Reflecting on the historic 2022 session
The Legislature adjourned the 2022 session a month ago on March 10, and I’m still energized by all the incredible work we were able to accomplish in this short session! With only 60 days to pass policies that prioritize the needs of our neighbors, we approved investments in transportation, education, housing, and so much more.
We held another hybrid session with remote committee hearings, and yet again saw an increase in public participation in the legislative process. Keep reading to learn more about some of the exciting wins from session!
Moving Washington’s transportation sector ahead!
In my first session as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, we passed no shortage of policies that will make our transportation sector both more accessible for Washingtonians, and more sustainable so that future generations can enjoy our state’s great environment.
We passed a historic 16-year, nearly $17 billion transportation package that will invest in every corner of our state. From kids riding free on public transportation to increasing the size of our ferry fleet to investments in safe street designs, there is so much to be excited about. And to top if off, these investments are made without punting the cost to working families. That’s right, we funded this package without increasing the gas tax – instead relying on funding sources such as money from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Job Act and a transfer from the state general fund. Now that Governor Inslee has signed the package into law, I look forward to seeing these investments help folks from Mukilteo to Walla Walla and beyond.
You can read about more the of the investments included in Move Ahead Washington here!
Addressing gun violence
Our community in Mukilteo has seen the impacts of gun violence firsthand.
Nearly six years after the devastating shooting in Mukilteo, the Legislature has finally passed legislation to restrict the sale of high-capacity magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. This crucial policy will save lives by limiting the amount of rounds a shooter can fire, and I am grateful for the people who have shared their stories and made this policy a reality.
Additional legislation was also passed to address gun violence in our communities, including to ban open carry at public meetings and to prohibit weapons at elections offices, and to restrict untraceable “ghost guns.”
While we still have work to do to ensure our students and neighbors are safe, we took crucial steps forward this session.
Supporting seniors and student loan borrowers
On top of the bills above, plenty of other policies were passed to put people first and address the needs of our communities. Two of my bills to support vulnerable seniors passed the Legislature and have been signed into law –
- SB 5508 ensures that Washingtonians who pay for private long-term care insurance can receive benefits when they are needed most.
- SB 5745 increases the amount of monthly income retained by Medicaid long-term care clients receiving in-home personal care from $1,074 to $2,382 – the federal maximum.
As a member of the Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee, I was also proud to sponsor legislation that increases access to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program – helping to relieve borrowers of debt. Stay tuned to hear more about the investments made for students and education this year.
Stay in touch
Your voice and feedback are a critical part of the legislative process, and I always value your ideas. You can reach out to my office with thoughts about the 2022 session and ideas for future sessions at Marko.Liias@leg.wa.gov