Washington State House Democrats


Greetings from the 46th Legislative District


We are just a few weeks away from the 2015 legislative session, and I wanted to touch base with you and let you know what I was working on, and make sure that you were invited to our 46th District Town Hall (see details below).

 As an AmeriCorps alum, it was an honor to speak at their 20th Anniversary event

Bills I Will Be Sponsoring

Transit Funding and Reform:

As you know, I am passionate about mass transit and making it better and more convenient for everyone. Towards that end I will be introducing legislation to both help local transit agencies access the revenue they need to grow and serve more folks, and legislation that promotes transit integration and coordination.

On the reform side I want to encourage more back-office integration between transit agencies (why have multiple payroll systems and trip planners?) as well as customer-based integration (can we incentivize agencies to better schedule their trips so that cross-jurisdictional transfers are easier for folks?).

On the funding side, I am co-sponsoring legislation authorizing Sound Transit to put together a new regional ballot measure. I am also looking at the RTID (Regional Transit Investment District) statute to see what can be done to make it more transit-focused, and give the region more tools to fund transportation solutions. While I certainly hope we in the Legislature can find agreement on a statewide transportation proposal, Puget Sound residents shouldn’t have to pay the price for Olympia’s inaction to solve our transportation problems.

Both of these ideas are still in their early stages, and I’ll make sure to update you as things move forwards.

Minimum Wage:

It’s a long-established American ideal that if you work hard you should be able to pay your own way, but unfortunately it’s getting harder and harder for working people to cover their basic necessities. To promote economic fairness, I will be reintroducing a bill to raise our state minimum wage to $12/hour. Seattle and SeaTac have lead on this important issue, and this November voters in Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska, and South Dakota approved raising their state’s minimum wages. My bill will bring our 2015 minimum wage ($9.32) up to $12 over 4 years. It is a modest increase phased in over time to give our employers time to adjust, while at the same time ensuring that anyone putting in a full day’s work will be able to cover their basic necessities – rent, groceries, doctor’s bills, utilities, childcare, etc.

Oil Transport:

I will also be reintroducing legislation to help make sure that Washingtonians are kept safe from the increase in oil traffic we are seeing over our railways and waterways. In the last three years the United States has seen more oil spilled due to train derailments than we saw over the previous 4 decades. My bill is still being drafted and fine-tuned, but it will reflect much of what was in my bill last year, and the recommendations in the Department of Ecology Draft Marine and Rail Oil Transportation Study. Our citizens and first responders deserve to know what potentially-dangerous materials are being moved through our communities so we can be properly prepared in the case of an emergency.

Town Hall

Session begins on Monday 1/12. I am hosting a Town Hall meeting, along with Sen. Frockt and Rep. Pollet, on Tuesday 1/6 from 6:30-8:00 at Nathan Hale High School. Please come and meet with us and tell us what your concerns are in the upcoming session. Full details are to the left.

Great Opportunity for Young People to see Their Government in Action

What is a “page?”

  • In feudal times, a boy attending to a knight?
  •  A leaf or sheet or paper in a book?
  •  A teen getting a close-up look at government in action, having fun and earning money while spending a week delivering documents and helping out House members in the Washington state Legislature?

The answer, of course, is “all of the above” – but the one most relevant here is (c). With the Legislature in session, it’s page season once again, which means a great opportunity for 14-, 15- and 16-year-olds from across the state to have a hands-on experience in government.

If you know a boy or girl who is a good candidate for the role, click here to learn more and to download an application. Don’t delay – spots fill up quickly!

Keep in Touch

As always, I love hearing from you! Feel free to email me at jessyn.farrell@leg.wa.gov with your thoughts and concerns.

All the best,