2024 Session Victories: Community Safety, Behavioral Health, and Responding to the Opioid/Fentanyl Crisis

Dear friends and neighbors,

In my final e-newsletter of 2024 session, I mentioned that I’d be doing a deeper dive in subsequent newsletters into some of the great work we were able to accomplish this year. For this edition, I want to highlight what we did to increase community safety, grow behavioral health, and respond to the opioid and fentanyl crisis.

I’m kicking off with these in part because they were some of the top issues that you all highlighted in my constituent survey last fall, and that feedback helped inform our work this session.

Over the next month I’ll be highlighting our work in other areas, so stay tuned. As always, please reach out to my office if you have any questions-



I’ve heard from many of you with concerns about community safety: concerns about gun violence prevention, funding and oversight for law enforcement, and what we can do to reduce crime and help ensure everyone feels safer.

In 2022, we passed legislation to address explosive growth in catalytic converter thefts. Our approach is working. Catalytic converter thefts have gone down by 77% since passage of this legislation. This year we continued to build on our successes. We passed legislation this year that will help further deter this type of theft and keep it on the decline. We also expanded protections for our kids, ensuring that fabricated sexually explicit images that use a child’s likeness are punishable under the same statutes that criminalize child pornography. Additionally, we expanded definitions for crime victims and witnesses to ensure that everyone gets the support and services they need.

We continued our work on gun violence prevention, passing a set of bills that will work together to help keep us safe and keep guns out of the hands of those determined to use them to harm others. This includes HB 1903, which will help ensure that stolen firearms are reported to law enforcement before they can be sold illegally or used in violent crimes; HB 2118, which will help prevent gun theft by requiring gun stores to secure their inventory; and HB 2021, which will allow the Washington State Patrol to destroy seized firearms, a permission already given to all other law enforcement agencies in Washington state and which the agency has specifically asked the legislature to give them.

We continue to invest in expanding basic law enforcement training academy’s across the State.  In addition to expanding training classes at the primary training site in Burien, we’ve expanded training sites to Pasco, Vancouver and are working to open a site in northwest Washington.  The results have been transformative.  We also heard from our cities and counties about challenging budget limitations, which is why we allocated $8 million for the state to take over the full cost of our basic law enforcement academies where new officers are trained.


We also knew we needed to make significant investments in behavioral health to help address the opioid and fentanyl crisis that is affecting so many people in our community and across our state. This year we invested $215 million in opioid and substance use disorder response and prevention, which includes $156 million for increased medication for opioid use disorder treatment, programs, and supplies, $16 million to support families and children safety, $10 million to support child-welfare and school-based prevention and intervention, and $6 million in outreach and support for our tribal partners.

We passed legislation that will help ensure there is age-appropriate education about the dangers of fentanyl in our K-12 schoolsin our post-secondary education systems, and statewide through the Washington State Department of Health. We’ve ensured that life-saving overdose prevention medication will be more accessible for everyone, and substance use disorder treatment will be more accessible and responsive state-wide. We also passed legislation to help support young adults leaving treatment to ensure that they’re set up for success.

This is a crisis, and we’re taking it seriously with landmark investments and bipartisan legislation covering prevention, treatment, support, outreach, crisis response, and more.