Newsletter: Budgets, Update on Bills & Tips for Seniors!

Dear friends and neighbors,

Earlier this week, both chambers rolled out their respective supplemental budget proposals, and you can take a look at what’s in the three House budgets by clicking on them below to read the press releases:


The supplemental operating budget proposal focuses on re-investing in Washington families. It increases funding for special education, housing affordability, and food supports for working families. This budget also makes post-secondary education more affordable, and strengthens our public health systems. You can learn more about the budget here.


The supplemental transportation budget balances the significant increases we’ve seen in project costs with the need to get things done. Many of our projects are moving forward as expected, though some will need to be re-bid. However, this budget still makes strong investments in the preservation and maintenance of our existing infrastructure, in improving traffic safety, and in correcting fish passages. You can read more about the budget here.


The supplemental capital budget invests in building more affordable housing, childcare centers, behavioral health treatment options, and more. It also funds projects to develop clean energy, help our salmon recovery, and clean the air in our public schools. You can learn more here.

Once we send our budgets to the Senate and they send theirs to us, we go through a process to see where the differences are and work on compromises until we reach consensus.

We’re just a couple of weeks away from adjourning this year’s session and there’s still a lot to get done. Between now and then, we have a fiscal cutoff on February 26 and from then until March 7, we’ll be on the floor passing bills every day.

Update on my bills

House Bill 1226: Providing for recreational licensing of smelt, crawfish, and carp

Under this legislation, which is an agency request, if you want to fish for smelt, carp, and crawfish, you need to get a recreational fishing or shellfish license. However, a license is not required if you’ll be fishing in water bodies designated by the Fish & Wildlife Commission as negatively impacted by carp populations.

  • Status: Passed Senate unanimously today!

House Bill 1906: Changing the vessel length requirement in obtaining nonresident vessel permits

This bill would provide an economic benefit to the state by allowing larger vessels into Washington. The bill expands on the program enacted previously by the Legislature. Since the previous enactment a few years ago, the state has seen increased interest from out-of-state vessel owners in coming to visit Washington. Extending the nonresident vessel permit would support the maritime industry, creating jobs and boosting our economy.

  • Status: In Senate Transportation Committee awaiting executive action on Monday

Senate Bill 6121: Concerning biochar production from agricultural and forestry biomass

I sponsored the House version of this bill. This measure would reduce the presence of common ground fuels by providing an alternative approach to remove and process dead forest growth that is both affordable and environmentally friendly.

  • Status: In House Appropriations Committee awaiting executive action on Monday

These are some of the measures I am co-sponsoring:

House Bill 1768: Exempting certain sales of electricity to qualifying green businesses from the public utilities tax

Provides a public utilities tax exemption to light and power businesses using green hydrogen (a clean energy source). This will foster private-public partnership and innovation that spurs local economic development and create less demand for other inefficient energy options.

  • Status: Heard in Senate Ways & Means on Feb 22

House Bill 1835: Identifying frontier counties for enhanced support 

Defining our communities is the first step towards targeted development. By officially recognizing frontier counties, this bill expands eligibility for public facilities grants and loans, excise taxes benefits, and support from the Department of Commerce, fostering development in rural and remote areas. 

  • Status: Placed on second reading today (next stop is Senate floor!)

House Bill 1862: Providing tax exemptions for the assistance of disabled veterans and members of the USA armed forces

Extends a Business and Occupation tax credit to non-profits on military installations that serve veterans with disabilities, and sales tax exemption to our disabled veterans while utilizing those facilities. This bill helps our non-profit service providers to serve our veterans who have sacrificed for us and now must navigate life with a disability. It is a critical fix that goes a long way toward helping those who have served us.

  • Status: Awaiting executive action in Senate Ways & Means

House Bill 1870: Enhancing local access to federal economic development funds 

Access to federal grants is crucial for community health and development. The Department of Commerce will administer the MATCH program, designed to enhance local communities’ competitiveness for federal grants by providing a state pool of matching funds accessible through an application process.

  • Status: Heard in Senate Ways & Means this afternoon

Did You Know?

Good news seniors

Before I sign off today, I want to make sure you are aware of three helpful healthcare tips for older adults: 

  • Hearing aids—Insurers are now required to pay up to $5,000 for these vital devices. Click here for details. 
  • Help for diabetics—Since last spring, our state now has a permanent cap on the cost of insulin at $35 for a 30-day supply. Learn more 
  • Help around the clock—Under the federal Older Americans Act, every state is required to have an Office of the LTC Ombudsman to address complaints and advocate for improvements in the long-term care system. In Washington, you can find information on this office and how it can help you here. 

As always, I deeply appreciate your taking the time to read my newsletters. I hope you find this information useful.

If you have feedback, questions or concerns, please contact my office.


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