This week was the deadline for bills to pass out of their house of origin. Between Sunday and the 5pm Wednesday cutoff we spent about 47 hours on the floor reviewing, debating, and ultimately passing 169 bills. It was intense work, but it was incredibly gratifying to be part of some truly important legislation. Here are a few of the highlights for me:
- HB 1590 will provide local governments a critically needed tool to confront our housing crisis. Last year the legislature provided cities and counties with a small amount of new revenue to address homelessness and rising housing costs, it inspired a lot of new partnerships and creative thinking. HB 1590 lets local governments further that work, and allowing those local governments to raise funds was a top request from several communities in the 40th.
- HB 2610 would give mobile home park residents the right of first refusal if the park is sold. For many, mobile homes are one of the only affordable housing options, but if they don’t own the land under the home, they can be faced with a prohibitively expensive move if the land is sold. This would give people the option to buy that land, protect their homes, and avoid displacement.
- HB 2311 would update Washington’s climate change goals based on sound science and international law. Washington state is a recognized national leader in innovation, we can and should be a leader in reducing the pollution that causes climate change.
- HB 2250 would ensure people with student health plans have access to the full range of options for reproductive care, including abortion. Protecting choice means protecting access to choices.
- HB 2511 would extend basic labor protections to domestic workers like housekeepers and caretakers. Folks in these industries are particularly at risk and they deserve respectful and fair workplaces, just like anyone else.
- HB 1694 would allow tenants to pay their move-in costs (like security fees and deposits) in installments. We are in a housing crisis. We should be looking critically at every barrier that keeps people out of a home, including the challenge of saving up to cover move in costs, which in some cases exceed a full month’s rent. Spreading the cost out over several months makes it easier for people to get into housing.
- HB 2567 would prevent civil arrests for things like immigration status, near courthouses. It would also prevent judges, security, clerks, and others in court from unnecessarily asking people about their immigration status. Victims of crimes, witnesses, or people approaching courthouse for any number of reasons should feel confident that our courts are open to the public, welcoming, and will treat everyone fairly.
These bills still have to get through the Senate and be signed by the Governor before they become law, but I am pleased and excited to be able to support rules like these that will really help improve the lives of people in our community and around the State.