Dear friends and neighbors, 

The 2023 legislative session officially ended last Sunday! In our final week, we passed three historic budgets that provide real relief, support and resources to our neighbors in the 38th District and communities throughout the state. 

Critical investments 

Each of our budgets — transportation, capital and operating — strengthens our state and places Washington in a strong position to lead the country in many sectors, from transportation to housing security to behavioral health resources. 

Many hours and conversations went into shaping the operating budget, and I’m very proud of the final result. It takes a holistic approach and makes targeted investments to address the root causes of the issues — like the housing, behavioral health and climate crises — facing our state, so we can give our neighbors the resources and support they need to lead healthy, productive lives. Some specific investments I’m thrilled to see include: 

  • $2.9 billion in total new spending for K-12 education 
  • $48 million to increase funding for health care workforce and training 
  • $519 million for housing and the immediate shelter needs of people experiencing homelessness across our state 
  • $40 million to fund the Working Families Tax Credit 
  • $21 million for behavioral health crisis, outreach and diversion programs 

The capital budget will continue to invest in our district where it is needed most, allocating more than $125 million to our communities. I am excited to share five of the district-wide projects that I advocated for included in this budget: 

  • $18,700,000 — Compass Health Broadway Behavioral Health Services in Everett 
  • $5,000,000 — Port of Everett Electrification 
  • $1,030,000 — Ebey Waterfront Trail Phase 4 in Marysville 
  • $7,400,000 — Construction of new AquaSox ballpark 
  • $37,904,000 — Replacement of Baker Hall at Everett Community College 

Our transportation budget is designed to build upon the transformative package passed last session, further improving the way we travel in our state and community. Some of the investments directed to the 38th District I’m excited to see include: 

  • $65,548,000 for improvements to the I-5/NB Marine View Dr. to SR 529 corridor and interchange 
  • $20,041,000 for improvements to the I-5/116th St. NE, 88th St. NE and SR 528/Marine Dr. interchange  
  • $17,000,000 to make continued investments for the future rebuild of the US 2 trestle 

All three budgets await the governor’s review and signature. Each take effect on July 1 and will guide the state’s spending through 2025. 

Legislative successes 

Great news: Seven of my bills have passed the Legislature, with five having been signed into law and two awaiting the governor’s signature. 

  • SB 5275 allows tribal compact schools, employee organizations representing school employees and school board directors the option to provide health care through the School Employees’ Benefits Board, ensuring access to this critical program. 
  • SB 5547 establishes annual reporting requirements for nursing pools and requires the state Department of Health to produce an annual report including the aggregated submitted information. 
  • SB 5604 allows counties, like cities, to use revenue from the chemical dependency and mental health treatment program sales and use tax to modify to existing facilities to address health and safety needs necessary for the provision of the programs. 
  • SB 5236 requires hospitals to submit staffing plans to the state Department of Health and creates an enforcement mechanism. The expected staff-to-patient staffing standards would be developed by a hospital’s designated staffing committee, composed of 50% frontline staff and 50% hospital administration (you can learn more here). 
  • SB 5286 ensures the Paid Family Medical Leave program is fully funded and is line with the unanimous recommendations of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Task Force. 
  • SB 5386 is a clean-up bill that streamlines document recording fees to reduce complexity, increase transparency and make them easier to implement. 
  • SB 5367 removes high-potency THC products from the open market. We can better protect consumers from possible overdoses, limit access to young people and increase state revenue that can help fund substance use disorder programs in our communities. 

I’m also happy to report HB 1804 — the House companion bill to my SB 5696 — passed the Legislature and is on the governor’s desk. It protects retired public employees’ access to health insurance. Our communities saw what happened when the Snohomish Health District merger cut off insurance for retirees. The soon-to-be law will remedy that and allow retirees continue participating in PEBB insurance plans. 

Finding a new path forward 

I’m disappointed SB 5536 (to address the state Supreme Court’s 2021 State v. Blake ruling) didn’t pass, and I’m continuing to meet with stakeholders and state and local officials to find a new path forward. However, this one bill doesn’t define an otherwise extremely successful session.   

I’m proud of all we accomplished this session to help people in crisis in communities across our state. This session, we saw transformative investments and policy bills passed to help address substance use disorder. We funded crisis centers, the 988 hotline, community drug treatment centers and more. In total, we’re investing more than a billion dollars to address behavioral health. 

Stay in touch 

I will take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone in our community who advocated for legislation this year. Your involvement is — and always has been — vital to the functioning of our state government. 

Our office remains as available to you as ever. Send me an email at or give me a call at 360-786-7674 

I’d love to continue hearing from you and learning more about your priorities. You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram for updates in the interim.