Dear friends and neighbors,  

The interim is already off to a busy start! I cannot wait to share with you what I have been up to. 

Scroll down for an update on my interim, as well as some helpful resources, additional highlights from the 2024 legislative session, and more:


 Legislative Updates 

I had the opportunity to discuss our legislative accomplishments with the cities of University Place and Lakewood, as well as answer questions from council members. I want to thank both cities for that chance and being such strong partners in this work. 

You can watch the University Place meeting here and Lakewood here. 


Pierce Transit Stream Line 

Did you hear the news? Pierce County has its first high-capacity transit line! As a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, I was able to attend the ribbon cutting and opening of Stream. This will help better connect our communities and make it easier for our neighbors to get where they need to go. 


Washington Trails Association Emerging Leaders Program 

I joined the Washington Trails Association’s Emerging Leader Program for a hike! ELP is a 14-week program designed for a diverse cohort of individuals who want to form an inclusive community and build leadership skills to support future career interests in natural-resource stewardship and outdoor recreation. I was so proud to help secure the funding needed to help get this special program off the ground in 2022.

JBLM Civilian Hall of Fame 

It was such a wonderful experience supporting Lakewood Deputy Mayor Mary Moss during her induction to the Civilian Hall of Fame at Joint Base Lewis-McChord! I can’t think of a more deserving person and am so grateful to be able to work alongside her in serving our community. 


UW Early Childhood Panel

I had the opportunity to participate on an Early Childhood panel at the University of Washington and discuss the importance of BIPOC representation in this work, so we can ensure ALL of our children are set up for success from the very beginning. 


Black Maternal Health Week 

I joined the BLK Mamas Collective in celebration of Black Maternal Health Week to discuss the work the Legislature has done to improve reproductive justice in Washington and maternal health outcomes, specifically for our communities of color.  


Black Wellness Week 

Thanks to a proclamation by the governor, Washington just celebrated its first Black Wellness Week April 15-19! In honor of this, the City of University Place made its own proclamation recognizing the week and its importance. You can watch the video here. 


Upcoming Interim Events 

I will attend the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP)’s Elected Officials Council meeting Wednesday, May 2, in Dupont. This is a great opportunity to ensure we’re best supporting our military members and their families. 

That same day in Dupont, I will also be there for the Purple Heart sign unveiling and Congressional Gold Medal award ceremony. 


In the interim, the Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee intends to research current state-funded initiatives in support of financial aid filing. Staff will collect data on FAFSA completion rates in regions with financial aid completion initiatives and continue to monitor FAFSA completion rates statewide as they compare to other states.   

Multiple laws establish requirements for college and university boards of trustees and regents, including responsibilities such as employing the president, approving contracts, setting tuition rates, acquiring property, and granting tenure. So, we will also inventory these duties across institutions, comparing board responsibilities within and across states wherever feasible.   

And we plan to help provide support to the local StriveTogether forums, which serve as an opportunity to learn promising practices for policy implementation and connect with policymakers and administrators on improving outcomes for children and families across the country.  

Thank you to everyone who attended our community meeting in April and engaged in such a thoughtful discussion on the issues important to our district! We talked about everything from public safety and higher education to health care and affordable housing. My team and I are also so grateful to Watson Signature Event Center for allowing us to use their space. 


File Your FAFSA

Students, now is the time to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  

The FAFSA unlocks a myriad of support, including federal grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. However, the recent rollout of the new form has brought its share of challenges, with technical glitches and delays. As a result, we saw a sharp decline in FAFSA completion rates, with Washington sitting at 17% completion and the national average being 20% in February. This is a 49% difference from where completion rates were at that time last year. To help remove any barriers for students and their families, each of Washington’s public four-year institutions has extended the College Decision Day to June 1 for fall 2024. 

It is critical to get your application in as soon as you can in order to secure the financial aid needed to make your post-secondary dreams a reality. Apply today! 

You can read my op-ed here to learn more. 


Working Families Tax Credit

In early 2023, we launched the Working Families Tax Credit. This year alone, it has provided over $77 million in refunds to families across the state, with an average refund of $790. 

Applications for the 2024 cycle opened Feb. 1 and are available through the end of the calendar year. To check if you are eligible for a rebate of up to $1,255, click here. 

We made so much progress on behalf of everyday Washingtonians this last session. I want to quickly further highlight some of our additional accomplishments: 


Public Safety 

We remain focused on ensuring everyone not only feels safe in their community but is safe. The Legislature took important steps to help meet the basic needs of Washingtonians, address substance use, increase affordable housing, invest in quality and equitable education, ensure fair wages, and improve healthcare. We improved traffic safety, investing $31 million toward safety enhancements — $8.5 million of that goes to communities across the state to improve bike, pedestrian and school zone safety. We improved how the state responds to victims of child trafficking and sexual assault, as well as strengthened hate crime laws to include defacement of public property. The Legislature also passed policies to better support, train and retain law enforcement.  


Addressing the Fentanyl Crisis

The Legislature passed a slate of bills addressing the fentanyl crisis in Washington, including: 

  • House Bill 2112 requires public and private higher education institutions to provide opioid and fentanyl prevention education materials, as well as naloxone and fentanyl strips and training to administer these life-saving tools to all students. 
  • Senate Bill 5906 requires a statewide drug overdose prevention and education campaign.  
  • House Bill 1956 provides updated substance use education materials and resources for students and families in middle and high schools; and revise the health and physical education K-12 learning standards to include information on fentanyl, opioids, and other life-threatening drug use 
  • Senate Bill 5804 requires all school districts, charter schools, and state-tribal education compact schools to stock opioid overdose reversal medication in each public school and to plan for how to handle overdoses. 



We built on our work to address the housing crisis, allocating $127 million to the Housing Trust Fund to build affordable housing. We encouraged converting vacant commercial buildings, removed bureaucratic hurdles, expanded affordable housing on public lands, extended property tax exemptions to seniors, and enhanced protections for mobile home community residents. 


Paraprofessionals Pay Increase 

One of the largest increases in K-12 education this session was a $72 million investment (SB 5882) to pay for more paraeducators. This change to our funding model will unlock dollars that schools can use to increase staffing, prevent layoffs, or raise salaries for staff who provide critical supports for students with disabilities and those who need extra help. 


Equal Pay Discrimination 

I’m pleased to report House Bill 1905 was signed into law! It ensures all protected classes beyond gender are included in the Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act.  

Thank you to Rep. Sharlett Mena for your partnership in helping get this bill passed! 


Anti-Book Bans

House Bill 2331 was also signed into law! It prohibits the banning of books or other instructional materials simply because they are related to the contributions of individuals or groups that are part of a protected class.  

Thank you to Rep. Monica Stonier for your partnership in helping get this bill passed! 


Supporting Birth Doulas

Big news — Washington has the highest Medicaid reimbursement rate for birth doulas in the nation at $3,500 per doula! Our office worked alongside stakeholders to not only secure this support in the budget but funding to establish a “Doula Hub” to create a referral system for Medicaid recipients and help doulas navigate the Medicaid billing system. 


28th Legislative District Budget Wins

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

  • $103,000 for electrical charging station infrastructure in Steilacoom 
  • $1.86 million for the Lakewood Water District water well 
  • $112,000 for GCA Dignity completion 
  • $258,000 for an inclusive playground at Cirque Park in University Place 
  • $855,000 for PFAS treatment at DuPont city water wells 
  • $103,000 for Sunnyside Beach Park beach nourishment project in Steilacoom 
  • $47,000 for the Washington Masonic Services Library & Museum remodel in University Place 
  • $1.65 million for Camp Murray Building 34 renovation at Joint Base Lewis-McChord 
  • $5.06 million for the Child Study & Treatment Center youth housing in Lakewood 
  • $1.9 million for the Child Study & Treatment Center gymnasium floor replacement in Lakewood 
  • $4.54 million for Western State Hospital east campus well replacement in Lakewood 
  • $500,000 for the Tacoma Smelter Plume project 
  • $757,000 for the Still Harbor restoration phase 2 armor removal by McNeil Island 


The operating budget funded several priorities we advocated for, including: 

  • $650,000 to improve youth mental and behavioral health 
  • $150,000 to study alternatives to free and reduced-price school meals 
  • $200,000 to support birth doulas and establish a hub and referral system 
  • $250,000 for accelerating creative enterprise for BIPOC and women entrepreneurs in the South Sound 
  • $5.75 million for Rally for College initiative 
  • $425,000 for navigational supports to help students with the financial aid process 


The transportation budget continues to invest in projects, like: 

  • Puyallup Avenue 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 

Due to election year restrictions, this will be my last newsletter until election results are certified this fall. However, my office is still hard at work serving our district! You can always reach out to us at 360-786-7654 or T’ 



Sen. T’wina Nobles