An Eatonville-area lawmaker's goal of improving the University of Washington’s diversity in awarding contracts for capital projects has passed in the state Senate.

Senate Bill 5631, sponsored by Sen. Randi Becker, would make the contracting process more inclusive of women-owned and minority-owned businesses in projects that involve critical patient care or highly specialized medical research. The bill passed in the Senate on a vote of 45-4 and now awaits action by the House of Representatives.

“I’m so pleased to see such sweeping support for giving our diverse community better representation in the contracting process at our state’s largest university,” a Republican from the Second Legislative District that includes Eatonville, Ashford, Graham and other parts of south Pierce County. “Minority-owned businesses should be sought out and included as prime contractors if they meet all other criteria.”