Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you and your loved ones are well. As we reach the midpoint of the short 2024 legislative session, I wanted to fill you in on what I have been working on in Olympia.
A top priority for me over the past year has been addressing the shocking rise in deaths of young children exposed to fentanyl by their drug-addicted parents. In many cases, these children are already or recently have been under the care of the Department of Children, Youth , and Families (DCYF) with child protective services workers assigned to them.
In 2022, there were nearly 100 children killed due to exposure to fentanyl and other hard drugs by parents or guardians or abused to death by parents on such drugs. The data through March of 2023 is similar, and we hear more of these tragic cases daily.
WATCH: Click the image below to watch Rep. Couture and Brandi Kruse discuss how the state is failing at-risk children by prioritizing keeping them in the custody of fentanyl or meth-addicted parents over the child’s well being.
This session, I have been fiercely fighting to get my bill heard that would save kids from the risk of being left in the custody of parents addicted to fentanyl or other hard drugs. House Bill 2233 creates an imminent harm for a child under the care of parents known to use these hard drugs so the state can remove the children for their own safety.
Unfortunately, the Democratic majority refused to give my bill a hearing. Still, I fought to add amendments to the much watered-down version of my bill that Democrats proposed. All but one were rejected as the majority continues to prioritize criminals over public safety.
WATCH: Click the image below to watch Rep. Travis Couture fight to save children from fentanyl.
The entire 35th legislative delegation has been working hard for more than a year to create thoughtful legislation to address the issue of the state releasing dangerous sexually violent predators into often unsecured third-party-run group homes in communities across the state. The majority party totally ignored our bill to dramatically increase security, transparency, oversight, and accountability of the state’s current broken system for this constitutionally-required process. My seatmates and I will keep up this fight to protect our communities.
I am working hard on some of the biggest priorities we face, including support and funding for special education, social worker safety, public safety, and much more.
WATCH: Click the image below to watch Rep. Couture fight for special education funding.
I look forward to updating you on my progress after the long week ahead of voting on the House floor before the Tuesday deadline when bills must be passed out of the chamber where they have started to continue.
WATCH: Rep. Couture’s most recent legislative video update here.
Finally, I invite you to join myself and Rep. Dan Griffey for our upcoming telephone town hall. This is an opportunity for us to provide an update on the 2024 legislative session and take your questions and comments. I hope you can make it!
Telephone Town Hall
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 6 PM to 7 PM
How to join: 35th District residents who want to participate should call 360-226-0858
In the meantime, please remember you can always reach me by contacting my office here, or better yet, stopping by my Olympia office.
I hope to see you soon!