After 12 years of service in the Washington State Legislature, Sen. Randi Becker, Senate Republican Caucus Chair has announced her retirement from public office. Becker plans to finish her current term but will not run for re-election in 2020.
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“It has truly been my honor to represent the 2nd legislative district for the past 12 years,” Becker said. “I am grateful my constituents trusted me to represent their voice and fight for their individual rights for over a decade. This has been the most challenging job that I’ve ever had, and the most humbling. Each year I served and spoke with people from my communities and around the state and I was reminded of how fortunate we are in this country. We have the ability to be involved, to serve and to speak out about the things that matter to us.”
Becker grew up on a dairy farm in Enumclaw and was first elected to the Senate in 2008 and began her first term in 2009. She and her husband Bob lived in the 2nd district for more than 40 years both in Spanaway and Eatonville. They moved to the Lacey-Olympia area in 2018 to be closer to the Capitol. After completing her term, they plan to enter their new “season” of life by spending more time rock hounding and remodeling their home in Wyoming.
“I was born and raised here in Washington — third generation,” Becker said. “It will always be home to me. I never planned to be a political person. I decided to serve because I truly thought I could make a difference. I have often told my constituents, I can’t always promise to vote the way that you would like, but I do promise to listen. I feel that I have done that well — and I have learned a lot along the way!”
As a former medical practice administrator, Becker has always been an advocate for health-care policy, especially telemedicine. The ability to bring your doctor to you and not the other way around is the wave of the future, and we will be relying on it more and more. The current public-health crisis and the spread of the coronavirus demonstrates a need for patients to receive assessment and care without having to leave home. Telemedicine could help contain infectious disease.
A priority bill that would provide at-risk young people access to counseling through telemedicine in schools was initially piloted in two school districts and will hopefully receive statewide expansion funding this session. This bill would require training for all staff and faculty so that everyone who encounters students during their school day will be trained to recognize the warning signs of someone who might be struggling, violent or in need of counseling.
“If we can get help to people earlier, we might be able to change the trajectory from what we are seeing in those needing mental-health assistance,” Becker said.
Realizing that there was not a state park or a college in the entire 2nd district, Becker set a goal to find the funding and establish a plan. Both of these things have now been implemented and plans continue to grow. There is currently a college at Graham Kapowsin High School where 50 percent of students are Running Start and 50 percent are people coming back to school.
“Always remember that this is YOUR government,” Becker said. “Participate, be involved and speak up. Run for office. And please VOTE! Take the time to educate yourself on the government process — our world is changing and if we continue to be educated by sound bites and tweets, the freedoms we have once known will be taken away. You matter, your family matters and we are here to partner with you. We can’t do everything, but if the people will stay involved, we will always be stronger together.”
This press release was distributed by The Washington State Senate Republican Caucus.
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