Dear friends and neighbors,

The 2024 session has begun and I’m excited to be back! This is my 12th and final year in the Senate, and every time I come down here, I’m honored by the trust you’ve placed in me to be your voice in the Legislature. I will always work to represent our district and our values – fiscal responsibility, compassion for all, facts before ideology, and working for compromise in the middle whenever we can.

Just like in last year’s newsletters, I’d like to introduce you each week to a bill or issue I’m working on and update you on the progress as we go. In this first week of session, we’re holding a hearing in the Senate Education Committee about legislation I’m sponsoring this year on state assistance for school construction.

Here in the 5th Legislative District, voters usually support our school bonds, and we’re able to build and maintain modern, safe, energy-efficient schools for our kids to attend. Lots of places aren’t as lucky – they aren’t able to pass school bonds, and when they do, their property values are so low that they don’t get enough money to build what their kids need and deserve. In my role as the Senate leader on the capital budget (which funds construction projects, maintenance, and other physical projects across the state) it’s my responsibility to help every Washington student go to a great school, so I’m leading a legislative response to this issue.

We’re considering creative ideas for how the state capital budget can provide more help for school construction. The bill we’re hearing on Wednesday – SB 5789 – would have our School Construction Assistance Program cover the cost of sales tax on the building materials used in school construction and maintenance, so their costs are lower and they can build more with the money they’ve got. This is good for both the smaller, more rural districts, as well as more urban and suburban communities like ours.

What I like about this idea is that it’s so simple. No new complicated grant program, no big bureaucracy with hoops to jump through, they just send us the tax bill and we pay it for them so they can spend more money where it counts – on building schools. We’ve probably all interacted at one time or another with some government program that’s such a pain in the butt to deal with that it’s hardly worth the hassle – making it super straightforward for our school districts to work with seems like good government to me.

There are other good ideas we’re going to introduce and debate, but this is one I’m interested in. I’m also glad that my counterpart from the Senate Republicans is the first co-sponsor on the bill. With just 60 days in the short legislative session, there isn’t much time to act on this, but I’m hoping we can get it done.

As always, you can reach me at with your ideas and input. Whether we agree or not, I appreciate hearing from you. Thanks so much for the opportunity to serve!

Sen. Mark Mullet