Friends and neighbors,
The 2022 legislative session finished last month on March 10 after a whirlwind 60 days of negotiating bills and budgets, and it marked the first time since 1899 that the Washington State Legislature has finished on time for five sessions in a row. Even with large budgets and pressing issues facing the state, we worked through our differences and passed legislation that will help our neighbors.
Investing in our state
The supplemental operating budget passed this session invests deeply in our communities and neighbors. We invested in education by supporting teachers and ensuring students will have access to nurses and counselors in their schools. We invested in poverty reduction to help ensure fewer of our neighbors go hungry – especially those with disabilities and young people.
We also put money back into the pockets of working people around the state, especially those whose small businesses have struggled because of the pandemic. More than 125,000 small businesses across the state will no longer pay a state business tax, and all employers will see $214 million in unemployment insurance tax relief to address the historically high unemployment rates since the onset of the pandemic. These steps are crucial to ensuring the small businesses that make up the backbone of our economy and neighborhoods can continue to exist.
You can read more about our budget and many of the great policy bills we passed this session here.
Other budgets and bills passed this year
On top of generous statewide investments that will support Washington as a whole, the capital budget passed this session also provides funding for local projects that will support our community in the 11th Legislative District.
- $250,000 for Access to Our Communities in Tukwila, to safeguard the rights of our refugee neighbors by providing safe and affordable housing in South King County.
- $258,000 for the Tukwila Teen Senior Intergenerational Center in Tukwila
- $309,000 for South Park Riverside Affordable Housing Preservation
- $258,000 for a pedestrian boardwalk on May Creek Trail in Renton
- $309,000 for affordable housing preservation in South Park
From supporting students, to creating more affordable housing options for our neighbors, to big investments in public transportation and our transportation infrastructure – this year we prioritized the future of our state and the people that live and work here.
Unfortunately, a couple of my bills, both joint memorials urging Congress to act at the national level, didn’t make it through the House this year despite passing with bipartisan votes in the Senate. SJM 8004 would have helped resolve issues relating to “de-risking” by financial institutions and made sure our immigrant and refugee neighbors who send money to family back home could access financial services, and SJM 8006 would have urged Congress to enact a national infrastructure bank, which is similar to a publicly owned state bank but at a national scale, and would use existing resources to create $5 trillion in new lending capacity and create 25 million good family wage jobs).
While I am eager to keep up work on important issues like implementing a publicly owned state bank in Washington and fully investing in the needs of our communities, we have made big progress on a multitude of issues.
Stay in touch
As always, none of the bills passed this session would have been possible without your input, which was at historically high levels. Please feel free to reach out to my office directly with any questions or concerns. Stay safe and healthy.