Friends and neighbors,

Today is the last day of the legislative session in Olympia and I want to share a quick note about some of the progress the Legislature has made over the last two months. My bill to advance our state’s exploration of geothermal electricity is headed to Gov. Inslee’s desk to be signed into law. The legislation will help us chart a course toward a cleaner and more reliable energy source. More importantly, it includes nation-leading tribal consultation language to ensure we identify opportunities and risks associated with the development of geothermal resources. There is great potential for geothermal energy near Mt. Baker, and I am so excited to see progress on this resource that will support a sustainable economy, economic development, and energy independence.

New funding for community projects

The state’s capital construction budget includes several investments in the 40th district. Here’s a look at a few of the highlights from this year’s supplemental budget:

  • $2.2 million to address high PFAS levels in the Hannah Heights water supply on San Juan
  • $1.4 million to conserve a 184-acre parcel on the eastern edge of Blakely Island
  • $206,000 to plan for a new intergenerational community center and expanded aquatic facilities in Bellingham
  • $197,000 to support construction of the new Lopez Food Center
  • $125,000 for the expansion of the Port of Skagit Granary
  • $103,000 for sewer upgrades to support the goal of making Summit Park the education and cultural center of the Samish Indian Nation

Ferry investments

I have good news to share on ferry front. The final supplemental transportation budget includes key investments to improve service reliability, hire additional crew, and complete terminal improvements. There is also money to study future passenger-only ferry options in the San Juans. In addition to existing funding to convert two vessels to hybrid-electric power, the budget funds the conversion of a third Jumbo Mark II vessel to hybrid-electric power. The budget also continues to fund new vessels in the coming years. Our goal is to have multiple new boats in service as soon as possible, and this year’s budget keeps us on track.

We also secured the necessary vessel funding and resources to ensure kids ride free on the Guemes Ferry!

Our 40th District Dream Team worked hard this session to make sure your voice was heard in Olympia and we’ll keep up the pressure to ensure our ferry system works for the people who need it the most. Here are a few of the key investments:

  • $10 million for additional vessel crew members, both deck and engine, across the system
  • $2.1 million for two additional classes for able-bodied sailors to obtain mate credentials
  • $988,000 for additional entry-level engine room positions
  • $500,000 to study passenger only ferry options
  • $540,000 to support new mate scholarships
  • $169,000 to add an additional service planning position
  • $140,000 for an economic impact study of the state ferry system
  • $80,000 to add an additional Orcas Island sailing in the summer

Thanks for taking the time to read my newsletter. I’ll have more to report on this short but productive session in the coming days. I’m excited to be back at home in Anacortes full time and to see familiar faces. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions at

Best wishes,