Dear friends and neighbors,

It’s been 82 days of non-stop work for our communities with only 23 days remaining until the end of session. I am eager to provide an update on some recent activity in the Legislature.

Senate Operating Budget

Our operating budget pays for all our ongoing investments – schools, health care, salaries for state employees and more. The Washington State Senate just passed a $69 billion, two-year budget on a 40-9 vote to increase funding for vital state services, including targeted support for behavioral health, public schools, housing and homelessness, and a historic investment to address the climate crisis.

The two-year operating budget adds roughly $5 billion in new spending and does not rely on any new general taxes or fees. It leaves more than $3 billion in total reserves to guard against an economic slowdown and protect the state’s historically high credit rating.

It also includes $424 million in new spending to support efforts to transform the state’s behavioral health system, including funding for new behavioral health crisis facilities, more community-based housing, and new programs to support people with special needs such as developmental disabilities or chronic mental illness.

The budget also includes an additional $15 million to protect access to reproductive care and to support clinics experiencing an influx of out-of-state patients.

Roughly $298 million will go toward housing and the immediate shelter needs of the state’s homeless population. Combined with investments from the proposed capital budget, new housing-related investments total nearly $1 billion.

The proposed budget invests $679 million in carbon sequestration, clean energy projects, improved energy efficiency in homes and buildings and salmon recovery.

The full budget proposal passed by the Senate is available here. The Senate and the House will work to reconcile differences in their budgets and agree on a final two-year budget before the Legislature adjourns on April 23.

Capital Budget

Our capital budget funds our state’s physical infrastructure – mostly buildings, but many other things too. Our Senate proposal would make a big investment in directly constructing affordable housing statewide, to go along with the work we’re doing to promote private development.

The Senate capital budget proposal passed the Washington State Senate on Friday on a unanimous vote. The $7.9 billion capital budget makes historic investments in affordable housing, behavioral health, environmental protection, school construction, and public safety. I’m looking forward to the record-setting investments we’re making in affordable housing in this proposal, which will bring us closer to ensuring that everyone in Washington has a safe and stable place to call home. Highlights include a record-setting $400 million for the Housing Trust Fund, part of a total of $625 million for housing investments.

These are some of the projects included in the proposed budget that will impact the 46th District:

  • $1,090,000 for the North Seattle Family Support Center
  • $778,000 for the Refugee Artisan Initiative Space and Cultural Center
  • $250,000 for UHeights Community Kitchen, Safety, and Accessibility Project
  • $527,000 for the Ingraham High School Construction Trades Skills Center
  • $12,213,000 for Seattle Public Schools Skills Centers
  • $13,000,000 for the renovation of the Behavioral Health Center at the UW Medical Center’s Northwest Campus
  • $500,000 for improvements to Little Brook Park

A full list of projects and programs funded is available at

Transportation Budget

Additionally, the Senate announced details of the 2023-25 transportation budget, a plan totaling $12.9 billion in investments across the state. The proposal focuses on traffic safety, workforce expansion in the state patrol and ferry system, electrification, transit, and other green investments and keeps work on schedule for transportation projects big and small throughout Washington. Some of the investments include

  • $25.4 million for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula program
  • $2 million to collect sidewalk mapping data and establish a public database
  • $9.4 million for clean alternative fuel charging stations and infrastructure projects
  • $41.5 million for the Bike Ped Project list
  • $38.9 million for Safe Routes to Schools
  • $16.8 million for the School Based Bike program
  • $7 million for e-bikes programs
  • $74 million for alternative fuel and electrification programs

Some investments are specific to the 46th District, including:

  • $3,000,000 for the RapidRide J Line in Seattle
  • $1,272,000 for pedestrian and bicycle improvements for King County Metro sites
  • $1,571,000 for electrification of Route 48 of the King County Metro

You can find more information on all the investments of the transportation budget here.

Thank You for Attending Our Town Hall

I want to sincerely thank everyone who joined our virtual town hall. I appreciate your time and efforts to participate and make your voice heard. We talked about everything from health care access, public safety and protecting our environment to transportation and housing. We had a wonderful turnout and lots of great questions and discussion. It was great to hear from so many of our neighbors. If you couldn’t join us for the live town hall, you can watch it on YouTube here.

The representatives from the 46th District and I look forward to hosting an in-person town hall this spring after the end of session. We hope you can join us in person to talk more about how we can work together for our community. We will provide more details once we have a set date and location for the event.

Update on Gun Safety Legislation

The school shooting in Tennessee earlier this week is stark reminder that we must take immediate action to address gun safety in our country. We cannot become desensitized to these tragedies and allow them to keep happening. Thoughts and prayers are not going to bring the victims back; we need actions and policies. I am pleased to inform you that this session there is legislation moving forward that would take us in the right direction.

House Bill 1240 bans the sale of assault weapons in Washington and outlaws the sale of certain parts and gun accessories used to make or modify certain guns. This bill has passed the Senate Law & Justice Committee and will hopefully move soon to the Senate floor for a vote. Additionally, House Bill 1143 enhances the requirements for the purchase or transfer of firearms by requiring a permit to purchase firearms, firearms safety training, and a 10-day waiting period. It also prohibits firearms transfers prior to completion of a background check and updates and creates consistency in firearms transfer and background check procedures. This bill has also passed the Senate Law & Justice Committee. I am looking forward to voting YES on these bills that will save lives.

National Farmworker Awareness Week

March 25 marked the beginning of National Farmworker Awareness Week — a week of action to bring attention to farmworkers and honor them for the contributions they make to our daily lives. Today, we celebrate Cesar Chavez—a farmworker and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association known today as the United Farm Workers labor union.

Two years ago, the Washington State Legislature passed a groundbreaking law that extended overtime pay to agricultural workers for the first time ever in our state, but now some Republican legislators are trying to roll back these protections. The exclusion of agricultural workers from overtime pay is a clear and evident example of systemic racism rooted in our nation’s explicit exclusion of Black Americans from fundamental labor rights. This is not the time to go back on our moral obligation to provide equitable compensation to all farmworkers. Agricultural workers deserve overtime pay just like everyone else. This National Farmworker Awareness Week, we must honor and thank farmworkers in Washington state for all their hard work. The least we can do is make sure that farm workers in Washington are paid for the work they do, just like everyone else.

In Other News

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with some senior students from the Center School in Seattle who live in the 46th District. I enjoyed listening to them share what bills are important to them. Their trip to the Capitol is part of a unit on Washington state government, which teaches students about the legislative process and fosters civic engagement. Their visit will play a critical role in developing a positive relationship with their government, too often negatively misrepresented in the media. It is so important to have our young ones engaged and ready to make a difference in their community.

Follow Me on Social Media

For legislative session updates and to see the work I’m doing for our district, make sure to follow me on

 Facebook – Sen. Javier Valdez  and     Twitter – @SenValdez46th

Contact Me

Thank you to everyone who continues to reach out! I appreciate your comments and enjoy hearing from you and about your interests and concerns for the session. You can always send me an email at or give me a call at 360-786-7690.

Sincerely yours,

Javier Valdez