Dear friends and neighbors,   

In just a little over a week, the 2024 legislative session will convene on Jan. 8. My team and I are already hard at work championing our communities’ priorities, as we continue our efforts alongside you to make the 28th district a place where everyone can truly thrive. 

2023 legislation passed 

I’m happy to report several of my bills passed the Legislature, with all signed into law. 

  • The Recess Act, SB 5257, ensures adequate recess for all students — as recommended by scientists, parents, and kids. Recess isn’t just a fun break from class, it’s an essential part of a child’s development.  
  • Highly Capable Programs offer accelerated learning and enhanced instruction to advanced students. SB 5072 aims to remove systemic barriers and provide appropriate education for high intelligence children of all demographics.  
  • Transit is an integral part of connecting our neighborhoods and cities and regions. Delays in service can seriously disrupt schedules for our community members, especially those relying on transit. SB 5317 allows Sound Transit to directly contact a towing company to remove a vehicle from Sound Transit right-of-way, rather than the current required practice of initiating a police response first.  
  • The Crime Victims Compensation Program has played a crucial role in ensuring that survivors receive appropriate treatment and that perpetrators are held responsible. SB 5070 maintains access to necessary resources.  
  • Previously, survivors and witnesses could request notification when an incarcerated person is released from prison, but this notification was not protected by the Public Records Act. That means formerly incarcerated individuals can access the names of those who requested to be notified through a public disclosure request. Now, with SB 5081, the information about requesting victims and witnesses is exempt from the PRA. 

2023 Budget wins 

With a cost-effective approach and multiple streams of funding, we passed three budgets to fund critical services, infrastructure and transportation projects across Washington. 

The capital budget had some exciting investments for the 28th, such as: 

  • $258,000 for the Anderson Island Multipurpose Building 
  • $309,000 for cultural improvements to Fort Steilacoom Park by the Nisqually Indian Tribe and the City of Lakewood 
  • $460,000 for the Gravelly Lake Commons at LASA in Lakewood 
  • $215,000 for the Old Fort Lake Subarea remediation and public access project in DuPont 
  • $200,000 for the restoration of the Tribal Cultural Center and Museum in Steilacoom 
  • $200,000 for design work on the Day Island Bridge in University Place 
  • $153,000 to improve the intersection of Electron Way and Contra Costa Ave in Fircrest 
  • $200,000 for the 57th Ave sewer project in University Place 
  • $500,000 for the Children’s Therapy Center in Lakewood 

The operating budget funded several priorities we outlined this year, including: 

  • $2.9 billion in new money for our schools and an emphasis on special education services 
  • $424 million to transform behavioral and mental health care and for drug treatment 
  • $298 million towards housing and immediate shelter needs 
  • $457 million for enhancements to the Working Connections Child Care program 
  • $123 million for wildfire suppression and forest health activities 
  • $20 million for community and technical colleges

And the transportation budget invests in: 

  • Puyallup Ave. transit 
  • Creating safe routes to school at 31st and Parkway 
  • Several improvements to I-5, including the JBLM Corridor, the Nisqually Delta, and the HOV lane from 38th to JBLM 
  • Tacoma Narrows Bridge preservation 
  • Pierce County Transit improvements 
  • Rail improvement at 6th and S. 19th St. 
  • Ferry landings at Anderson Island and Steilacoom 

During the interim, I’ve traveled not just around the district and state but throughout the country for legislative meetings, tours, conferences, and events. 

Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve been up to:  

Council of State Governments Toll Fellowship 

I was honored to be selected for the Council of State Governments 2023 Toll Fellowship. For it, I attended an intensive five-day leadership development program in Lexington, Kentucky, alongside 47 of the nation’s top officials from all three branches of state government. Our graduation ceremony was held earlier this month in Raleigh, North Carolina, during the 2023 CSG National Conference.  

National Conference of State Legislatures Leaders’ Symposium 

As part of my role as majority whip, I attended the National Conference of State Legislatures Leaders’ Symposium in Coronado, California. I was able to hone my communications skills, as well as network with state legislative leaders from across the U.S.  

Early Childhood Leadership Summit 

I joined early childhood advocates and other elected officials for the Early Child Leadership Summit in Nashville, Tennessee. I had the chance to learn the latest research, innovations, and policy successes for young children, families, the early childhood workforce, as well as state economic implications. I also was able to collaborate with other state elected officials and early childhood administrators to look at data and develop goals specific to Washington state. 

Early Learning Policy Academy 

Similarly, I also attended the Early Learning Policy Academy at Stanford Graduate School of Education in Stanford, California. The Academy helps equip state policy leaders, like me, with the information we need to make informed decisions about early childhood education. 

Additional interim activities 

Some other activities I was honored to participate in after session were: 

  • Attending the Alliance for Gun Responsibility conference 
  • Visiting with the Elk Plain School of Choice’s 7th grade humanities class 
  • Judging the kids’ bake-off at Fircrest Fun Days 
  • Touring the Port of Tacoma with the Northwest Seaport Alliance 
  • Attending the Congressional Black Caucus in D.C., where I had the chance to meet and speak with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff 
  • Riding along with Steilacoom Police Department Chief Tom Yabe 
  • Joining my colleagues for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium 
  • Visiting the Children’s Therapy Center in Lakewood, which I helped secure $500,000 in funds through the capital budget 
  • Earlier this month, my colleagues and I met in Olympia for Committee Assembly Days. This two-day event serves as an opportunity for committees to gather and hold work sessions to discuss issues that are likely to arise during the upcoming session. 

My priorities 

In 2024, I remain focused on finding ways to invest in and lower costs for families and students. 

 Here are just some of the bills I’m working on: 

 Stay tuned for a more in-depth overview of all my legislation in future updates! 

Budget request process 

Every odd year, we are tasked with passing three budgets — capital, operating, and transportation — to fund the state for the next two years. In even years, we pass supplemental budgets, which allows us to address any unforeseen circumstances or changes in financial need. 

The capital budget helps fund local and community infrastructure projects. While the operating budget focuses on state agencies and critical programs and services. Requests for funding can be submitted for both budgets. 

Since this is a 60-day session, deadlines will approach quickly — Jan. 26 for the capital and Feb. 2 for operating. To receive either budget request forms, please contact our office ASAP 

How to participate 

Below you will find a variety of helpful resources that make it easy for you to be part of the legislative process, from start to finish. These offer you the tools needed to testify in real time on a bill, submit written testimony, keep engaged, and track all the policies being considered in Olympia. You can even sign up for free committee notifications on a particular bill of interest and be the first to know each time it takes a step in the legislative process. 

Senate Page Program 

Want to learn more about your state government? Apply to be a page 

Pages are students aged 14 through 16 who serve for one week during the legislative session. During that week, they spend time in Page School learning about the legislative process while also distributing materials throughout the Capitol campus, assisting legislators, working on the Senate floor, and presenting the colors at the opening of each day’s legislative session. Pages receive pay during their week in Olympia. Scholarships are also available for pages from families with financial need, and housing is available with host families in Olympia. 



Sen. T’wina Nobles