Friends and neighbors,
We’re now well into the 2023 session and are continuing to hear proposed bills in committee meetings, and even starting to hear bills on the Senate floor. That means bills are making their way through the process towards becoming law, and that includes a few of the ideas I introduced this year.
Supporting minority contractors
It’s no secret that my top priority in office is to fight for our working-class neighbors across the 11th District and all of Washington, and this session is no different. A couple of the bills I introduced this session toward that goal were heard in committee last week, including two which would support and prioritize small businesses and minority-owned small businesses and contractors.
Senate Bill 5684 ensures that small businesses are considered and utilized for small public works projects – a process that has left them out in the past.
Senate Bill 5268 was recommended unanimously by the Capital Projects Advisory Review Board (C-PARB), which I serve on. It would ensure that there is a standardization process in public works contracting – leading to consistency and accessibility to sub-contractors. It would also help to remove barriers that many small contractors face when attempting to engage in public works projects.
I look forward to continuing to work on these bills and many others throughout the remainder of session.
Check out my legislative update videos
While we are in session, I try to keep you all updated on the legislative goings-on in Olympia, and that includes regular video updates every other week. Head to my website to watch select videos of floor speeches, my testimony on bills I introduce to the Committees, or videos from prior sessions (or click the photo above to watch my latest update from this week!).
Apply for the Working Families Tax Credit!
The other big news is the opening of eligibility last week for the Working Families Tax Credit, a policy we passed in 2021. This new annual tax refund for Washington residents is worth up to $1,200, depending on your income level and how many children you have in your household, and more than 500,000 Washington families will qualify.
You can see if you qualify and apply for the credit at www.workingfamiliescredit.wa.gov
Just as we need to fix our upside-down tax code by getting billionaires to pay what they owe, we need to reduce the share of taxes lower-income folks are paying to fund our schools and communities as well, and the Working Families Tax Credit is an important part of that.
Stay in touch
One of the best parts about being back in Olympia this session is getting to meet with folks from the 11th District to talk about the issues they care about. We had a special guest last week when Elisabeth Burton visited the office. Elisabeth’s grandmother was the late Senator Margarita Prentice, who served our 11th District from January 1993 until January 2013 and was in the House from 1988 to 1993. I am grateful for her past leadership for our District, and it was great to chat with Elisabeth about her grandmother’s legacy.
As always, your feedback is a crucial part of the lawmaking process. You can reach out to me at Bob.Hasegawa@leg.wa.gov or 360-786-7616 with feedback,. I look forward to hearing all your thoughtful ideas throughout the legislative session.