E-Newsletter: A budget that puts people first

Investing in Washington’s workforce today and tomorrow


Our Legislature made huge strides in building Washington’s workforce by helping families afford college and apprenticeships with the Workforce Education Investment Act.

This legislation makes public college tuition free for families that make up to $50,000 and allocates over $100 million into career connection services in high-demand sectors, like nursing, engineering and technology. People who make up to the median family income will be eligible for a sliding scale of assistance.

Locally, the Sunset Multi-Service & Career Development Center in Renton received funding for families to access free counseling, classes and tutoring. Additionally, the Center provides adults with career development programming.

Leading the nation with accessible health care

Hudgins, Gregerson

Funded in the budget is $1 million to HealthPoint in Tukwila for expansion of health services.

Families in Washington deserve health care they can afford and can count on. This session, we established a public health care option, Cascade Care. This plan is more understandable, usable and affordable, and available to any Washingtonian who is not covered by an employer sponsored health plan. Those who are covered by an employer’s health plan, Medicare or Apple Care will not be affected.

Washington became the first state in the nation to tackle our impending long-term care crisis with the Long-Term Care Trust Act. The legislation sets up an insurance benefit to help cover the costs of vital health care services, and with more people than ever moving into the 65+ age bracket, we are getting ahead today by planning for tomorrow.

Addressing behavioral health and substance use disorder

behavioral health

Washington took major steps to address the crisis of behavioral health and substance use disorder this session. Locally, SeaMar Community Health Centers will see additional funding to expand community behavioral health services.

We are expanding community behavioral health beds and services, investing $292 million in the next four years. As part of our commitment to holistically tackling this issue, the approved budget establishes a brand new behavioral health innovation and integration campus within the University of Washington’s School of Medicine. This will help develop the next generation of behavioral health professionals and bolster the resources needed to better address opioid and substance use policies.

Funding public K-12 education and better opportunities


The Legislature worked to increase funding for our K-12 schools. This includes significant investments for special education and staff professional development. The Tukwila School District received nearly $200,000 to build and improve classrooms for the Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECEAP).

Outside of public classroom walls, the Starfire Sports STEM Center was granted funding to engage low-income youth through soccer and STEM learning opportunities.

Cleaning up our environment, preventing orca extinction


Earlier this month, Gov. Inslee signed a historic package of bills that directly takes action on climate change, reduces our state’s carbon footprint and better protects our struggling Southern Resident orcas. As a state, we are committed to systematically moving to 100-percent clean energy from renewable and zero-emissions sources, including wind, hydro and solar power. We are electrifying our transportation infrastructure, creating incentives to build new, energy efficient buildings, banning products containing super-pollutants and preventing oil spillsfrom further endangering orca whales and Washington water. Moving toward a cleaner, greener future is the smartest choice for our people, environment and economy.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the Legislature. It is a true honor.

Rep. Zack Hudgins