Dear friends and neighbors,

It’s an honor to serve our communities in Bremerton, Port Orchard, Gig Harbor and the Key Peninsula as your state senator. We just wrapped up the 2024 legislative session, and I’m excited to tell you about what we’ve accomplished this year together.

We prioritized legislation to make housing more affordable through increased funding to the Housing Trust Fund, put money back in the pockets of working families to pay their utility bills, and improved access to the Working Families Tax Credit. We also increased funding for school construction, to pay paraeducators more, and educate our students about the dangers of fentanyl while making sure all schools have access to life-saving overdose reversal medication. Our supplemental budget includes significant new funding for important projects in our district, as well as new funding for our ferry system.

Investing in resources for families in need, affordable housing, treatment services

We have a lot of neighbors in our district and across the state who don’t have a safe place to call home, struggling to meet their basic needs or who are battling addiction. I worked closely with Representatives Michelle Caldier and Spencer Hutchins to secure new funding to bring some help to our communities, including:

•$112,000 to help Peninsula Community Health Services open Cedar House, a two-unit permanent supportive housing project in downtown Bremerton. The funding will help the organization pay for new heat pumps, power for heat pumps, smoke detectors and HVAC so the units can be move-in ready for two families in need in the coming months.
• $250,000 to help South Kitsap Helpline build a new facility in Port Orchard. The organization provides healthy food and emergency resources to people in crisis in South Kitsap County. The funding will help pay for the pre-construction phase of a project that will allow the nonprofit to better serve the needs of the community and expand its capacity and impact.
• $250,000 to support facility repairs at Olalla Recovery Centers. The funding will help the organization maintain its 47 beds used to provide residential substance use disorder treatment services. The repairs will make the facility more energy efficient while improving the health and safety of patients, staff and guests.

Other important projects we invested in include:
• $232,000 to help Parkwood Community Club repair and reopen its pool to the community.
• $206,000 to help Lakebay Marina with its renovation and historic preservation project. The funding will allow work to begin on a new pier required for water access and to create additional slips for boaters
docking there.

Funding for our ferries

The last few sessions have seen some of the largest investments we’ve made in ferries in at least a decade, and I’m grateful to my legislative colleagues who have stepped up to help get our ferry system the resources it needs. We’ve improved the procurement process so we can get boats cheaper and faster, and we’ve invested significantly in staff. We continued to build on these investments in the 2024 transportation budget. Highlights include:
• $10 million for additional vessel crew members, both deck and engine, across the fleet.
• $4 million to continue Kitsap Transit’s extra sailings from Bremerton so we can fill the gaps in service on the Bremerton route.
• $4 million to help Kitsap Transit construct an electric hydrofoil passenger-only ferry.
• $2.1 million to help sailors upgrade their credentials to mate, allowing them to become licensed deck officers.
• $24 million for vessel and terminal preservation.
• Nearly $200 million in new Climate Commitment Act investments, which will roll out over many years, for vessel conversions, construction and terminal electrification.

Legislative Highlights
Several bills I’m excited to see cross the finish line include:
• SB 6151, a bill I sponsored protecting people from having an ultrasound performed by an unlicensed or
unsupervised person.
• SB 6178, a bill I sponsored ensuring licensed midwives are able to prescribe appropriate medications to their patients.
• SB 5904, allowing students to receive state financial aid for the same amount of time they can receive federal financial aid, so they can finish their degree programs.
• SB 5890, requiring all school districts, charter schools and state-tribal education compact schools to have opioid overdose reversal medication available in each school.
• HB 1956, requiring the development of a statewide drug overdose prevention and awareness campaign to help students understand the dangers of fentanyl.
• HB 2331, ensuring school officials don’t ban library books or course materials solely because they lift up the voices of LGBTQ+ folks or people of color.
• SB 5462, requiring inclusive learning standards in our public schools, including LGBTQ+ history and perspectives — ensuring all students have the opportunity to see themselves reflected in their education.
• SB 5986, ensuring people who have medical emergencies don’t get hit with a surprise ambulance bill.
• SB 6009, prohibiting the inhumane law enforcement restraint technique, commonly known as hogtying, from being used on people.
• HB 2357, establishing the Washington State Patrol longevity bonus program with a bonus of $15,000 paid to employees achieving 26 or more years of service to help with retention.
• SB 5427, establishing a hate crimes hotline.

I look forward to staying in touch with you over the coming months. Please reach out to my office by phone at 360-786-7650 or email at anytime you have questions about the work we’re doing in Olympia.