27th LD Update: Transportation Bills are in Motion + Save the Date for an In-Person Town Hall

Dear friends and neighbors,

In Olympia, we are getting closer and closer to floor action in the House. Debates on bills on the House floor start on Monday, Feb. 27, and last through Wednesday, March 8. Next Wednesday, March 1, also marks halfway through this year’s 105-day Legislative Session. It’s been going by quickly!

We are now in our seventh week of this year’s Legislative Session, and this newsletter will provide you with an update on many topics I’ve already brought before you, as well as some new ones.

Video Update

In my latest video, I discuss the legislative process, specifically the cutoff deadlines and all-day Floor action, and talk about a bill focused on traffic safety that was recently heard in the Transportation Committee. Click here to tune in and watch!

Updates on the State Trooper Incentive Program + the Homeless Students Stability Bill

In my last newsletter, I told you how I had introduced HB 1638, which will focus on the recruitment for the Washington State Patrol (WSP). The bill is an incentive program to make being a state trooper a more attractive career choice. It passed out of committee last week and now heads to the floor.

I also told you about HB 1622, which includes amendments to my original bill HB 1682 from 2015. Commonly referred to as the Homeless Students Stability Bill, this bill passed out of committee last week and is now under review with the Rules Committee.

Transportation Bills are Moving!

Opposition to the state’s proposed airport sites has been loud, fierce and featured prominently in many regional and statewide news outlets. HB 1791, a bill I introduced, is for establishing a work group to provide a comprehensive investigation of airport capacity in the state and to not recommend one or more sites, but to identify the strengths and weaknesses potential sites.

A public hearing for HB 1791 was held last week and was rather heated. Opponents to the new bill believe it’s just a stalling tactic from making a firm decision on deciding the site of a future airport. Some even went so far as to encourage lawmakers to stop thinking about a new airport altogether and find more sustainable solutions for the sake of the environment.

The Transportation Committee will act on this bill with or without any amendments by Friday of this week, and I’ll be sure to keep you updated on next steps.

Other transportation bills that have been in the headlines include HB 1428 (a jaywalking bill) and HB 1582 (a no turn on red light bill). While I haven’t sponsored or co-sponsored either bill, they are important bills being heard in the Transportation Committee.

HB 1428 would repeal the law outlawing jaywalking across the state. If passed, Washington will join California, Nevada, and Virginia, the three states that decriminalized jaywalking two years ago. Advocates and sponsors of this bill believe that our state’s current jaywalking laws disproportionally impact people of color and those who are low-income or homeless.

HB 1582 proposes banning right turns on red within 1,000 feet of areas with a high number of pedestrians, such as schools, libraries, senior centers, parks, hospitals, bus or light rail stops, and more. This bill is part of several traffic safety bills moving through the Legislature this year, all meant to turn back the increased number of fatalities on the state’s roads, which totaled 745 last year. If passed, Washington would become the first state in the nation to ban right turns on red—decades after being the first to sign it into law.

Both of these bills are challenging and will engender substantial conversation.

A Bill for Car Lovers

Last week, I introduced HB 1829, which will create the LeMay-America’s Car Museum special license plate. A public hearing for this bill was held on Monday, and people seem quite supportive of it.

Vanity license plates aren’t a novelty concept, and this bill will help support those who enjoy them so much. To get a sneak peek at what this plate may look like, click here/check out the photo above.

Black and white, you ask, with lettering Washingtonians haven’t seen in decades? Actually, this is intentional. While the design isn’t yet 100 percent final, the aim is to have a simple, black and white plate with classic design elements:

  • The two-tone design is reminiscent of the historic green and white and white and green plates that were used from the 1920s to the 1960s.
  • It is like an inverse design of the plate from 1921.
  • The “Washington” type-font is an homage to the font used on plates from 1987-1998.

Vintage restored plates can be difficult to acquire for the specific model year of a classic car, and cars must be at least 30 years old to have them.  The aim of a simple design with multiple historic elements will appeal to a broad array of enthusiasts.

Meet Legislative Page Angelo Santiago

I recently sponsored Angelo Cruz Santiago, a student at Summit Olympus High School, who served as a page in the Washington State House of Representatives. Angelo is the child of Priscilla Santiago of Fife.

Pages assume a wide variety of responsibilities, from presenting the flags to distributing amendments on the House floor. Pages support the efficient operation of the Legislature while also receiving daily civics instruction, drafting their own bills, and participating in mock committee hearings.

The legislative page program gives young Washington residents the chance to learn and participate in the legislative process. This unique opportunity is open to all Washington residents who are at least 14 years old but have not reached their 17th birthday. In 2023, a one-time exception is being allowed for 17- and 18-year-olds to participate during two specific weeks since the program was discontinued during remote legislative sessions in the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, including how to apply, please visit the page program’s website by clicking here.

Save the Date!

Your 27th Legislative District delegation consisting of Sen. Yasmin Trudeau, House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, and I will host an in-person town hall from 10 a.m.-12 noon on Saturday, March 18. All the information and details will be announced soon, and a link will also be provided so you can submit questions in advance, but for now, mark it on your calendar!


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