Legislative Update: Bills on the Move + How Money is Spent on Early Learning & Education

Dear friends and neighbors, 

In today’s newsletter, I’m sharing information on my bills that passed the House, the latest on House Bill 2114 (rent stabilization), and updates on early learning and education investments being made in our district. Read on. 

Bills on the Move

We’re now in week seven of this year’s legislative session and have just two weeks to go! Last week, on Feb. 13, it was “House of Origin” cut-off, which means that everything that passed off the House floor by this time will be sent on to the Senate for further consideration, and any bills passed in the Senate will now be considered in the House. Bills need to pass both chambers before becoming law.  As of this writing, the House has passed 270 bills; 146 were unanimous and 205 have received strong bipartisan support (80+ votes)! 

In a short session, time is limited in how much new legislation can get introduced, work its way through committees, and get passed off the House floor. Here’s a look at the bills of mine that did survive and are still working their way through the legislative process.  

House Bill 2012: This piece of legislation would expand the eligibility criteria for a property tax exemption for nonprofits providing affordable rental housing built using only city and county funds, supporting the vital work of nonprofit providers while ensuring minimal impact on other taxpayers. It passed off the House floor on Feb. 12 with a vote of 69-28 and had a public hearing in the Senate last week. I firmly believe that we need to enable local governments to allocate resources for housing projects—it’s a simple, common-sense step to remove an arbitrary hurdle slowing the production of affordable housing. 

House Bill 2348: I introduced this bill to expand healthcare services to the needs of King County and beyond. Some of the services our unhoused population needs is healthcare and mental health services. Harborview is a premiere provider of these services for our community. Currently, 70 percent of the people who receive care at Harborview are on some kind of government medical assistance. It also houses the only psychiatric ER, outside of the state’s psychiatric hospitals. With 40 percent of the people receiving care at Harborview being from outside of King County, this hospital is truly a safety net for our region. This bill passed off the House floor on Feb. 10 with a vote of 56-41 and had a public hearing in the Senate on Feb. 20. 

House Bill 2354: Tax increment financing (TIF) is a new tool that can be used by jurisdictions to finance development of infrastructure, which promotes growth, and then use resulting increased tax revenue to pay off the infrastructure. We’re finding some kinks where TIF areas are impacting the tax revenue of fire, hospital, and EMS districts. Ultimately, our first responders are being asked to provide more services to these growing areas with fixed income. This isn’t in the best interest of our citizens and my bill makes sure that TIF areas must negotiate mitigations with impacted taxing districts. It passed almost unanimously—96-1—off the House floor on Feb. 12 and came out of committee on the Senate on Feb. 20.  

Additionally, in my last newsletter, I shared information with you on House Bill 2114, which pertains to rent stabilization. It’s been in the news a lot lately, and I proudly voted for this bill. It passed off the House floor with a vote of 54-43 on Feb. 13 and had a public hearing in the Senate earlier today. 

I am a landlord and can confidently attest that it’s possible to run a stable rental business while having limits on rent increases. A 7 percent cap on rent hikes is more than enough to cover the rising costs of utilities, maintenance, taxes, and insurance. Out of control rent increases are breaking the backs of working people and driving our homelessness crisis. Renters need relief now! Click here or on the image below to hear my floor speech in support of HB 2114. 

Investment in the 37th – Early Learning and Education

Sen. Saldana, Rep. Santos, and I secured over $69 million in the ’23-’25 biennial capital budget for projects located in the 37th. There’s a lot to sort through, so I’m providing a summary of what’s being funded in these newsletters. Previously, I’ve covered investments in healthcare and housing. This edition will focus on early learning and education. 

  • Rainier Beach High School Campus Skills ($9.9 million). Plans are in the works to upgrade and expand three instructional spaces that provide Aerospace Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing (Aerospace), Construction Trades (Construction), and Culinary Arts Skills Center programs at Rainier Beach High School. 
  • Rainier Valley Early Learning ($6 million). Six classrooms, and 108 ECEAP (subsidized childcare) slots, are coming to being developed. These resources will be easy to access as they are co-located with a City of Seattle affordable housing development and adjacent to the Mt. Baker light rail station. 
  • Skyway Early Learning ($3 million). Skyway is in unincorporated King County and has been victim to chronic underinvestment. This project will bring four early learning classrooms, capable of serving 80 kids, on the ground floor with new affordable housing units above. It is in the pre-planning phase of construction, set to break ground in 2025 and on track for completion in 2026. 
  • William Grose Innovation Center ($250,000). In the summer of 2022, the first set of renovations was completed on retired Fire Station No. 6, transforming it into the William Grose Innovation Center. Additional state funding has been dedicated to continue improvements to this community space which provides youth with courses in AI, coding, fashion design, and business development.  
Wyking Garrett speaking at the 1-year anniversary of the William Grose Innovation Center.
  • SEYFS Renovations ($187,000). Funding has been established to renovate the building operated by Southeast Youth & Family Services, which provides culturally competent programming and services for low-income, ethnically diverse families across King County. 
  • Washington Middle School ($98,000). Predevelopment funding for new/replacement middle school building. 

Thank you, 

Chipalo Street signature

Rep. Chipalo Street