Rep. Jenny Graham sworn in at Spokane County Public Works Building

Sixth Legislative District lawmaker, Rep. Jenny Graham, R-Spokane, was sworn in to office this week at the Spokane County Public Works Building by Spokane County Clerk, Tim Fitzgerald.

The oath of office for Washington state legislators usually takes place during opening day ceremonies in Olympia at the beginning of each legislative session after the general election. However, with coronavirus social distancing and security concerns at the state capitol, many legislators are taking their oaths online or in their home counties.

“It's an honor to once again be chosen by my community members to fight for them and work on their behalf in Olympia,” said Graham, who begins her second term in office having first been elected to the Sixth District position two years ago. “Now, more than ever, we're going to have to get creative to find solutions and keep people engaged in a legislative process that has been reduced to online meetings, ZOOM calls and text messages.”

Graham, who has had COVID-19, said she would much rather be in Olympia practicing social distancing while fighting for her constituents. But the majority party has decided on a remote session for the 2021 year.

“It's not my call. I've made my opinion and my desires known. I want to be in Olympia – I think all legislators should be in Olympia and the public should have access to us,” said Graham. “The logistics of trying to run committee meetings, with member and public testimony, as well as floor action where we debate, introduce amendments, and vote on legislation is daunting. We've had several practice sessions already and I am not confident the peoples' work will be done in an open, transparent way that respects the rights of all legislators and the constituencies they represent.”

Graham will serve as the assistant ranking member on the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee. She will also serve on the House Public Safety Committee and the House State Government and Tribal Relations Committee.

The 105-day 2021 legislative session is scheduled to begin Monday, January 11.

PHOTO CAPTION: Spokane County Clerk Tim Fitzgerald administers the oath of office for Rep. Jenny Graham, R-Spokane, at the Spokane County Public Works Building.


Washington State House Republican Communications