Dear friends and neighbors,
Right now, a lot is happening in the state Legislature. I wanted to let you know some of the actions we are taking to address the challenges facing people in the 43rd District and across Washington state.
To provide your point of view or to ask questions, please feel free to reach out to my office by emailing my legislative assistant, Daniel Lugo, at Daniel.Lugo@leg.wa.gov) or calling 206-905-6681.
A major priority: Fair Start for Our Kids
Child Care and Early Learning
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the child care system was in crisis. Now it’s in danger of collapse. Already, it is already costing Washington businesses more than $2 billion a year, and working parents are forgoing $14 billion a year in lost wages due to the lack of access to affordable child care. As a result, large numbers of parents are leaving the workforce or reducing hours and take-home pay. It’s clear that Washington’s child care market is broken and too many children and families are bearing the consequences.
But we know how to proceed! State Representative Tana Senn, Senator Claire Wilson and I are leading the charge for the Fair Start for Kids Act (House Bill 1277). Our proposal is a multi-faceted approach to address the child care crisis, help the economy recover, and promote social and racial equity. The bill aims to make child care and early learning more affordable for families, stabilize and support the diverse child care workforce, and expand child care and early learning access to many more kids.
This past week, parents, employers, and child care providers testified in support of the bill in the Children, Youth & Families Committee. They teleconferenced into the committee from their homes and workplaces to share their moving stories. You can watch the full public hearing here. This year, we have a window of opportunity to take action for our kids, our jobs, and our future!
Child care is incredibly important to employers and our overall economy. After all, why do employees need child care? To go to work! In addition, so many people say that “early learning is the best investment we can make.” We need to turn that rhetoric into reality in the state budget – and provide funding with new progressive tax revenue, with a Fair Share Contribution from corporations doing well even in this current economy!
Fair Share for Child Care!
Highlights of other proposed legislation
Major priorities and issues are being considered by the Legislature this session.
Among the many proposed House bills (HB) that I’m co-sponsoring:
Police accountability and reform
- HB 1054 – Police tactics. Prime sponsored by Representative Jesse Johnson, I am co-sponsoring this legislation that would prohibit chokeholds and neck restraints, the use of unleashed dogs to arrest or apprehend, the concealment of badge numbers, and “no-knock” warrants.It would also ban the use of tear gas for any purpose. In addition to the egregious use seen on Capitol Hill this summer, this ban is particularly compelling to my family. In years past, my mom would tell me about her experience as a young woman being tear gassed by state troopers on the picket lines outside the coal mines in Roslyn, Washington, where my father was on strike against the coal company for better wages and working conditions in the Great Depression. Tear gas wasn’t acceptable then and it isn’t now.
- HB 1267 – Independent investigations of police use of force. Representative Entenman’s bill would create an independent oversight agency to investigate police misconduct. There has been a breakdown of trust between law enforcement officers and the general public. This bill would hold law enforcement accountable and ensure investigations were done independent of the involved police department.
- HB 1310 – Use of force by law enforcement. This bill would build on the improvements to the police use of force statute enacted by Initiative 940. A few years ago, as Speaker of the House, I helped enact I-940, which was then sustained by the voters across the state. This new proposal makes clear that de-escalation attempts must be made before force can be used.
Climate and environment
- HB 1091 – Clean fuel standards. Greenhouse gas emissions have caused devastating impacts to our environment. House Bill 1091 aims to mitigate the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuel through the establishment of a Clean Fuels Program. As House Speaker in 2019, I helped lead the House to approve the legislation. Hopefully this year, the Senate will join us in passing this critical climate policy.
- HB 1084 – Green buildings. To help mitigate the effects of climate change, House Bill 1084 would set specific requirements for the construction of residential and commercial buildings so that more eco-friendly buildings are developed throughout our state.
- House Bill 1204 – Electric vehicles. Prime sponsored by my 43rd District seatmate, Representative Nicole Macri, and co-sponsored by yours truly, this bill would require that new cars be electric-powered after the year 2030. People would still be able to drive and sell gasoline powered cars manufactured before 2030. This would encourage the transformation of our transportation system which currently accounts for nearly half of all carbon emissions, spewing out of tailpipes. This transition is already underway in the marketplace. The future is electric!
If you are interested on climate issues, you are cordially invited to join my “Climate Crew,” comprised of climate activists in the 43rd District, who are working on a weekly basis to carry out an action agenda to combat climate change. Please contact Daniel Lugo in my office to participate!
- House Bill 1070 – Funding for affordable housing. This bill will advance over $400 million in bonds in King County to create permanent supportive housing for those facing behavioral health challenges of mental illness or substance use disorders, with special attention focused on homeless youth. Many of our neighbors are homeless, suffering and dying on our streets. This is moral imperative that we must attack on many fronts.
- House Bill 1236 – Protecting tenants from eviction. This bill, prime sponsored by my seatmate Representative Macri, with my co-sponsorship, is known as Just Cause Eviction. It would protect residential tenants from the beginning to end of their tenancies by penalizing the inclusion of unlawful lease provisions and limiting the reasons for eviction, refusal to continue leases, and termination.
- House Bill 1277 – Funding for eviction prevention and housing stability. Through programs like the eviction prevention rental assistance program, we can prevent evictions and proactively provide resources to households most likely to become homeless or suffer severe health consequences. This will allow us to promote equity by prioritizing low-income households, especially in communities of color.
These House Bills that I am championing are only a few highlights. To see all my co-sponsored bills so far, please click here.
Thank you so much,
Rep. Frank Chopp