Dear friends and neighbors,  

The 2024 legislative session has officially come to an end! During the last week, we passed our supplemental capital, operating and transportation budgets.  

I’m happy to share that the capital budget funds important projects Reps. Beth Doglio, Jessica Bateman and I requested to help the 22nd District. Here are some highlights:  

Puget Sound Estuarium property 

The Puget Sound Estuarium provides meaningful environmental education experiences in our South Sound community. The organization is working to purchase the property where the current visitor center is located and develop it into a new facility.  

The capital budget includes $250,000 to help the organization purchase the parcel, so it can continue fostering learning opportunities that inspire people to enjoy and protect the unique estuary environment of Puget Sound.  

Medical Equipment Bank building  

The Medical Equipment Bank collects new and used donated medical equipment that can be reused for free by those in need, including older adults, adults with disabilities, unpaid family caregivers and low-income families. The program, run by the Thurston County Council on Aging, helps people live healthier, safer and more active lives.   

The owner plans to redevelop the property where the organization is currently located. The capital budget includes $250,000 to help the Medical Equipment Bank purchase a new home on Pacific Ave. in Olympia. 

City of Lacey Regional Public Safety Training Center  

Every year we make critical investments to support law enforcement and public safety.   

The capital budget also includes $50,000 toward a new regional public safety training center in Lacey that would help ensure peace officers and mental health professionals have a facility to train and learn new skills like de-escalation tactics and safety techniques.   

Tumwater Mazama Pocket Gopher Habitat and Restoration   

The City of Tumwater and the Port of Olympia are developing a habitat conservation plan that protects the federally endangered Mazama Pocket Gopher and its prairie habitat, while still allowing current and future development to continue.   

The capital budget includes $2 million to help the City of Tumwater purchase 25 acres of land that will be restored to native prairie and sequester carbon.   

Transportation investments 

Our supplemental transportation budget further improves the way we travel in our state and community. The budget includes:  

  • $100 million in new funds to preserve roads, bridges and more statewide 
  • $30.8 million for traffic safety measures, including $9.8 million to help curtail speeding 
  • $7.2 million for the Washington State Patrol  
  • $2.5 million to combat impaired driving 
  • $150 million toward fish barrier removal to help expand the salmon population and restore river ecosystems    

Policy successes 

Three of my bills I’ve told you about made it through the Legislature and await a signature from the governor. They include bills to require semiautomatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in fitness centers; streamline the process for teachers who relocate to Washington and transfer their credentials, which is particularly helpful for military families; and make the process to close a library or library district more open and transparent.  

My farewell speech 

I gave my farewell speech on the Senate floor last week. It’s been an honor serving in the Legislature for the last 24 years. Click the photo above to see it!  

Check out this KING5 story about all of the retirements in the Legislature, including mine. 

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if you have questions at 360-786-7642 or I won’t be gone until January. You can also follow my official Facebook page for more updates throughout the year.