Newsletter: Transportation, Bipartisanship, and our very own Dinosaur!

Dear friends and neighbors,

This is it! This is the last week of session and even though it has been very hectic, with the arrival of spring and the cherry blossoms in full bloom, you can’t help but pause and just take it in.

capitol bloom twilight

How did we get here so quickly? Time does fly when you’re having fun or, for lawmakers, when we’re legislating. Today is the 99th day of this 105-day session. Last week was packed with activity, first passing bills before the Wednesday 5 p.m. deadline, and then working on concurrences. This week will mostly be spent discussing budgets and ironing out differences between House and Senate so we can all go home with three budgets that reflect our values and invest in making our communities better.


This year’s House Transportation Budget proposal funds several legislative priorities, and addresses the fiscal realities pertaining to the continuation of previous legislative budgets, such as last year’s Move Ahead Washington package and the 2015 Connecting Washington package.

I don’t want to get into the details until we have a final budget, so that’ll be in my next newsletter. In the meantime, here’s a short video on two very important projects in our district, one that’s already in the works, and one that will be receiving new funding. Watch:

Chapman 2 transpo


The Legislature is one place where having too many cooks in the kitchen is not a bad thing. I am convinced, being that this is my seventh session, that the best policy, the best agreements, and the best solutions sprout when people from all walks of life offer their views and are open to hearing what others have to say.

So, I make it a point to cosponsor legislation introduced by my colleagues not only on this side, but also across the aisle. Many of the bills I co-sponsored made it to the finish line; I am including summaries of some of them below.

But first, a quick update on two of my bills:

HB 1138, concerning drought preparedness, passed the Legislature unanimously on April 11 and is headed to the governor’s desk. It makes sense to invest in drought planning and preparation, as well as emergency response, to reduce long-term damages and costs, and make the state more resilient to climate change impacts. Less snow-pack and hotter, dryer summers will result in drought and its impacts on rivers and streams, and the fish that rely on them. This is an important measure that will increase funding but also improve and speed up the state’s response when and where we get hit by a drought.


HB 1419, concerning county treasurers’ duties, was signed into law by the governor on April 13. This bill changes the process for county treasurers to designate an outstanding warrant as redeemed, and authorizes them to contract with the county or taxing district to cover warrants for which there are insufficient funds. This is a cleanup bill that brings the statute up to date. It revises the language in the statute to match the way modern finance works, which is electronically.


HB 1019 creates the Pesticide Advisory Board to advise the Department of Agriculture on certain issues relating to the use and application of pesticides.

HB 1032 mitigates the risk of wildfires through electric utility planning and identification of best management practices. Each utility is different, but this bill will help with the exchange of information. While utility fires are only a small percent of wildfires, planning is still essential.

HB 1265 provides a property tax exemption for adult family homes that serve people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and are owned by a nonprofit.

HB 1293 streamlines and expedites developmental regulations. By eliminating red tape, this bill will save time, effort, and money, while still following protocols.

HB 1311 is a good consumer protection bill that regulates credit repair services organizations, so they are subject to transparency and fairness.

HB 1481 expands the retirement benefit options for tribal law enforcement officers. This will help our tribal partners recruit and retain personnel going forward.

HB 1491 prohibits unjustified employer searches of employee personal vehicles. The keyword here is unjustified; this measure provides adequate protections for workers, while still allowing searches by law enforcement when necessary.

HB 1500 increases the cap on gross sales for cottage food operations from $25,000, to $35,000.

HB 1775, this measure, which has the backing of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, limits liability for salmon recovery projects performed by Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups, unless the damage is due to negligence or misconduct.

HB 1783 requires the Department of Commerce to establish a grant program to support economic development in distressed and rural areas through hiring of grant writers.

HB 1784, while it may be hard to believe that the state is in a food crisis, this is a real, serious problem that forces many people, particularly seniors, to choose between food, medication, and rent. This bill includes critical resources to address this issue by appropriating $28 million to support food assistance programs.

HB 1712 protects workers displaced as a result of finfish aquaculture facility closures, this will allow them to get additional training benefits and help them to take care of their families.

SB 5229 / HB 1231 supports rural economic development by expanding the range of economic development projects that can be funded by the state’s Community Economic Revitalization Board.

Jurassic Perk: Washington has a Dino!

In 2012, a fossil theropod was discovered at Sucia Island State Park in San Juan County and was nicknamed “Suciasaurus Rex.”  In 2019, a group of 4th-graders approached legislators with a request: to designate the Suciasaurus Rex the official dinosaur of Washington state.

The bill did not make it, so it was re-introduced every session since and the students, who are now in 8th grade, did not falter in their quest, they attended hearings and voiced their support year after year.

Some people say it’s a silly bill, but it’s really about civic engagement. About a group of kids who’ve learned about the legislative process first-hand and this year, with passage of HB 1020, they can celebrate having finally reached their goal.

Suciasaurus Rex

With the end of session just around the corner, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued interest in my work on your behalf here, in Olympia, and hope you have found my newsletters informative.

Please remember you can always contact my office with any questions or concerns.


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LEG 132B | PO Box 40600 Olympia, WA 98504
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