Week 6 Update

Dear neighbors,

As the sixth week of the 2024 legislative session concludes, I am pleased to provide an update on a few pieces of legislation advancing through the House of Representatives, as well as community & state budget priorities regarding healthcare workforce needs, climate action, jobs, affordable housing, special needs, and youth development in the arts.

House of Origin Cutoff & Bill Advancements:

On February 13th, the House of Origin Cutoff marked the deadline for bills to pass out of their introductory chambers. There have been several policies that address the issues you said mattered most to you in my 2024 pre-session survey including community safety, affordable and accessible housing, and reducing gun violence:

Community Safety:

  • HB 1956: Fights the opioid crisis by educating middle & high schoolers. This works in conjunction with HB 2112 for university programs.
  • HB 2065: Fairer sentencing by considering juvenile history, focusing on rehabilitation and community healing.
  • HB 1121: Stops child abductions by allowing courts to impose restrictions if a credible risk exists.
  • HB 2356: Reduces traffic fatalities by using speed cameras in construction zones.

Community members have also reached out with concerns related to property crimes. Although there is no specific statewide legislation proposal on this issue, I am collaborating with local law enforcement and local leaders to address needs and find a path forward.

Affordable Housing:

  • HB 1892: Speeds up affordable housing projects with a workforce housing accelerator loan program.
  • HB 2012: Expands tax breaks for non-profits providing low-income housing.
  • HB 2114: Protects tenants with predictable rent increases, longer notices, and caps on hikes.

Reducing Gun Violence:

  • HB 1903: Helps track stolen guns through theft reporting.
  • HB 2118: Enhances regulations for licensed gun dealers to protect public safety.
  • HB 2021: Prevents used crime guns from re-entering the market by authorizing WSP destruction.

I am also proud to share that several pieces of legislation I have sponsored continue to progress through the legislative process:

  • HB 1950: This bill aligns state law with recent updates to the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, streamlining access for public servants seeking relief from student loan debt. It passed the House unanimously, highlighting its bipartisan support.

  • HB 2214: This bill removes a significant barrier for students experiencing financial hardship by automatically pre-qualifying them for the Washington College Grant based on their reliance on public assistance programs. This measure streamlines access to higher education and opens doors to brighter futures for countless individuals. It passed the House with a decisive majority vote. Learn more here.

Advocating for Community Investments:

Last year, the Legislature adopted the Resilient Washington budget, a responsible and sustainable two-year plan investing in key priorities across the state. This session, we can further address critical needs through supplemental budget proposals. I am championing funding for several impactful community projects, including:

  • $7 million to transition 100 units of affordable and permanent supportive housing for individuals making 0-30% of the Area Median Income from Kenmore to Redmond as part of the Plymouth Housing Project.
  • $800,000 for Bellevue and Redmond to reduce emissions from diesel fire engines to protect the health of firefighters and to reduce carbon pollution and provide environmental protection. Specifically, this will remove two diesel engines from service, and replace them with two electric engines at Bellevue Fire Station 1 and Redmond Fire Station 12.
  • $700,000 to support the growing demands for registered nurses in Washington state’s rural areas. The Rural Nursing Education Program (RNEP) will create a fully (100%) online rural-specific pre-licensure nursing curriculum with student support assistance tailored to address the specific needs of rural healthcare in collaboration with community colleges to recruit, train, and retain students living, working, and staying in rural communities as registered nurses.
  • $330,000 for early youth development programs provided by Kindering Cherish in Bellevue. These programs specifically identify infant and children’s developmental needs by directly supporting them through a proven home visiting program.  This program is in danger of being discontinued without this key funding and provides these important services on the eastside and throughout the state.
  • $300,000 to train and educate students in entrepreneurial programs at CoMotion and the University of Washington, fostering innovation and opportunity. The program will sponsor 2-5 international students a year part-time and create a centralized process at the university for visa sponsorship and employment to support immigrant and small businesses to support job development in our communities.
  • Up to $100,000 for renovations to the nonprofit Redmond Theater of the Arts, providing capital funds to support building needs to improve access to community arts programs for young children.

I remain committed to ensuring our district receives its fair share of resources and will keep you informed as the budget process unfolds.

Legislative Page Program:

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of sponsoring Audrey Lee, a student from Eastside Preparatory School, as a Legislative Page for a week. Participating in this program exposed Audrey to the inner workings of the Legislature and provided valuable learning experiences.

Community Engagement: Upcoming Town Hall Meeting

I look forward to engaging with you to discuss my legislative priorities and the issues important to our community. I encourage you to join me and my seatmates for an upcoming town hall meeting.

Senator Kuderer, Representative Walen, and I will be present to answer your questions, share insights into the legislative process, and hear your thoughts on issues impacting our district. This is a valuable opportunity to connect directly with your elected officials and participate in shaping our community’s future.

I encourage you to visit my website for more information on my legislative priorities, community engagement opportunities, and ongoing updates. It is an honor to represent the 48th Legislative District, and I remain dedicated to advocating for your needs and concerns.


State Representative Vandana Slatter