We are in week seven of the legislative session, and we have already reached the week of fiscal cut off. This means that the only bills moving forward must have already been heard in a public hearing.
Here is a quick update.
Working for tax fairness with car tabs
Expanding transit is critical for our area. We need to make sure it’s done on-time and as approved by voters. I also believe that good government expects that property values are taxed accurately.
I introduced HB 2123, as a solution to fix the mistake the Legislature caused in 2015 when it authorized Sound Transit to use an outdated and inflated car valuation method. Thirty co-sponsored have joined me with the legislation. A more correct and accurate car valuation schedule is in the law and should have been used by the legislature – my take is this should be fixed so people are taxed on the most accurate value of their property by law. After upcoming amendments, my bill will do the following:
- Makes sure that car owners are taxed on the most accurate value of their vehicle.
- Keeps light rail and bus transit projects on track and on-time.
- Creates cost-savings by leasing land adjacent to highways for light rail development.
- Uses these and other non-transit cost savings to backfill the $630 million returned to taxpayers.
The bill was heard in the House Transportation Committee this week.
Long Term Care Trust Act passes House
A major piece of legislation passed off the House floor this week
The Long Term Care Trust Act addresses the financial sacrifices families in Washington are experiencing today by creating a new social insurance program to help with the cost of long-term care as the “age wave” hits our state. This Act gives families a little breathing room as they take care of the ones they love. This investment in our grandparents, parents, and ourselves brings peace of mind and security for all needing long-term services and supportive care.
Supporting survivors of sexual assault in schools
Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in federally-funded schools and colleges. It includes protections for survivors of sexual violence and harassment. However, in recent years, there have been signals from D.C. about potential changes to Title IX. As a former sexual assault prosecutor, I want to keep survivors at the forefront of this conversation.
I have written HB 1998 to ensure that any Title IX federal changes do not have potentially dangerous ramifications for students in our state. The legislation convenes a task force to analyze and recommend enhancements to state law so to maintain Obama-era Title IX protections while also keeping in compliance with any federal legal mandates. Last week my bill passed the House College and Workforce Development Committee.
Requiring PAC transparency in politics
For the past two years, I have introduced bills aimed at closing glaring campaign finance loopholes. Last year, I successfully led House passage of a new law to get “dark money” out of Washington politics. We need to shine even more light on the way big money is intertwined in our political and governing systems. In this way, elected officials will take on powerful special interests and meet the expectations of their constituents. This session, I have introduced HB 1379, so that political action committees (PACs) must better disclose their top donors in political ads.
This bill has passed out of the House Committee on State Government and Tribal Relationsearlier this month, and is currently under consideration in the Rules Committee for a vote on the House floor later this session.
Promoting public service: serve on a board or commission
Washington state has over 230 boards and commissions where community members like you can be appointed and provide input. Participation on a board or commission means that you have the opportunity to use your experience and knowledge to shape policies that the governor and legislators are considering.
Currently, Gov. Inslee is looking for appointments to a variety of these boards and commissions, including:
- Legislative Ethics Board
- Citizen’s Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials
- Public Safety Review Panel
Click here to find out what other boards and commissions have current vacancies, recommend applicants, or apply yourself!
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I can ever be of assistance.
Rep. Mike Pellicciotti