27th LD Update: An Update on Important Transportation Bills + Join My Seatmates and Me at a Town Hall on Saturday

Dear friends and neighbors,   

We’re now in week six of this year’s legislative session. For the past week, my fellow legislators and I have been debating various bills on the House floor. However, 5 PM today is “House of Origin” cut-off, which means that everything that passes off the House floor by this time will be sent on to the Senate for further consideration, and any bills passed in the Senate will now be considered in the House. Bills need to pass both chambers before becoming law.    

Have you ever been curious about how a bill becomes law? The graphic on the left depicts the typical life cycle each bill goes through in the legislature. While there are exceptions, this road map outlines the common path most bills are likely to follow. For those seeking a deeper understanding, I recommend watching this accompanying video, which provides a comprehensive exploration of the legislative process.  

Noteworthy Transportation Bills

Traffic Safety Bills

Last year saw the largest number of traffic fatalities since 1990. Speeding and substance use are the leading factors in traffic deaths. I talked about this a bit in my last video update to you, which you can review here. There are currently three traffic safety bills under consideration in the Washington House of Representatives:  

House Bill 2356: This legislation, which I am sponsoring, concerns the use of speed safety cameras  within construction zones on our state highways like the area on I-5 just north of Fife where Highway 167 is under construction. The point of using these cameras is to crack down on speeding, which is the second-most common risk factor in fatal crashes in our state. Speed contributes to traffic fatalities in two ways; first, it increases the likelihood of a crash since a driver has less time to react and has a narrower field of vision; and second, force increases exponentially with more speed, leading to more deaths.   

House Bill 2357: Known as the Washington State Patrol trooper retention bill, this builds on the work I did last year that aimed to recruit more people into working for the Washington State Patrol and providing incentives to encourage transfers from state and local agencies. This bill, however, wants to retain those already with the agency—especially those close to retirement—with monetary incentives.   

House Bill 2384: Sponsored by Rep. Brandy Donaghy (D-Mill Creek), this bill expands the ability of cities and counties to establish speed camera programs through local ordinances, while maintaining privacy protections and allowing city and county governments to reinvest revenues from traffic camera fines into safety improvements. Studies show that fixed camera sites can reduce injury by up to 25 percent and fatalities by up to 32 percent. People aware of where speed cameras are also less likely to drive recklessly.  

Deterring Crime

House Bill 2153: Sponsored by Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-Shoreline), this bill would make trafficking, possessing, selling, or offering to sell catalytic converters a crime. Our state—as well as the entire country—has seen a rising rate of theft of catalytic converters. Experienced thieves can remove them from vehicles in only one or two minutes using basic tools. What can net a thief hundreds of dollars at a scrapyard or recycler can then cost vehicle owners thousands of dollars to replace, depending on the make and model of the vehicle. This needs to stop—and this bill aims to put a stop to this growing problem.  

Leasing Unused Highway Land for Revenue

Another bill I have introduced is House Bill 2491, which authorizes the Washington State Department of Transportation to lease surplus property for social, environmental, or economic benefits provided by the lessee when a public agency or community-based non-profit organization uses the property for housing and ancillary improvements, parks, enhanced public spaces, or public recreation. This legislation would allow the Washington State History Museum to assume responsibility for Pugnetti Park, which is located on Pacific Avenue near Highway 509. The bill will also facilitate constructive use of WSDOT surplus property.

Video Update

The state’s transportation budget is facing some significant challenges as we work toward a transportation system that addresses climate change and is more inclusive of the needs of all Washington residents. We have seen unprecedented cost increases for the construction of new ferries, roads, and other vital transportation projects. In my latest video, I discuss these challenges and our approach to navigate the transportation needs of all corners of our state.

Join Us at a Town Hall this Saturday!

Please join us, your lawmakers from the 27th Legislative District, for a town hall meeting from 9:30-11:30 AM (with sign-in starting at 9 AM) on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Evergreen State College-Tacoma. This is our chance to hear from you, as well as update you on our work in Olympia on your behalf. 

You’re encouraged to send in your questions in advance by clicking here. I look forward to seeing you there!  


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