Washington State House Democrats


Rep. Orwall’s 4/21/17 Update: Special Session / Update on my bills / Sound Transit

Special Session

The legislature will adjourn (Sine Die) on April 23rd. It has become clear that the legislature will need to go into overtime in order to get our work done this year. I’m very disappointed that we didn’t finish on time.

The challenge is that we need to make a large investment in fully funding basic education.  This is our paramount duty and these investments are critical to ensure that every student has a path to be successful.

At the same time, we have a duty to protect and not make cuts to critical services to those most in need, such as people with developmental disabilities and individuals who are homeless.

How we pay for that is important.  We need to consider funding sources that don’t negatively impact working families and small businesses.

We expect Governor Inslee to call for a special session starting early next week.  I am hopeful that we will be able to compromise and reach an agreement soon on the operating, capital and transportation budgets.

Update on my bills

I am excited that my bill relating to supporting victims of sexual assault, HB 1109, has passed the legislature!

Orwall red

I’m proud of the work we’ve done to move forward on rape kit reform and standing up for survivors whose 6,000 sexual assault kits were never tested in our state.

Two critical next steps are addressed in this bill, first, to provide victim-centered, trauma-informed training to law enforcement, which will ensure a supportive approach to survivors.

And secondly, to create locally-based multidisciplinary community response teams seeking resolutions tied to previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.

We had to make some compromises with the Senate in order to come to an agreement, but with the bill passing, we can strive to maintain continuity so that the state does not fail sexual assault victims again.

Sound Transit update

I’ve heard from many of you about the shockingly large increases to our car tab fees as a result of passage of Sound Transit 3 (ST3), which added an additional tax to the annual fee you pay with car registration.


Please know that we are working on a solution.  I was one of the sponsors of HB 2201, which passed the House on a strong bipartisan vote a little over a week ago, aimed at solving the problem without affecting bonds that are paying for projects.

The measure gives a credit to taxpayers so the amount we’re paying for car tabs is on a more favorable schedule that tracks closely with Kelly Blue Book values.

The bill strikes a balance between maintaining the projects that voters approved and providing some taxpayer relief.  It also directs Sound Transit to fund this credit program using untapped revenues and finding cost savings on projects over the next ten+ years of implementation.  ST3 is a multi-decade proposal; there will be many funding alterations and options over that time.

We deserve to pay car tabs that accurately represent the value of our cars, and we also deserve to move forward with the light rail projects that we desperately need in our region.

I hope HB 2201 will pass the legislature during the special session.

Moving back to district

Starting Monday, April 24th, you may reach us at our district office:  22525 Marine View Drive S, Suite 205, Des Moines, WA  98198, (206) 824-5097.  I hope you will continue to be in touch.