Optimistic and Determined: Speaker Jinkins and House Democrats propose solutions and ideas in 2024

House Speaker Laurie Jinkins set the tone for the majority Democrats in her opening day remarks in week one of the 2024 Legislative Session. She asked both sides of the aisle to prioritize the challenges families in Washington face, touting Democratic proposals to provide stability and predictability for renters, increase access to affordable child care, and investments in behavioral health and expanded substance use disorder treatment.

Speaker Jinkins also highlighted the need to continue the fight against climate change and the impact atmospheric carbon and pollution has on our children through increased asthma rates. Democrats led the charge on reducing carbon emissions, investing in local and statewide projects that directly impact the environment, and improving air quality by passing the Climate Commitment Act, as well as the Clean Fuel Standard and reducing emissions from hydrofluorocarbons.

[Washingtonians] want us to take this threat seriously and act to protect their families, their homes, their communities, their health, their quality of life, and the strong economy we have. The very air we breathe is at stake if we don’t protect our investments in a cleaner, better future for our state.

In her speech, Speaker Jinkins emphasized the work that has been done on climate, the economy, and housing and homelessness. Investments in the state budget to help hospitality-related businesses continued through the 2023 session, while lawmakers made it the Year of Housing by passing legislation to create more “middle housing” across the state, lowered barriers to accessory dwelling units (ADUs), and expanded opportunity for homeownership. Lawmakers also approved capital budget spending that included $400 million to the Housing Trust Fund to build affordable housing across Washington.

Throughout her remarks, Speaker Jinkins talked about how interconnected issues are in Washington state: housing and behavioral health impact each other, child care and workforce impact each other, climate and the economy impact each other. She also stressed that one-size-fits-all approaches may not work for everyone, so the representatives should tell her what a policy would do in their district. Speaker Jinkins also stressed that “we’re not always going to agree, and that’s okay. We just need to keep moving forward because Washingtonians expect progress.”

Let’s protect renters from skyrocketing rents. Let’s help working families access child care. Let’s help people access behavioral health care. Let’s prevent fentanyl deaths in our communities. Let’s protect our hard-won investments in clean air and clean energy innovation, and continue to act on climate.

Housing & Childcare

Housing and childcare are integral to keeping our economy strong. House Democrats are prioritizing secure housing and affordable childcare.

Protecting Reproductive Health Care

Under Washington House Democrats, Washington is and will remain a beacon of hope to people seeking reproductive health care.

Taking Climate Change Seriously

This is a wider card with supporting text below as a natural lead-in to additional content. This card has even longer content than the first to show that equal height action.