27th LD Update: Less Than 2 Weeks ‘Til Sine Die!

Dear friends and neighbors,

Two weeks ago, the House released its proposed transportation budget; and a week ago it passed off the House floor, almost unanimously (96-1). Two days after that, it cleared the Senate, with a vote of 42-6. Between now and sine die on April 23, the House and Senate will be sorting out some of the details on the state’s final transportation budget, but I’ll be sure to give you a full update on it—and all of my bills—once this year’s Legislative Session comes to an end.

Video Update and Op-Ed

Click here or on the image above to hear from me directly about some of the projects that make up the House’s version of the state’s transportation budget.

The House’s transportation budget includes a spending authority of $13.6 billion to implement last year’s Move Ahead Washington package, as well as projects from the 2015 Connecting Washington package. The budget honors our commitment to the people of Washington by keeping key projects funded and on schedule, improving our ferry system, restoring fish passages and a commitment to our promise to combat climate change.

In addition to the video, I also wrote an op-ed recently for the Tacoma News-Tribune where I spell everything out in detail. I also thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for releasing a transportation budget that was truly a bipartisan effort. Click here or on the image below to read more.

Homeless Students Stability Bill Passes Senate

Washington state has an alarming homelessness crisis. Among those without a roof over their head every night are 30,000 students—or about three percent of those in K-12 schools.

This alarming statistic gave me the impetus I needed to do more to help our young people, which is why I sponsored HB 1622 earlier this session. This bill includes amendments to my original 2015 bill known as the Homeless Students Stability Bill, by providing further community supports and counselors for students who are at risk of becoming homeless, as well as additional funds.

When this piece of legislation first became law in 2016, it created a competitive grant program available to school districts to connect homeless students to stable housing and improve access to educational resources. The original source of inspiration was from Tacoma School District and Tacoma Housing Authority efforts already in place at McCarver Elementary School in Tacoma.

Last week, this bill passed unanimously in the Senate and the next stop is the Governor’s desk for his signature. I am hopeful that with additional funding for the program this year that we will be better able to provide more homeless students and their families with a more comprehensive set of services.

Keeping in Touch

While I will be sending you a wrap-up of this year’s Legislative Session in a couple weeks’ time, I want you to know I won’t be going away entirely, either! If you’ve been enjoying my biweekly updates, I encourage you keep reading them (though the emails will hit your inbox less frequently) in the interim. My legislative Facebook page is another great place to watch for my latest news.


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