Thank you for taking my survey!
Thank you so much to the nearly 700 of you who took time out of your day to complete the survey I sent in my previous e-newsletter. I value the feedback and information you shared with me. We all agree the 43rd District is a great place to live, play, and raise a family. I enjoyed reading what you love about our community, and your ideas to make our area even better.
I gathered many themes from your feedback. Here is what many of you told me are some of your priorities for this legislative session:
- You want gridlock relief, more bus service and light rail expansion sooner
- You’re facing many challenges including housing affordability, saving for retirement, and health care costs
- Our tax structure is regressive, unfair, broken and desperately needs fixing
- You love our parks and walkable neighborhoods
I’m sponsoring and supporting many pieces of legislation directly related to your priorities. Just a few of them include: tenant rights, affordable housing, and homelessness services & prevention efforts; an excise tax on the sale of capital gains; funding the working families tax exemption by taxing private companies with excessive disparities in employee and executive pay; Rep. Eileen Cody’s Cascade Care health insurance proposal; gun responsibility & school safety measures; and secure scheduling. I’ve stood up against attacks on Sound Transit, and look forward to supporting our regional transportation system this session. I support, but can’t promise you a state income tax, and we’re considering how we can make our tax structure less regressive this year.
Your voice matters!
“Our adult child can’t find affordable apartment in Seattle.”
“Replace some taxes with an income tax!!!! Especially on high income earners.”
“Reduce regressivity by adding a state income tax and reduce property and sales taxes.”
“Need more public transport that links up better.”
“Universal single payer healthcare for WA residents”
Climate bills are moving through the House
The science is clear: climate change poses significant risks to our economy, our health, and our quality of life. The most recent National Climate Assessment, a federal report prepared by hundreds of scientists, details the disruptive impacts anticipated in the United States and the Pacific Northwest if we don’t take action now to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Several bills that would help move our state toward a cleaner future are making their way through the House. Here’s where they currently stand:
100% Clean Electricity (HB 1211): This bill will help transition our state to a clean energy future by removing carbon emissions from the generation of electricity. It requires utilities to gradually transition away from fossil fuel-generated electricity, setting a preliminary “coal elimination” deadline of 2025, and a final “clean grid” deadline of 2045. The bill had a public hearing in the Environment & Energy committee on January 22, and is scheduled for possible executive session next week.
Clean Fuel Standard (HB 1110): Addresses our state’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions – the transportation sector. Transportation represents 45 percent of our emissions. A clean fuel standard would improve local air quality and provide economic benefits to Washington communities by increasing demand for biofuels produced here. The bill advanced out of the Environment & Energy committee recently and is now before the Transportation committee.
Abiding by the Paris Climate Agreement (HB 1113): The Paris climate agreement was an unprecedented collaboration between almost every nation in the world to address the global threat of climate change. In 2017, the Trump Administration withdrew the United States from the agreement. This bill simply aligns Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions limits with those established by the US’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. It had public hearings on January 15 and 17, and was voted out of the Environment & Energy Committee this week.
Increasing Energy Efficiency (HB 1257): The fastest-growing source of emissions in Washington is emissions from buildings. By retrofitting old buildings and updating standards for new ones, we can cut carbon emissions quickly and economically, while creating good-paying jobs. The legislation had a public hearing this week in the Environment & Energy committee and is scheduled for possible executive session next week.
Phasing out super pollutants (HB 1112): Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, are primarily used in commercial and industrial refrigerants. They are known as “super pollutants” because they can be thousands of times more damaging to our climate that carbon dioxide. This bill phases out HFCs in our state and transitions to alternatives. It was voted out of the Environment & Energy committee last week and is now in the Appropriations committee.
Cleaning up our own house
The Washington state House of Representatives took its first vote of the year recently, which aimed at protecting the legislative community from sexual harassment and bullying. The problem of harassment in the Legislature festered for decades until more than 250 women in the legislative community came together to sign a “Stand With Us” letter. Since then, the Legislature has taken significant steps to end this culture of harassment, including creating the House Workgroup on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment. I was a member of this workgroup, and was honored to spend a significant amount of time with our hardworking staff, members, and lobbyists to work on improving our work environment here in Olympia. The first piece of legislation we passed was House Concurrent Resolution 4401 establishing the Legislature’s Code of Conduct.
From now on, all members of the legislative community — legislators, staff, and people who conduct business with the legislature — are expected to:
- Conduct themselves with self-awareness, self-respect, and professionalism;
- Treat all others with respect, dignity and civility, regardless of status or position;
- Refrain from engaging in hostile, intimidating, offensive, or unlawful activities or behaviors that may amount to discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, or bullying.
As I said on the House Floor, “If we can’t protect our staff here in the House and Senate, then we have no moral authority to legislate how any other employer should protect their workers.”
I was proud to introduce this resolution to create a workplace where everyone is treated with respect.
We have 74 Orcas left. That’s it. Only 74.
Our state’s official marine mammal, and a significant symbol for Native Americans in our region, our resident orca whale is on the verge of extinction. If we don’t do something to protect them now, pretty soon all the Southern Resident killer whales will be gone.
According to the recommendations by the Southern Resident Orca Task Force, three main culprits are causing the dramatic decline of our orca population: not enough food, and waters that are too polluted and too loud.
Fortunately, the House is taking bold actions to save our whales with several bills sponsored by my colleagues, Reps. Joe Fitzgibbon, Debra Lekanoff, Beth Doglio, and Brian Blake:
HB 1579 would increase habitat for Chinook salmon and other forage fish. By protecting their habitat, we’ll have more salmon, which is the orcas’ main food source.
HB 1578 would reduce threats to Southern Resident orcas by improving the safety of oil transportation.
HB 1194 would identify and reduce the largest sources of toxic chemicals, including phthalates, PFAS, toxic flame retardants, phenolic compounds, and PCBs that are polluting our homes and our waters.
HB 1580 would require reduce vessel noise and disturbance near Southern Resident orcas.
No one wants to see another dead calf carried through the Salish Sea by her mother for over two weeks. I strongly support all of these bills and trust that they will make a difference so that our kids, and their kids, get to see their official marine mammal thriving in Washington waters once again.