place respectively at the recent Skills USA regional competition in Everett. Contestants were given a task and had to weld at three stations to complete a final piece: stick welding, mig welding and oxy fuel torch cutting. The final projects were blind-judged on precision and technique. In addition, contestants had to demonstrate their welding knowledge via a written test. Johnson said he entered the competition because he wanted to challenge himself and thought it would help him with future welding apprenticeships. Kiser was surprised at his top finish.

“When we first got to our practice stations, I was super nervous and shaking like crazy, which is not good when you’re welding.” Both Johnson and Kiser look forward to improving when they return to compete next year. Congratulations!”

Congratulations, Dane and Myron! We all can’t wait to see the incredible things you accomplish next.