Friends and neighbors,

We are now more than halfway through this year’s legislative session in Olympia, and we are already seeing progress on key issues like affordable housing, behavioral health, ferry service and environmental protections. We will continue working fast and furious to pass dozens of bills before the legislative session ends on March 7.

Telephone Town Hall on February 21

I hope you will save the date for our 40th District telephone town hall on Wednesday, Feb. 21st at 6:30 p.m. My seatmates, Representatives Debra Lekanoff and Alex Ramel, will join me to answer questions and provide an update on the 2024 session. If you have a question to ask in advance of the event, you can use this this form. To participate in the town hall on Feb. 21st, call 877-229-8439 and enter the PIN 116359. If you are a registered voter within the 40th LD, you may also receive a call the day of, and a reminder the day before.

Bills on the move

Here’s a quick update on a few bills I am sponsoring this session.

  • Improving recycling (HB 2049): I’m extremely excited to see the WRAP Act still alive in the House. (I sponsored the Senate version – SB 6005.) This bill would represent a major victory for consumers who are sick and tired of plastic pollution. The bill would establish a program to increase recycling rates and incentivize companies to reduce packaging and switch to reusable, compostable, or recyclable alternatives.
  • Geothermal electricity production (SB 6039): My bill to advance our state’s exploration of geothermal electricity has advanced out of committee and is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor. The legislation represents a big step forward as we search for clean, renewable, baseload electricity to support the energy needs in our communities.
  • Increasing affordable housing (SB 5334): My bill to give local governments new revenue options to fund affordable housing has already passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote. The bill would allow counties or cities to boost housing programs, homeless housing assistance, and other services through an excise tax on the sale of lodging in short-term rentals. Our city and county leaders are struggling to provide housing options in their communities, and this is a smart, targeted approach to ensure that more resources are available to build and maintain workforce and other needed housing across the state.

Ferry updates

Last month state ferry officials released a new service contingency plan to provide more predictability about service over the next few years. Like all of you, I remain frustrated with the current state of our ferries and I’m working hard to make sure the Legislature acts to make several improvements.

  • New vessels: We’ve changed our procurement process to get more vessels faster with the passage of House Bill 1846 last session. It expands our search for potential out-of-state builders – while also improving preferences for our local shipyards to keep them competitive – so we have more options. We hope to meet our goal of having multiple boats delivered as soon as possible. In the meantime, we’re looking into expanding passenger-only service to island residents.
  • Staffing: We are continuing to build on our strong interest in state-supported trade programs and have begun to graduate recruits to our fleet. Our new oiler-to-mechanic and AB-to-mate programs are getting these essential crew members the training they need to join the team at WSF. Additionally, we’re increasing the minimum crew standards to avoid cancellations so you can count on the sailing schedule.

Thanks for taking the time to read my newsletter, and I hope you’ll join our telephone town hall on Feb. 21. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions at

Best wishes,