Friends and neighbors –

As we conclude our legislative session in Olympia, I continue to work on issues important to our district. Here’s an update.


State budget passes, ending shutdown fears

State lawmakers finalized a budget agreement on June 30th, addressing McCleary education-funding concerns, maintaining essential services, and keeping the government open and accessible to the public. While I’m happy to reach a budget, I’m disappointed it took special sessions to do so.

I voted for the final negotiated Operating Budget, but I voted against the Senate-proposed property tax increase. I have consistently advocated to cap property tax increases, taxes which I believe disproportionately impact South King and North Pierce County residents, especially working families and retired folks on fixed incomes.

While Sen. Miloscia, Rep. Reeves, and I each worked hard to advocate within our caucuses to successfully lower Federal Way and Auburn property taxes after 2018 in the bill, the final education bill didn’t go far enough to protect working families in our district – increasing property taxes in 2018 by $240/year on the average household. Because this funds education on the backs of working families and retired people, I had to vote against this final education property-tax bill.

However, I’m pleased to report that the Operating Budget does put working families first. It cares for 1.1 million schoolchildren. We take care of those who have fallen on hard times and give them tools to help them succeed. We invest in thriving communities and prioritize the safety of citizens.

Some of the budget highlights are below:

  • $7.3 billion in new funding for K-12 education, supporting 1.1 million schoolchildren by investing in teacher salaries, professional development, para-educators, class size reductions, learning assistance, special education, bilingual instruction, and the unique needs of all schools.
  • Providing high-quality care to our aging population and people with disabilities.
  • Expanding early childhood education across the state.
  • Boosting funds for the State Need Grant so students can get financial aid.
  • Funding mental health, public health, and Medicaid services to fight the opioid crisis, reduce homelessness rates, and integrate physical and behavioral health.
  • Funding assistance programs to keep youth and families off the streets and funding temporary assistance to families in need.
  • Funding a new department to reform our foster care system and improve social work caseloads.

Advocating for lower property taxes instead of corporate tax breaks

I wrote a letter to the Governor, asking him to veto millions in last-minute corporate tax breaks inserted into the budget in the last hours of negotiations. It’s not the time to spend tax dollars on new corporate tax loopholes, when our district’s property taxes are increasing. Now that the Governor has vetoed these new corporate manufacturing tax loopholes – a quarter of which were designated for oil manufacturers – I’m now working to develop legislation that would redirect these funds to lower the property taxes of those in our district. I’ll keep you updated on my legislative efforts.

I will keep advocating that the legislature pass a fix to the Sound Transit car over-valuation. My bipartisan bill, HB 2201, has passed the House of Representatives with every Republican and Democrat who represent Sound Transit taxpayers voting for the bill. It makes the car valuation system current and tracks Kelley Blue Book estimates, it keeps our local light rail projects on track, holds Sound Transit accountable, and returns over $780 million in overpayments to taxpayers. But, as you know, the bill must also pass the Senate.

Sadly, the Senate is blocking our bipartisan bill, refusing to even set a public hearing on this popular solution to the Sound Transit overvaluation. In fact, about three-quarters of these Senators blocking our bill do not even represent Sound Transit taxpayers, and it doesn’t affect their constituents. But I know that it affects you, and that’s why I’m still fighting for this workable fix.

We must now come together to support a popular, bipartisan solution that puts $780 million back in the pockets of ST3 taxpayers. I will keep fighting for taxpayers and pushing for a bipartisan solution, urging Senators to vote for the bill before the July 20th deadline.


Update on my ST3 reforms

I will keep advocating that the legislature pass a fix to the Sound Transit car over-valuation. My bipartisan bill, HB 2201, has passed the House of Representatives with every Republican and Democrat who represent Sound Transit taxpayers voting for the bill. It makes the car valuation system current and tracks Kelley Blue Book estimates, it keeps our local light rail projects on track, holds Sound Transit accountable, and returns over $780 million in overpayments to taxpayers. But, as you know, the bill must also pass the Senate.

Sadly, the Senate is blocking our bipartisan bill, refusing to even set a public hearing on this popular solution to the Sound Transit overvaluation. In fact, about three-quarters of these Senators blocking our bill do not even represent Sound Transit taxpayers, and it doesn’t affect their constituents. But I know that it affects you, and that’s why I’m still fighting for this workable fix.

We must now come together to support a popular, bipartisan solution that puts $780 million back in the pockets of ST3 taxpayers. I will keep fighting for taxpayers and pushing for a bipartisan solution, urging Senators to vote for the bill before the July 20th deadline.


Supporting the needs of our local communities

Rep. Pellicciotti with Aktion community membersI had the opportunity to join the Kiwanis Aktion Club of Federal Way to discuss the bills that affect adults with developmental disabilities. I co-sponsored HB 1153, which expands protection for the elderly and those with disabilities who are neglected by care providers. I also voted for HB 1258, which designs a training program for first responders to better communicate with persons with disabilities at the scene of an emergency, and HB 1262, which expands accessible parking spaces for people with disabilities. All of these bills are now signed into law by the Governor and funded in the final budget.

 


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Washington State House Democrats

The information on these pages was created by House staff for legislative purposes and is a historical record of legislative events and activities. None of this material is intended to either directly or indirectly assist any campaign for office or ballot proposition. RCW 42.52.180 prohibits the use of public resources for campaign purposes.