Assault weapons, housing, & our town hall

Dear friends and neighbors,

It’s the eleventh week of the legislative session! After a few weeks of voting on bills, we’re back in committees, considering Senate bills, and pushing to advance our priorities through the Senate. Here’s a look at a few meaningful, impactful, and significant bill we’ve passed in the House:

Listening to our children: banning assault weapons in Washington State! 

As the clock clicked down to House of origin cutoff, we passed House Bill 1240banning the sale of assault weapons in Washington state! I was honored to help beat back amendments and to speak in favor of this bill on the House floor. As a mother, nothing breaks my heart more than asking my kids how school went, and hearing they went through a lockdown drill or lockdown! In addition to learning math, art, and history, they are also learning how to play dead. Our students are standing up and walking out, because this is an emergency—they are begging for our support, and our inaction is taking their futures away.

The passage of this bill in the House is a major step toward reducing the risk of harm to Washingtonians, and especially to our children. Washington communities continue to experience the horrors of gun violence, with 85% of gun fatalities caused by assault rifles. Weapons of war have no place in our communities—this policy will save lives. 

Watch me speak on this bill: FROM THE WINGS: Rep. Tana Senn on assault weapons.


You can watch my testimony on the House floor here: 


Housing policy must reflect community needs

Increasing housing is a major priority of the House Democratic Caucus this year. In the next few decades, Washington is projected to need about 1.1 million new homes – of every kind and in every community. Over half of those homes are needed for people with very low or extremely low incomes – a market that the private sector has struggled to serve.

Housing is also the issue that I have heard the most about this session from constituents. There are a handful of bills – covering issues from zoning to design review – that are moving through the legislative process. The bill that has received the most attention so far is House Bill 1110, which would require increased housing density policies throughout our cities.

As introduced, the bill treated our smaller cities the same as Seattle. Yet, all our communities are unique and have varying needs. After hearing from our cities and constituents, I worked to amend the bill, removing high density near schools and parks and emphasizing a stronger focus on areas around major transit stops. I also worked closely with the bill sponsor to ensure housing affordability, local options, city infrastructure and tree canopy policies were improved in the final bill as it left the House.

I was happy to vote for the bill that better reflects the varied needs of each city and provides for greater housing opportunities in more shapes and sizes. The bill is now in the Senate and the House is starting to consider Senate Bill 5466, their major housing legislation.

A special field trip: Holocaust Center with the Governor

Antisemitism remains widespread in the United States and in Washington State particularly as well. Studying the darkest times in our history helps to generate understanding, empathy, and acceptance. Along with a social studies teacher, two students from Issaquah schools and Center staff, it was an honor to join Governor Jay Inslee and First Spouse Trudi Inslee on their first visit to the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle! Through education, we can help confront and combat hate and antisemitism. That’s one reason why in this year’s state budget, I’ve requested additional funding to help expand Holocaust education across Washington.


Visits to Olympia!

It was so much fun to visit with school board members and their student representatives from Issaquah School District, and other districts across the 41st LD, to discuss special education funding, free school lunches and increased mental health services! Special thanks to the long reach of this Issaquah student for the great photo!!

school district

Thanks for coming to our town hall!  

Thank you so much to those who tuned into our town hall—I appreciate the engagement, interest, and thoughtful questions. In case you missed it or had problems viewing it, you can watch the recording here: 41st District Virtual Town HallWe will be hosting another one, in-person, after session. 



Senn Sig

Rep. Tana Senn