Dear friends and neighbors,
We’re in the final stretch of legislative session. It feels like just yesterday we were eager to begin and now we only have 12 days left. I’m proud of all the work we’ve done and everything we’ve accomplished so far but there’s still lots to do.
More than just thoughts and prayers
In a historic vote, and after hours of deliberation, the Senate passed HB 1240 on a 27-21 vote to prohibit the sale, manufacture and import of assault weapons in Washington state. This measure will protect our kids, reduce gun violence, and put public safety over the interests of the gun industry. Because the bill was amended in the Senate, it must return to the House for concurrence. If the bill receives final passage, Washington will join nine other states in banning assault weapons — a huge step in the right direction.
Additionally, the Senate passed HB 1143, which will require would-be gun owners to get trained, get screened and wait 10 days before they can walk off with a firearm. It passed the House along mostly partisan lines this year and passed the Senate 28-18 on Friday after a lengthy and contentious debate. I introduced this policy in the Senate by sponsoring a similar bill — Senate Bill 5232 — which did not make it out of committee, but I am happy to see the House bill make it past both chambers, and I am eager to see it signed into law to protect lives of Washingtonians.
Even though Washington is one of the leaders in the nation in securing the right to a safe, legal abortion we must not get complacent. Reproductive rights are under constant threat both in our state and outside of it, so it is our duty to find ways to protect these long-existing rights for Washingtonians living here and those seeking care from other states. I am happy to inform you the following bills continue to advance, bringing us one step closer to protecting reproductive freedom in our state:
- HB 1155 will make Washington the first state in the nation to protect sensitive health information and prevent predatory behavior like the sale of private reproductive care data.
- SB 5242 restricts cost-sharing for abortion. Nobody should be denied access to this critical care because of their inability to pay.
- HB 1340 ensures provider protections despite new restrictions in other states. Providers in Washington should be able to provide legal procedures in this state without fear of disciplinary action, retribution, or criminal action, subject to their regular duties of providing good care. Doctors should be able to provide comprehensive care without fear.
- HB 1469 protects access to reproductive health care services and gender-affirming treatment in Washington state. This bill restricts the ability of other states to use Washington courts and process to restrict protected health care services in Washington. After the Dobbs court decision, other states have sought to restrict abortion even outside the state’s borders. This bill allows Washington to hold true to its values and ensures that providers and those who seek these services will not face legal ramifications.
Investing in our communities
In my last newsletter, I provided a general budget overview but now I would like to focus on how the budgets will impact our own communities in the 32nd District. Here are some of the key investments pertaining specifically to our district:
- $2,050,000 for the Scriber Place Housing for homeless students.
- $500,000 for the Scriber Lake Park boardwalk trail.
- $39,692,000 for a new building to house Shoreline Community College’s nursing, math, and music programs.
- $500,000 for the Latino Community Service Center in Lynnwood.
- $3,430,000 for Swift bus rapid transit. This system makes getting around Snohomish County faster and easier. Here are some of its features:
- Buses stop at all stations and depart after 10 seconds.
- Buses arrive every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on weekends.
- They charge the same fare as other buses, and you can pay with your ORCA card.
- They are accessible to wheelchairs, disabled passengers, strollers, carts, and bikes.
- $2,800,000 for SR 523 roundabouts in Shoreline.
- $1,272,000 for park & ride pedestrian and bicycle site improvements.
- $500,000 for the Ukrainian Resettlement Assistance Program. These funds are made available to the Volunteers of America of Western Washington for helping Ukrainian refugees in our communities.
Updates on my bills
I am happy to share that six of the bills I am sponsoring this session continue to advance in the legislative process. Here is an update on those six bills and where they stand:
SB 5231 adds clarity and accountability to the legal process and ensures that someone charged with domestic violence does not possess guns after the incident. This bill has passed in the House and will now return to the Senate for concurrence.
SB 5491 allows construction of European-style apartments with a single stairway and elevator core. This is helpful in providing a variety of housing options for first time home buyer and others struggling in an expensive housing market. This bill has also passed the House and will now return to the Senate for consideration.
SB 5263 is a foundation for provision of psilocybin services with safety standards. This bill has just passed the House. Because it was amended, it now goes back to the Senate for concurrence before heading to the Governor’s desk.
SB 5104 requires that a survey of Puget Sound marine shorelines be conducted using new technology to better determine where to prioritize habitat restoration and protection. This bill has passed the House with amendments and will now return to the Senate for concurrence.
SB 5412 removes red tape for urban housing development so we can chip away at solving our housing cost crisis. This bill has been referred to the Rules Committee in the House for review.
SB 5425 improves buildings’ fire safety by increasing licensing fees for fire protection sprinkler system contractors to increase personnel for fire code inspections and enhances the supervision requirements to ensure fire-sprinkler system builders are well-trained. This bill has made it out of the Rules Committee in the House and will be going to the House floor for a vote.
Thank you to everyone who continues to reach out! I appreciate your comments and enjoy hearing from you about your interests and concerns for the session. You can always send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 360-786-7662. You can also follow me on Facebook for regular updates throughout the coming months.