Washington State House Democrats


Victories & Continuing Work from 2016

Our short (60-day) regular session and special session are done. I am back home taking care of projects neglected during session, and enjoying time with my family. Our biggest task was to get the supplemental budget done. We had some clear wins and some disappointments this session in the 11th District. Thanks for taking the time to look this ememo over and feel free to contact me with questions.

Supplemental budget makes key investments for Washington families

Sine Die 2016

The legislature passed a budget addressing many of the state’s pressing needs. Although it took a few weeks of special session to reach an agreement, the budget moves us forward without compromising our values.

Highlights from the budget include:

  • Improving teacher recruitment and retention through investments in mentoring programs for new educators and increased training for paraeducators.
  • Funding to close the educational opportunity gap so that all students can be successful.
  • Increasing investments in mental health services including additional state hospital staff, mobile crisis teams, and crisis triage beds.
  • Addressing the growing homelessness crisis with money for emergency residential services, local governments, and prevention programs focused on youth.
  • Improving the lives of foster kids through increased investments in child placement agencies, performance contracting, and caseload reduction.
  • Investing in early learning by supporting providers of high-quality early learning.

New investment in energy-efficient affordable housing in Riverton Park

Rep. Bergquist and I were also successful in securing $600,000 for a project that will demonstrate a way to keep housing affordable through the extensive use of on-site renewable energy. In addition to 31 new, affordable homes, the lessons learned from the project will serve as a model that can be used all across our region.


Efforts to fight hunger continue to be stalled

kids playground

Despite an effort to enact the most noncontroversial parts of Breakfast After the Bell (E3SHB 1295) through a new bill, HB 3009, progress to end hunger in our schools still met an unfortunate end. This compromise bill would have made one critical change for schools where universal breakfast programs are already operating and for those who want to start an expansion of their own. By making a minor change to the definition of “instructional hours,” the time in our classrooms when food is served and eaten while educational activity starts would be counted within the current definition.

This effort is far from over and it shows in the active public discourse on hunger and nutrition taking place around the country right now. Here are a few good, insightful news articles that have been recently published:

This effort is far from over and it shows in the active public discourse on hunger and nutrition taking place around the country right now. Here are a few good, insightful news articles that have been recently published:

Bill aimed at reducing repeat offenses passes both chambers with unanimous votes

Last year, I wrote about my work with the Council of State Governments to improve public safety while saving taxpayer dollars in our corrections system. The legislature passed a bill with unanimous, bipartisan support that will help accomplish this.

Over the last 20 years, the costs of incarceration have grown at a faster rate than nearly any other state budget item. One problem our communities face is that even after a person has completed a prison sentence, they face many barriers to reentering society and often turn back to criminal behavior in order to survive.

Free Tax Preparation for Constituents

Did you know that there are volunteers who can help with your taxes if you qualify?

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax help to most people who make $54,000 or less. Click here to read more about who qualifies for the program and find a location where IRS-certified volunteers can help you in person.

If you feel comfortable filing online, you might be able to take advantage of free filing. The IRS has partnered with private tax software companies to provide free online tax preparation and electronic filing for people with incomes of $62,000 or less. There are also some free services available for people over that income threshold.

The IRS website also has a page with information about Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) eligibility.

Return to District

My legislative assistant Doug and I have relocated back to our district office on Beacon Hill in the Pacific Tower. Please say hello if you see me out in the community. If you are connected to a group you would like me to speak to about the legislature or session, please contact us with an invitation. With the education funding debate around the corner, I would be happy to facilitate the budget simulation our office developed last year as well for our town hall.

Until next time,


SimBudget Hudgins