Thank you for taking our survey!
Thank you so much to the over 550 of you who took time out of your day to complete the survey we sent in our previous e-newsletter. The feedback and information you shared with us is incredibly valuable. We all agree the 22nd District is a great place to work, live, play, and raise a family. It was a pleasure to read what you love about our community, and your ideas to make our area even better.
We gathered many themes from your feedback. Here is what many of you told us are your priorities for this legislative session.
- You want more convenient robust transit options and less congestion on I-5
- Many of you want light rail in our area
- You’re facing many challenges, including housing affordability, saving for retirement, and high health care costs
- Our tax structure is broken and desperately needs fixing
We’re strong supporters and sponsors of several pieces of legislation directly related to these priorities you shared with us. Among these include property tax relief for seniors and veterans, an excise tax on the sale of capital gains, Beth’s bill which will fund the working families tax exemption by taxing private companies with excessive disparities between employee and executive pay, the Cascade Care health insurance proposal, and a package of affordable housing and homelessness-related proposals. Light rail in Thurston County is something we can’t immediately promise, but we look forward to supporting efforts to improve regional transportation.
Your voice matters!
“Support conversion to electric vehicles and promote telecommuting and ridesharing.”
“Easier public transportation in rural areas.”
“Implement a low carbon fuel standard!!”
“Address/increase services for mental health and homelessness”
“Go after Big Pharma.”
“Appreciate living in Olympia, where there is diversity, local involvement, and commitment to social justice.”
“I LOVE OLYMPIA!”
Join your 22nd LD legislators for a telephone town hall on Feb. 18 at 6pm
We want to continue hearing from you, and we hope you’ll be able to join Sen. Hunt and us for a telephone town hall the evening of February 18 from 6-7pm. We look forward to hearing your questions and concerns, and for the opportunity to provide an update on the legislative session.
(You’ll receive a call when the telephone town hall begins)
We have 74 Orcas left. That’s it. Only 74.
Protecting our orca population is a top priority of mine this session. Our state’s official marine mammal, our resident orca whale, is on the verge of extinction. If we don’t do something to protect them now, pretty soon all the Southern Resident Orcas will be gone.
According to the recommendations by the Southern Resident Orca Task Force, three main culprits are causing the dramatic decline of our orca population: not enough food, and waters that are too polluted and too loud.
I’m taking bold action with my House colleagues in response to the risk of extinction. This year, I am prime sponsoring HB 1194, which would identify and reduce the largest sources of toxic chemicals, including phthalates, PFAS, toxic flame retardants, phenolic compounds, and PCBs that are polluting our homes and our waters.
I’m joined by several of my colleagues in introducing legislation to protect our orcas;
HB 1579 would increase habitat for Chinook salmon and other forage fish. By protecting their habitat, we’ll have more salmon, which is the orcas’ main food source.
HB 1578 would reduce threats to Southern Resident orcas by improving the safety of oil transportation.
No one wants to see another dead calf carried through the Salish Sea by her mother for over two weeks. I strongly support all of these bills and trust that they will make a difference so that our kids, and their kids, get to see their official marine mammal thriving in Washington waters once again.
Climate bills are moving through the House
I’m also continuing my focus on climate action because the science is clear: climate change poses significant risks to our economy, our health, and our quality of life.
The fastest-growing source of emissions in Washington is emissions from buildings. That’s why I have introduced HB 1257 to increase their energy efficiency. By retrofitting old buildings and updating standards for new ones, we can cut carbon emissions quickly and economically, while creating good-paying jobs. The legislation had a public hearing last week in the Environment & Energy committee and is scheduled for possible executive session on Thursday.
Several bills that would help move our state toward a cleaner future are making their way through the House, including:
Clean Fuel Standard (HB 1110): Addresses our state’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions – the transportation sector. Transportation represents 45 percent of our emissions. A clean fuel standard would improve local air quality and provide economic benefits to Washington communities by increasing demand for biofuels produced here. The bill advanced out of the Environment & Energy committee recently and is now before the Transportation committee.
100% Clean Electricity (HB 1211): This bill will help transition our state to a clean energy future by removing carbon emissions from the generation of electricity. It requires utilities to gradually transition away from fossil fuel-generated electricity, setting a preliminary “coal elimination” deadline of 2025, and a final “clean grid” deadline of 2045. The bill had a public hearing in the Environment & Energy committee on January 22, and is scheduled for possible executive session this week. (NOTE: Many of you have called and emailed my office regarding Representative Peterson’s amendment, which tightens the compliance timetable while providing the utilities protection from being over-penalized. Rest assured, I’m supporting this amendment.)
Making our schools a safe place to learn
As a parent, grandparent, longtime school leader and legislator, school safety is of critical importance to me. Students need to be safe in schools, and they need to feel safe in schools. Those are the guiding principles behind a package of bills introduced by my Democratic colleagues and me. Bills are focused on improving school safety and student well-being. The bill I have introduced would create regional safety support networks through the Education Service Districts to provide additional support to schools. We plan to vote the bill out of the House Education Committee on Thursday.
If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to watch this video of Alissa Parker, mother of Emilie Parker, one of the 20 children who died tragically in the Sandy Hook school shooting. She joined us for a press conference to introduce the package of bills, and she shared her personal story in greater detail during the House Education Committee work session on school safety.
Beth & Laurie