Today, the Washington State Senate Democratic caucus announced its committee assignments for the 2018 legislative session. The caucus is taking over management of the chamber in just a few weeks thanks to Manka Dhingra’s victory in the 45th District, which flipped the majority from Republican to Democratic.
Dhingra has been assigned to three committees: Transportation, Law & Justice, and Human Services & Corrections. Additionally, Dhingra will serve as Vice Chair of the latter two committees, set to be led by Jamie Pedersen (D‑43rd District: Seattle) and Jeannie Darneille (D‑27th District: Tacoma), respectively.
Committee vice chairs are traditionally tasked with the important work of getting legislation reported out of committee with a majority in support of a “do pass” recommendation. Committee chairs typically call upon their vice chairs during executive sessions to put forth motions to advance bills prior to calling for a vote.
As Vice Chair of the Senate’s Law & Justice and Human Services & Corrections Committees, Dhingra will be well positioned to influence the development and polishing of progressive public safety legislation.
It so happens that State Representative Roger Goodman is the House Democratic caucus’ lead on many of the issues those Senate committees have jurisdiction over. Goodman chairs the House Public Safety Committee and also sits on the House Judiciary Committee; he has represented the 45th in the House for a decade.
Serving from the same legislative district and in leadership positions on complementary legislative committees should give Goodman and Dhingra plenty of opportunities to work together for the betterment of Washington’s communities.
As mentioned, Dhingra will also be serving on the Senate Transportation Committee, which is one of the chamber’s largest, busiest, and most important committees. Transportation will be led in 2018 by Senator Steve Hobbs (D‑44th District: Lake Stevens and Snohomish County), who will be taking over from Curtis King.
Congratulations to Senator-elect Dhingra on her committee assignments. We look forward to seeing her in action in Olympia as the 2018 session unfolds.