29th District Update: Week Six of the 2024 Legislature

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Happy Black History Month! As you know, Black history is American history. While we are impacted by the stories, culture, and contributions of Black Americans all year long, we take this month to commemorate, acknowledge milestones, and recommit to the remaining work. We have the most diverse Legislature in history, which means we have diverse voices with lived experience guiding us. I am committed to working hand in hand with the Legislative Black Caucus to fight for equity, opportunity, prosperity, and dignity for every American.

Bills Pass a Key Legislative Deadline

This Tuesday was a big day for the legislature. Known as “House of Origin Cutoff”, this is the last day for bills to move out of their starting chamber. Excitingly, several of my bills have beat this deadline:

  • House Bill 1905 expands the Equal Pay Opportunity Act to encompass all protected classes and empowers workers to hold employers accountable for discriminatory practices. This bill was passed out of the House with bipartisan support on February 8th and is scheduled for an executive session in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee today. You can watch the committee here and me advocate for this legislation on House passage here.

  • House Bill 2000 modernizes Washington’s international relations framework, which hasn’t been updated in thirty-two years. It is a key step toward a competitive and engaged Washington on the global stage. To learn more about the bill, click here!

Rent Stabilization Is One Step Closer

Our district and all of Washington’s communities face a dire housing crisis. This is why the House of Representatives passed legislation (HB 2114) addressing skyrocketing rents. HB 2114, caps rent increases to provide stability and predictability to renters. Children, seniors on fixed income, and people of color are disproportionately impacted. Over 100 community-based organizations wrote in with support for this bill. Every rent increase of $100 is shown to increase the rate of homelessness by 9 percent. With skyrocketing rent increases occurring year after year, renters need relief now.

I joined Representatives Alvarado and Gregerson and Senators Trudeau, Nobles and Kauffman in hosting a press conference about rent stabilization last Friday. I encourage you to view it!

Inhumane Police Practices

In my last update, I shared a brief update on House Bill 2414, banning the deadly police restraint technique known as hog-tying. In Washington, only four departments continue to use this practice including our own Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. This is despite the Department of Justice advising against using “maximally prone restraint techniques” such as hog-tying, warning that individuals can die from the position.

This bill has a companion piece of legislation in the Senate, known as Senate Bill 6009, introduced by Senator Trudeau. On February 6, the legislation passed the Senate unanimously. Yesterday, SB 6009 was heard in the House Community Safety, Justice, and Reentry Committee. You can review the impactful testimony for this bill on TVW.

I look forward to continuing to advocate against this excessive use of force and empower law enforcement to focus on the use of humanizing practices that build trust with communities that have been historically overpoliced. You can learn more about SB 6009 in this recent Tacoma News Tribune article and Seattle Times article.


Rep. Mena e signature

Sharlett Mena

State Representative

29th District