Dear friends and neighbors,  

It’s week one of the 2024 legislative session! We have A LOT of important things to accomplish in just 60 days.  

Here’s what I have going on this week:  

On Tuesday, in the Senate State Government & Elections Committee, we’ll have a public hearing on Senate Bill 5824, a bill I’m sponsoring to make the process to dissolve a public library more open and transparent, and so all of those who could be affected have a say in what happens to their shared resource.  

Here’s the background: earlier this year, a public library east of Walla Walla came close to shutting down because of a dispute over the books that were in the library. Petitioners gathered enough signatures to put a measure to dissolve the Dayton Memorial Library on the ballot this past November. However, a Columbia County Court stopped this from happening 

According to reporting from the Seattle Times, roughly two-thirds of the 2,800 registered voters live in the City of Dayton, where the library is located, but since the library is structured as a rural library district, state law says only the approximately 1,000 voters who live outside the incorporated city can vote on what happens to the library, even though Dayton city residents also pay taxes to fund the library.  

My bill would make it so that in similar cases, petitioners would need to collect signatures from 35 percent of eligible voters in the district rather than 100 taxpayers and allow all qualified voters of a library district to have a say in what happens to their library.  

Also, in Senate Government & Elections at 1:30 p.m., we’ll have a hearing on Senate Bill 5856, a bill I’m sponsoring that would ensure there’s a clear process for challenging voter registrations.  

Over the summer, U.S. Navy Captain Mehdi Akacem got an official-looking letter in the mail that said he was in violation of Washington state law for living in Maryland (where his military base is) and not where he was registered to vote. According to the Messenger, he has a home in Washington state and votes in Washington’s elections by absentee ballot. Service members are legally allowed to do this vote in their state of residence, even if their military base is somewhere else.  

My bill seeks to make sure people like Akacem are not misled. It also makes clear that you are not required to respond to letters from private groups inquiring about your voter registration status like the one Akacem received.  

My bill would require voter eligibility challenges based on residence to use a form provided by the Secretary of State, specify that inactive voters are not subject to a voter eligibility challenge, and establish a ten-day timeline for a county auditor to determine if a voter eligibility challenge is in proper form and has a legal and factual basis, among other things.  

On Wednesday, in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Committee, we’ll have a public hearing on Senate Joint Resolution 8207 (paired with SB 5823), legislation I’m co-sponsoring with the chair of the committee, Sen. Lisa Wellman.  

If passed, voters would get to decide if they want to lower the threshold needed to pass a school bond. Currently, a 60% supermajority is needed to approve building new facilities, infrastructure updates, or safety upgrades in schools.    

For years, schools have struggled to pass bond issues–with schools, teachers and parents begging for the community’s support – often garnering more than 50 percent support but failing to get the needed supermajority.  

We’ll need two-thirds support from each chamber – at least 33 votes in the Senate (that’s 4 Republicans who would need to join Democrats) and 66 in the House – before the question can go before voters.  

Sign up to testify on a bill in person or remotely here. 

Watch committee hearings or floor debate on TVW.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you! If you have questions or concerns, you’re always welcome to reach out by phone at 360-786-7642 or email at 


Sam Hunt