27th LD Update: Important Transportation Bills + Join Me at a Town Hall on 3/18

Dear friends and neighbors,

The last time I wrote you, we had not yet started our 10-day run of bills on the House floor. That hectic activity ended last Wednesday, March 8. The House passed 328 bills off the House floor, with nearly 200 receiving unanimous support and more than 250 receiving strong bipartisan support!

We are now less than six weeks from sine die, and in today’s newsletter I’ll be highlighting important transportation bills that are now with the Senate. The House now pivots back to committee hearings to look at bills sent over from the Senate and in upcoming newsletters, you’ll be getting updates on this work.

I also wanted to remind you that this Saturday, Sen. Yasmin Trudeau, House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, and I will be hosting a town hall from 10 a.m.-12 noon in Tacoma. Full details are at the end of this newsletter.

An Update on Important Transportation Bills

Last year, the historic and transformative 16-year and $17 billion Move Ahead Washington package was signed into law. This year, our top three themes for implementing this work are traffic safety, improving Washington State Ferries, and hitting a reset on the airport debate. Read more below, with a list a bills and their prime sponsors under each subsection that highlight some of this key work. Please be sure to click on the links in each section to dig in even deeper on these topics!

Safety on Our Roads

Traffic fatalities are at their highest levels in 10 years. In 2022, 745 people died from traffic accidents—the highest number on record in more than 30 years! Worse yet, pedestrian fatalities are up by 31 percent! New standards for driver education and training will reduce these fatalities and make our roads and walkways safer. Washingtonians also rely on the Washington State Patrol for traffic law enforcement and motorist assistance on our roads. Recruitment efforts to make being a state trooper a more attractive career choice is integral to making our state highways safer.

Bills on to the Senate
  • HB 1084: Changes the primary duty of the Freight Mobility and Strategic Investment Board to provide strategic guidance to the Governor and the Legislature regarding the highest priority freight mobility needs in the state. (Fey) 
  • HB 1638: Incentivizing recruitment for the Washington State Patrol to keep potential candidates in state and attract quality candidates from out-of-state. (Fey) 
  • HB 1319: Evaluating collision reporting criteria that is used to address driver’s license reexamination. (Reed) 
  • HB 1540: Requiring driver training curriculum for motorists to know how to share the road with large vehicles, including commercial motor vehicles and buses.  (Hutchins) 
Improving Our Ferries

Addressing challenges within the Washington State Ferries (WSF) is vital to stay efficient and eliminate the expense of maintaining vessels that have outlived their expected lifespan. Work on acquiring new vessels to replace aging ones is a top priority, as is improving the hiring and retention process for those who work on the ferries.  I will be introducing a bill this week to ensure an expedited process to replace our ferry vessels, so please stay tuned.

Senate Bill Now Under Consideration in the House
  • SB 5550: Addressing workforce development issues, including cultural issues, at the Washington State Ferries (Liias) 
Hitting a Reset on the Airport Debate

Opposition to the state’s proposed airport sites has been loud, fierce and has featured prominently in the news. Establishing a work group to provide a comprehensive investigation of existing and new airport sites is the right approach, especially as it allows time to review environmental impacts and involved local stakeholders in the process. We need to plan for potential increases in commercial air traffic as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is expected to reach capacity by 2050, as well as meeting our overall transportation system needs.

Bill Now in the Senate for Consideration

Join Us for a Town Hall

Please join Sen. Yasmin Trudeau, House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, and me for an in-person town hall from 10 a.m.-12 noon this Saturday at The Evergreen State College, 1210 Sixth Ave., Tacoma (if using transit, take Pierce Transit Route 1 to the Sixth Ave./Pacific stop). We see this meeting as a chance for you to ask us questions and for us to update you on what we’re doing on your behalf in Olympia. Submitting questions in advance is encouraged so we know what’s important to you!

To submit your questions in advance, you have two options. You can email them to OfficeofSpeakerJinkins@leg.wa.gov or by submitting them through this form.

I look forward to seeing you there!


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