Washington State House Democrats


Ortiz-Self Update: Saturday town hall / Levy Cliff / Business licenses / Healthy kids


Governor signed Levy Cliff bill today

House Democrats have been working hard to find a way to fully fund education. Solving this problem is one of our top priorities.

The first bill we passed this session was to extend the “levy cliff” and give schools assurances that their budgets wouldn’t be cut while we worked on a compromise deal to fully fund K-12 education with the Republican-controlled Senate. The Senate finally agreed and passed an amended version of the bill last week. The House stood up and voted overwhelmingly to pass the amended version and Governor Inslee signed it into law today.

There’s a lot more work to do. Agreeing on a compromise for the final deal to fully fund education will require tough decisions from both sides. Now that we have all agreed to do the right thing by our children and our school districts, we can do the hard work of finding a solution that finally fulfills our paramount duty.

Small business licensing simplified

Many small businesses in Washington state operate in multiple jurisdictions. For some, such as those that make deliveries, that means acquiring a business license in each of the cities or towns in which they operate—even if it’s a single delivery.


This often translates into hours of paperwork and research to maintain compliance. Wouldn’t that energy be better put toward growing business operations instead of government bureaucracy?

I’m proud to report that I was one of the 96 votes that sent a bill to fix this issue over to the Senate.

HB 2005 will create a streamlined process for small businesses to receive a city’s license from the Department of Revenue, increasing compliance and saving time, without burdening city and town governments.

I hope our colleagues in the Senate also support this bill and deliver it to the governor’s desk.

healthy food

Healthy schools / Healthy kids

Childhood obesity and diabetes rates are soaring in our country. In fact, health experts are warning this generation of kids may be the first to have a lower life expectancy than their parents’ generation. That is unacceptable. Our children should not be doomed to shorter lives and poor health. House Democrats are moving forward bills that focus on improving the health of Washington’s children so they have the opportunity for healthy and successful lives. The following bills, which we sent to the Senate, will result in healthy schools and healthy kids:   

  • HB 1508 Hungry kids do not learn as well as those who are nourished. That is why the Washington Kids Ready to Learn Act is important to kids’ success in school. The bill seeks to ensure our students are ready to learn by facilitating and coordinating school nutrition programs and activities. Across our state, schools are using innovative and successful programs to promote academic success through school nutrition.  This bill will expand and promote these activities.
  • HB 1551 This measure will help schools upgrade their kitchens and cafeterias so they can serve fresher, more nutritious meals. For decades, most public school cafeterias have served reheated foods, because they are not set up for cooking meals made with fresh ingredients. With these “Apple-A-Day” grants, schools can upgrade their kitchen equipment, and even connect with local growers to obtain fresh ingredients and make more meals from scratch.
  • HB 1235 This bill requires schools to gather and provide data about the physical education programs they offer. Many kids are not getting the recommended amount of activity they need to be healthy. However, in order to move forward with a plan to fix that, we need to know where things currently stand. For example, how many minutes of P.E. are students getting per week in each school? What kind of activities do schools count as P.E.? Making sure kids have plenty of opportunities to be active not only helps address the obesity epidemic, it pays off in the classroom, too. Kids who are active have improved academic performance.

As always, it is a great pleasure to serve the 21st Legislative District. If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact my office.

Hope to see you on Saturday!

Best regards,

Ortiz-Self sig