This Thursday I went to Olympia to meet with one of my representatives of district 5, Paul Graves, to talk about house bill 1169 which concerns student loan default and revoking the license of professionals who default on their loans. The bill essentially does two things. Firstly, it creates a state funded hotline for people who default on their loans for free consultation on the next step and ensures that these consultants are from a nonprofit. Secondly, it changes the state law that allows governing boards to strip away someone’s license if they default on their student loans. For example, if you went to beauty school and got your cosmology license, which could be stripped from you if you default on your student loans. Representative Graves voted for the bill and it has passed on to the senate.
During our meeting I expressed my support for the bill in general, but that I did not think that at hotline of that sort was going to solve the problem. I suggested that a better way of consolidating student loans into a single account that would allow for a forecast of future payments for students would be very beneficial and bring to light what their loans will mean for future payments. When I expressed these I was very surprised that he did not voice an opinion on what I said but instead took it as someone’s opinion on a problem that needs to be dealt with.
Another issue that we discussed was k-12 education. That is a hot topic in Olympia and I expressed my concern that too much funding for schools comes from individual contributions from PTSA members. I explained that I went to liberty high school in the Issaquah school district and we felt left out and forgotten a lot of the time because the demographics in that area are more blue-collar jobs and less white-collar/tech jobs which leads to less funding from PTSA and less money towards the school. When I asked if any bills were proposed that addressed this issue he said there was a ton of things being brought out of committee that address multiple issues but he couldn’t list the bill number of the top of his head but a quick google search should pop it up.
Before I left I handed him my printout of house bill 1169 with my margin marks and opinions on the bill and he was very appreciative. However, I have not met someone who talks as fast as Representative Paul Graves in my life. Honestly quite impressive.
Overall the trip down to Olympia was and enlightening and not bad of a drive either. I left my apt at 7:45am and I was parked and in his office by 9:10am. In addition I have never driven around the capitol building. So for me I had to learn where everything was and how parking worked but it wasn’t very difficult to figure out. Once I was parked, the O’Brian building can be quite intimidating for someone who has never been to Olympia. Trying to find the right elevator that didn’t require a key card to get to the 4th floor to Rep. Graves office was a bit of a struggle but I triumphed after my 3rd elevator attempt. The trip definitely brought to light that the people who are working in Olympia as our representatives are genuine people who want the best for their respective county instead of incompetent idiots that it feels that most people thinks of all politicians.