Vandana Slatter


Columbia Basin Herald: Governor signs My Health, My Data Act into law

The Columbia Basin Herald writes:

Thursday, Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1155, the WA My Health, My Data Act into law. The bill is aimed at protecting Washingtonians’ personal health data.

“As a mother and a pharmacist, I recognize the importance of protecting our health data and access to comprehensive health care,” said prime sponsor Rep. Vandana Slatter, D-Bellevue. “As a woman and a legislator, I am honored to have sponsored the My Health, My Data Act in the House to protect all Washingtonians’ health and data privacy in Washington state, including reproductive and gender-affirming care.”

Read the article here.

Seattle Times Op-Ed: Fully fund WA community colleges to solve worker shortages

Read Vandana’s latest op-ed in the Seattle Times:

In spring 2022, the Puget Sound community confronted the distressing prospect that insufficient funds could shut down Seattle Central College’s culinary program and other important workforce programs at Seattle Colleges. These are accessible, high-quality public programs that prepare skilled workers for good jobs in sectors that fuel our economy, including culinary, maritime, construction and apparel.

After the public became aware of this potential outcome, our businesses, legislators and college’s staff rallied and bought these programs time. But we will face the same dilemma again, at community and technical colleges across the state, if we don’t do more.


GeekWire: Privacy bill aims to protect health data on apps and websites in Washington state

GeekWire writes:

Healthcare privacy has gained extra urgency as states such as Missouri pass prohibitions against abortion and seek to limit women from obtaining abortions in other states, said Washington state Rep. Vandana Slatter (D-Redmond), the sponsor of the House version of the bill (HB 1155). Period tracking apps, for instance, can disclose information about abortions or miscarriages, and the new law would shield such data.

Read the article here.

KUOW: Period tracking apps would have to follow new WA health privacy laws if this bill passes

KUOW writes:

Some lawmakers in Washington state want to change that, and have introduced a bill around how consumer data is shared.

Democratic Rep. Vandana Slatter represents Washington’s 48th legislative district, which covers much of the Eastside, including Redmond, Bellevue, and Kirkland. She is sponsoring HB 1155, which addresses the collection, sharing, and selling of consumer health data.

“Someone can actually track you, and target you, in some way that can be really harmful,” Slatter said.

Read the article here.

The Times recommends: Rep. Vandana Slatter for the 48th Legislative District, House Position 1

Rep. Vandana Slatter is a capable legislator with an eye on the future and a keen understanding of the complex nature of thorny public-policy issues. Among them: transportation, public safety, workforce readiness and health.

Since her 2017 appointment and subsequent election representing the 48th Legislative District, the Bellevue Democrat has been a thoughtful and consistent public servant. In the Aug. 4 primary, voters should return her to Olympia to continue the work in Position 1.

Slatter, who is co-chair of the House of Representative’s Science, Technology and Innovation Caucus, has two decades’ experience as a clinical scientist. She is an effective legislator comfortable working where policy areas intersect.

Her work promoting career-connected learning opportunities and other policies that encourage innovation and equity in science, technology, engineering and math education earned her the legislator of the year award from Washington STEM.

This past session, she helped increase youth access to critical behavioral health care services, sponsoring legislation that provides sustainable funding for the children’s mental telehealth services consultation program and the tele-behavioral health video call center.

When discussing transportation issues with editorial board members, Slatter deftly mapped out the complex interconnected issues that must be considered in crafting a forward-looking, comprehensive plan.

Similarly, in discussions of police reform and public safety, she takes a big-picture view of the mental-health, substance-abuse and other safety-net services that are essential to effective reform.

Slatter’s Republican challenger, Victor H. Bishop, of Bellevue, is a transportation engineer with a deep knowledge of related issues, but he lacks Slatter’s breadth of experience and perspective. Scott Dusenbery, who lists no party preference, has a clear passion for reducing economic inequality but no civic track record to show an ability to translate that passion into effective action.

Slatter is clearly the best person for the job.

Read more here!

Rep. Vandana Slatter is WCV’s 2020 Legislator of the Year

Washington Conservation Voters Selects Representative Vandana Slatter as its 2020 Legislator of the Year 

Slatter delivers on promise to achieve carbon free future

Washington Conservation Voters, Washington’s political voice for the environment, is proud to announce Representative Vandana Slatter (D-48), as its 2020 Legislator of the Year. Rep. Slatter led a multi-year effort to pass HB 2311, Climate Pollution Limits, updating Washington state’s goals for reducing climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions to bring them in line with current science and include the role of sequestration in our state’s climate policy. This policy puts the State of Washington on a trajectory to pass future carbon reducing laws to meet those aggressive limits.

Rep. Slatter was first appointed then elected to the House of Representatives in 2017 and represents the state’s 48th Legislative District. From her first run for Bellevue City Council to this year’s re-election campaign, WCV has endorsed and supported her candidacy in each of her races.

Rep. Slatter first introduced HB 2311 during the 2019 session, and again re-introduced it as an Environmental Priorities Coalition Priority in 2020 where it passed both Chambers of the Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee.

“Representative Slatter set the stage to not only achieve Washington’s greenhouse gas emission targets but also invest in Washington’s workers, ensure equitable policies, and recognize the role of natural and working lands to reduce climate pollution,” said Shannon Murphy, Chief Campaigns Officer for Washington Conservation Voters. “From her first day in Olympia, Rep. Slatter has worked tirelessly to ensure Washington has a more sustainable and livable future. The Climate Pollution Limits bill is one critical step in that long journey,” Murphy added.

“As a Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee, Rep. Slatter has successfully promoted green transportation legislation and has advocated for investments in transit, stormwater, and alternative fuels in transportation revenue discussions heading into the 2021 session,” said Darcy Nonemacher, Government Affairs Director for Washington Conservation Voters.

“Climate change is an existential threat, already disrupting our present and putting our future at risk. To effectively take on this challenge, we have no choice but to respond with action that matches the demands of modern climate science,” said Slatter. “By reducing pollution in transportation, buildings, and industry, the climate limits law we passed guides Washington state’s efforts to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global climate change.”

She added, “It took multiple legislative sessions, an outpouring of community activism, and hard work from colleagues and advocates to set these new targets. I am honored to be named WCV’s Legislator of the Year, and I am committed to taking on this crisis by following the science, fighting for climate justice, and ensuring a healthy environment for generations to come.”

A medical scientist and pharmacist, Dr. Vandana Slatter represents the 48th Legislative District, which includes parts of Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland and all of Clyde Hill, Medina, Yarrow Point and Hunts Point. She currently serves on three House committees: College & Workforce Development; Innovation, Technology & Economic Development; and Transportation (2nd Vice Chair).


Statement on the Murder of George Floyd

The pain we are experiencing is real and raw, and has opened many conversations with people I love and care about. Thank you for sharing your heart and your hurt for justice.

‘Truth is like a lion. You cannot defend it. Let it free and it will defend itself.’ (unclear source; St. Augustine?)

The murder of Mr. George Floyd reveals a truth – a savage truth that many people live and die with every single day – a truth the rest of us comfortably avoid, every single day.

I don’t know the answers, I only dare hope – that we have the courage to face this truth and work together, because without a brave and working hope, we cannot build a future worthy of our children. 🖤

#BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #ListeningAndLearning

– Rep. Vandana Slatter

Washington House passes bill to release college transcripts regardless of fees

College graduates could get their transcript even if there’s a hold on their account due to unpaid parking or library fees, under a bill that passed the House.

“We want them to take the next step to building their future, to go into the workforce or complete their education,” said bill sponsor Rep. Vandana Slatter, D-Bellevue.

Universities and colleges couldn’t deny students their transcripts because of unpaid fees under the bill. Universities could only withhold a transcript if a student has not paid tuition fees and could only withhold registration privileges if there’s unpaid tuition or room and board.

A proposed amendment would have required a study on the withholding of transcripts and collected information on what colleges did before their unpaid fees were sent to debt collectors, said Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden.

“We heard in testimony that the average student debt is somewhere around $2,000 per student,” she said.

Withholding transcripts for unpaid debt is an important tool for colleges to have, Van Werven said. If they can’t use that tool, they may send debts to a collection agency quicker, which will have long-term impacts on a student’s financial history, she said

But studying the system wouldn’t provide the assistance students need, Slatter said. “We need to begin by helping them now.”

Lawmakers are collecting information from universities across the state on withholding transcripts, Slatter said.

Van Werven’s amendment failed on a voice vote.

The bill that passed would require colleges and universities to report to the state annually on their transcript withholding practices.

Many colleges withhold transcripts, which limits a student’s ability to use them to apply for financial assistance or for jobs, Slatter said.

The bill was passed to the Senate on a 59-39 vote.

House passes bill to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

The Washington State House of Representatives passed a measure Sunday 55-41 that would aim to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Washington’s emission targets have not been updated since 2008.

“It is vital that our target for reduction of carbon pollution be scientifically accurate and reflect what we know. The consequences of falling short will be extremely harmful and can significantly impact future generations,” Rep. Vandana Slatter, the bill’s sponsor, said in a press release.

HB 2311 would also require state agencies to set long- and short-term goals for meeting emission reduction benchmarks, establish carbon capture and sequestration as state policy, and increase reporting about greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires and other sources.

New targets could come despite Washington falling short of meeting the current goals. Lawmakers argue that the aggressive emissions targets are necessary to integrate accurate information regarding climate change into policy, even if key players cannot always meet them.

“Based on the current science and emissions trends, as reported by the department of ecology and the climate impacts group at the University of Washington, the legislature finds that avoiding global warming of at least one and one-half degrees Celsius is possible only if global greenhouse gas emissions start to decline precipitously, and as soon as possible,” the bill states.

Updates to the bill expedite emissions deadlines by 5-10 years.

Two lawmakers were excused from this weekend’s vote and the bill now moves on to a Senate committee for consideration.

Washington STEM Announces Legislators of the Year

After a statewide nomination process, Washington STEM is pleased to announce that the 2019 Legislator of Year award is being given to Representative Vandana Slatter (LD 48) and Representative Mike Steele (LD 12).

Washington STEM’s Legislator of the Year Award is presented annually to members of the State Legislature who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in advancing legislation and policies that promote excellence, innovation, and equity in science, technology, engineering, and math education for all Washington students, especially those furthest from opportunity. To be considered for the award, legislators must demonstrate an awareness and interest of equity in STEM education in their respective communities, actively engage in Washington STEM’s two focus areas- Career Pathways and Early STEM, and advocate for improved policies and practices as they relate to STEM education.

Rep. Vandana Slatter, District 48

Representative Vandana Slatter represents the 48th Legislative District, which includes parts of Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland and all of Clyde Hill, Medina, Yarrow Point, and Hunts Point. She currently serves on three House committees: College & Workforce Development; Innovation, Technology & Economic Development; and Transportation. She is also the founder and Co-chair of the Science, Technology and Innovation Caucus, and serves on the Future of Work Task Force, the Electric Airplane Working Group, and the Sustainable Aviation Biofuels Work Group. Rep. Slatter was a primary sponsor of the Career Connect Washington legislation during the 2019 session, which has the goal of 100% of Washington students participating in Career Exploration and Career Preparation activities, and 60% of all students participating in a Career Launch program by 2030. Rep. Slatter is also a leader within the Members of Color Caucus.

Rep. Mike Steel, District 12
Rep. Mike Steele, District 12

Representative Mike Steele represents the 12th District, which includes all of Chelan and Douglas counties and parts of Grant and Okanogan counties. He has been a committed legislative partner with the Apple STEM Network for the last five years. Rep. Steele is passionate about education, early childhood learning, career connected learning and STEM, and family-wage career pathways. Last year, he was the primary sponsor for house bill 2SHB 1424, which empowers students to use career and technical education courses, and career preparation work, to fulfill high school graduation requirements. Rep. Steele currently serves on three House committees: Education, Appropriations, and Capital Budget. He is deeply committed to making responsible policy that serves students in rural areas as well as those in more metropolitan areas of the state.

Washington STEM will be hosting a Legislative Reception on January 28 from 5:30 pm-7:00 pm at the WET Science Center in Olympia to thank these two legislators for their partnership in the 2019 Legislative session. The reception will include business, education, and community members from across the state.