Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, was elected Monday as caucus vice chair by her Democratic colleagues in the state Senate.
The second-year lawmaker will be a member of the caucus leadership team and will play a large role in determining which legislative priorities to advance in the 2021 session that begins Jan. 11.
“It’s such an honor to have the faith of my Senate colleagues,” Das said in a Senate Democratic Caucus news release. “In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, we need a unified Legislature with clear goals to help answer the many difficult challenges Washingtonians are facing. Our families and businesses need support and resources to get through this crisis, and I am confident we can meet the moment when we work together. I’m humbled and I’m ready to take on the vice chair role and help advance solutions for our state.”
Das replaces Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, as caucus vice chair. Hasegawa is now majority caucus chair, replacing John McCoy, of Tulalip, who retired earlier this year. Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, remains the Senate majority leader.
Das serves as the vice chair of the Senate Housing Affordability and Local Government Committee, and as a member of the Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee. For the first two sessions of her term, she was also a member of the Senate Financial Institutions, Economic Development and Trade Committee.
Das has been a vocal proponent of increased access to stable and affordable housing, as well as a champion for environmental protection policy, according to the news release. In her first two years as a state senator, she has passed a single-use plastic bag ban into law and has sponsored several bills that advance economic growth, affordable and sustainable housing development and issues of equity and inclusion.
Das represents the 47th Legislative District, which includes parts of Kent, Auburn and Covington.