Progressive policy corner – Working Families Tax Credit

A historic vote was made by the Senate last week to finally fund the Working Families Tax Credit, which will invest resources to support working class people and lower-income families in our community. Many families continue to struggle to afford basic needs even with members of the household working. Studies have shown that the most effective way to support our working poor families is by investing in them, and this bill will help to send between $300 and $1,200 to hundreds of thousands of families in need across the state.

The bill to create a tax credit was created in 2008 but was never funded. But this session, we are investing in families and stimulating our local economies by finally funding the program. On top of other policies we have passed to fix our upside-down tax code, this is a great step forward.[/vc_column_text]

Clean Fuel Standard

Last weekend, I voted yes on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard after sponsors heard and addressed my concern about disparate negative impacts it could have on poor, low-income, and POC families in our community. The bill is an important step in transitioning our economy away from fossil fuels and towards a more sustainable future for generations to come. However, to ensure none of our most vulnerable neighbors are disproportionately impacted by any costs associated with the policy, I also expressed to the sponsors that collecting data on impacts and potentially adjusting the policy was a key component of the bill.

The lower-income families in our District and displaced families from Seattle commuting to and from their minimum-wage jobs are already paying a large portion of their income to fill up their tanks. As a lifelong advocate for working class families, it is my top priority to ensure policies do not have unintended consequences on our neighbors in the 11th District. In this case, that means creating an opportunity for oversight on the impact of a Clean Fuel Standard on gas prices.

I have seen many improvements in the bill as it continues through the legislative process. There are serious efforts now to evaluate any potential impact that the legislation may have on gas prices in Washington after it has been implemented.

I stand with the working families in the 11th District, and I stand with our communities of color and lower-income neighbors who are already experiencing the impacts of climate change on their health and wellbeing. I will continue to take guidance from our community about the policies that impact them, and this bill was no exception to that.


Free credit monitoring

The State Auditor is making free credit monitoring available to the people of Washington. This is part of their response to the data breach in which unemployment claim information was stolen from Accellion, a third-party contractor of the State Auditor’s Office.

If you filed for unemployment in Washington, you may have received an email from the State Auditor Office with a “Personalized Activation Code” to enroll in Experian’s credit monitoring and identity restoration programs. If you did not receive that email, you can find instructions to access the services here: Enrollment will be open until 6/6/2021.

Keep up the good work!

Every adult over 16 years old is now eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine in Washington! If you’re looking to get a vaccine, be sure to check the Department of Health’s website for appointments near you.

Even with all the progress we’ve made to get shots in arms and especially now that the sun has come out, it’s important that we all continue to do our part to curb the spread of the virus. Keep staying home, masking up, and practicing physical distancing.

Remember that you can always reach out to my office with input or questions about what’s happening in Olympia. Stay tuned in as we finish this session strong!


In solidarity,

Bob Hasegawa