Budget Priorities and Town Hall Invite!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,   

It’s week ten of the legislative session—and we’re over halfway through! We’ve been very busy on the House floor the last few weeks, running bills late into the night to push our priorities forward. I’m honored to share that we passed 328 bills, 60% of which were passed unanimously, and 78% of which were passed with 80 votes or more. We’re working hard to better support housing opportunity, workforce development, behavioral health support, education, and climate resiliency in Washington.  

The most important part about my job as a legislator is keeping you informed, with transparency, about what we’re working on—and listening to feedback directly from you. Read on for an invitation to our upcoming 32nd Legislative District Telephone Town Hall! 

Update on State Broadband Mapping

I’m delighted to share that House Bill 1746, building out the state’s broadband map, has passed in the House and will advance to the Senate for further consideration. Building out infrastructure and creating a WA broadband map is timely because the federal government’s Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program will bring the state an expected 900 million dollars over the next five years. In conjunction with a digital equity plan and broadband map provided in HB 1746, these funds allow for a much-needed boost in Washington’s broadband expansion. You can watch my video on HB 1746 here.  


2023 Budget Priorities

Each legislative session, we have the opportunity to make requests for state, local, and transportation projects in Washington, to continue building happy, healthy, thriving communities across our state. Here are some of the items I’m advocating for in our state budget:  

Addressing systemic challenges in outdoor spaces  

The natural resources and outdoor recreation sectors have been historically underrepresented by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). The Washington Trails Association’s Emerging Leaders Program begins to address these systemic challenges by investing in BIPOC leaders through paid training and opportunities to grow leadership and professional skills in a safe, inclusive environment. This program is a partnership with Washington State Parks that supports community members who have been historically underrepresented in outdoor recreation spaces by providing skills training, mentorship, and potential job opportunities in natural resources and parks. Through this program, emerging leaders can gain outdoororiented skills and experience, while building connections with Washington State Parks and other agency partners to explore career opportunities within the outdoor recreation and natural resource management sectors. 

Recreation and conservation  

The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant negative impacts on the parks that make Washington special. Many local parks and recreation agencies face a significant maintenance backlog due to a loss of all fee-based revenue at the time when more Washingtonians were using local parks, trails, and open spaces. I’m advocating for funds in the budget allocated to the Recreation and Conservation Office to assist local parks in maintenance, repair, or replacement of trails, restroom facilities, picnic sites, playgrounds, signage and kiosks, and any necessary Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades that have been delayed due to the pandemic. This funding will ensure that our public spaces can be preserved, maintained, and open to all Washingtonians.  

Preserving our public lands 

Washington is a great place to work, live and play. More than ninety percent of Washingtonians recreate outside, and the state’s population is projected to grow by 2 million people (26%) by 2040. During the past few years, estimated visits have increased on some state lands by more than 100%. Yet state funding to maintain our public lands has not kept up with the demand. State land-management agencies estimate a combined funding gap of $50m to $75m annually. Last year, the Legislature made a critical investment in our public landsHowever, it has come to our attention that Washington State Parks’ part of this state investment needs clarification. While the 4-year outlook from the 2022 legislative session assumes ongoing funding from the state general fund for all three agencies, State Parks only received $1.25 million per fiscal year. In order to make State Parks’ portion of the Operations & Maintenance funding to be made whole and have parity with the other two agencies, State Parks needs an increase of biennial funding, ongoing in state general fund dollars. 

Continuing to protect consumers  

In continuation of my previous work to prevent catalytic converter theft, I am sponsoring a budget request to increase inspections of scrap metal businesses to target metal thefts. A second request will develop, implement, and operate an ongoing electronic statewide catalytic converter tracking database program which will aid law enforcement in identifying unmarked detached catalytic converters. I am also working on a bill with several stakeholders to clearly and permanently mark VIN on catalytic converters and incorporate other recommendations from the work group.   

It will take more than these two Legislative Sessions to tackle the widespread and multi-state problem. I am committed to working hard to make sure law enforcement and consumers have the resources and protections to deter and prevent theft of catalytic converters from our vehicles and businesses.   

32nd LD Town Hall Invitation

town hall

Join me and my 32nd LD seatmates, Senator Jesse Salomon and Representative Lauren Davis, for a Telephone Town Hall on March 21st at 6:30 PM. Sign up at vekeo.com/whdc32 

If you’d like to get in touch but can’t participate in the Town Hall, please feel free to email me at Cindy.Ryu@leg.wa.govor come stop by my office in Olympia. I hope to hear from you soon! 



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Rep. Cindy Ryu