Rep. Sam Low sees first bill head to governor

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CONTACT: Nick Jacob, Senior Public Information Officer | 360-786-5097

Rep. Sam Low sees first bill head to governor

With just a few weeks left in the 2023 legislative session, Rep. Sam Low, R-Lake Stevens, has seen his first bill passed by the Legislature. House Bill 1031 makes it easier to honor everyday people who put their lives on the line to save another with the Washington State Medal of Valor.

The Washington State Medal of Valor was created in 2000 after being passed in the 1999 legislative session. It recognizes civilians who save or try to save another’s life at the risk of serious injury or death to themselves. In 2015, the Legislature updated the law to make groups eligible in order to award the Medal of Valor to the communities of Oso, Arlington, Darrington, and the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe for their heroic rescue efforts during the 2014 Oso Landslide that claimed the lives of 43 people.

If the governor signs House Bill 1031, it would further update the law by removing barriers that only allow it to be presented during a joint session of the Legislature and that limit the governor’s ability to designate a presenter to only in circumstances when the governor is disabled or ill.

“People across the state do wonderful, great, and fantastic things. But in rare instances there are people that go above and beyond at risk to their own lives to rescue the life of another. These people deserve to be recognized,” said Low.

The Washington State Medal of Valor has only been awarded 12 times since its creation – the most recent in 2015.

“I thank my Senate and House colleagues for recognizing the benefit of making these changes and getting this bill to the governor’s desk,” said Low. “Removing the barriers to when the award can be presented and who can present the award will give more flexibility to the process and help to make sure people are recognized for their heroic efforts.”

The 2023 legislative session is Low’s first session as a state representative. House Bill 1031 is the first of his bills to pass the Legislature. A second bill sponsored by Rep. LowHouse Bill 1271 to help organ transport vehicles quickly and safely deliver life-saving organs to patients in need – is also nearing final passage.

Previous Washington State Medal of Valor winners here.

Watch Rep. Low’s floor speech on HB 1031.


Washington State House Republican Communications