2023 Session Victories: Local Projects, plus Community Conversations and WA Cares

Dear friends and neighbors,

We’re here with an update on what local projects we funded during this year’s legislative session! The money for these local projects can come from a couple places, but the biggest two are the transportation budget and the capital budget. The transportation budget goes to things like public transit, roads, sidewalks, and other transportation infrastructure. As Chair of the Transportation Committee Rep. Fey is the lead for the transportation budget in the House. The capital budget goes towards things like construction and renovation, including housing, K-12 and higher education buildings, and community projects. With that, here’s some more information about the investments you can look forward to in our district!

Important Transportation Projects in the 27th Legislative District

  • The Puget Sound Gateway Program (SR 167 and SR 509 completion) is two projects in one—SR 509 connects SeaTac to the Kent Valley and SR 167 connects the Port of Tacoma to Sumner and Puyallup. $873 million has been allocated to this project over the next two years and is currently in stage two of construction. This project will allow for a tolled expressway from I-5 to the Port of Tacoma. The total cost for this project will be $2.2 billion, and once complete, it will greatly improve the movement of goods to the Port of Tacoma. This project also funds a shared use trail for pedestrian and bicycle travel from Puyallup to Tacoma.
  • Over the next two years, $7.7 million is funded for access improvements on the Port of Tacoma Road. This road is one of the major arterials serving the Port of Tacoma and is in desperate need of an upgrade. An additional $22 million to fund this work from 2025-2027 is projected.
  • The state is matching $5 million in funding for the Tacoma Rail Battery-Electric Switcher Locomotive Replacement Project, which combined with federal and city funds will allow Tacoma Rail to purchase two electric locomotives. These will have a significant impact on carbon reduction and improving air quality in our region.
  • Pierce Transit is the recipient of $15 million for its Tacoma- Spanaway Bus Rapid Transit project that will accelerate the frequency and run time along SR 7-Pacific Ave. This is the first BRT for Pierce Transit.
  • The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s Port Drayage Zero Emission Pilot program has received $6.3 million from CCA auction funds to replace old diesel-emitting trucks. The new trucks will be electric and benefit our region by improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions.

Important Capital Projects in the 27th Legislative District

  • $1 million for Shiloh Baptist Church to provide affordable housing
  • $2 million to build a new Asian and Pacific Islander Cultural Center at the current APCC location
  • $1.5 million to make critical repairs to the Fife Aquatic and Community Center
  • $2.4 million for the CLR Certified Community Behavioral Health Center
  • $90,000 for the Latino Arts and Culture Community Center
  • $3 million for the Scott and Sis Names Family YMCA community center
  • $3.5 million for the Sea Mar Community Health Center in Tacoma
  • $2.5 million to the Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center for their Cora Whitley Family Center, which will hopefully expand childcare options in the district
  • $226,000 for the Multicultural Youth Recreation Facility
  • $7.7 million for the UWT Campus Land Acquisition to ensure that UWT can continue to grow their Tacoma campus
  • $2 million for the Tacoma Public Library
  • $5 million Lincoln District Family Housing

Dash Point/Browns Point Annexation

At the request of a number of citizens in the Dash Point/Browns Point area, SHB 1620 was introduced (and passed – it becomes law on July 23) to allow residents to consider the full range of options for local governance. Residents wanted to be able to consider incorporation as one of the options for governance. State law prevented areas with the population of the Dash Point/Browns Point area to consider incorporation as a town. In the past, there was discussion of annexing the area to the City of Federal Way or the City of Tacoma in the hopes that the area would see improved services, particularly regarding public safety. Residents wanted the opportunity to consider through a public discussion process whether the area would be best served by annexation to another city, incorporation as their town or continued services provided by Pierce County. With the passage of SHB 1620 residents now have all options available to them.

Community Conversations

Our community conversations kick off next week! These are intended to be small group discussions so please stop by to ask questions or talk about issues that are important to you.

Thursday, July 13th from 2-3pm at the Fife Pierce County Library, 6622 20th St E, Fife, WA 98424

Thursday, July 27th from 6-7pm at the Center at Norpoint, 4818 Nassau Ave NE, Tacoma, WA 98422

Tuesday, August 29th from 11:30am-12:30pm at Heritage Coffee and Plant House, 2310 Court A, Tacoma, WA 98402

Tuesday, September 5th from 12:30-1:30pm at Tacoma Public Library South Tacoma Branch, 3411 S 56th St, Tacoma, WA 98409

The WA Cares website has launched!

Washington Cares will help provide critical access to long-term care; most people don’t have long-term care insurance policies or enough savings to pay for the care they will need as they age. Even those who do have private long-term care policies can find themselves struggling when benefits are delayed or denied. You can learn more about the program and what it will cover here.