Update from Olympia: Turning Priorities into Policies

Dear Friends and Neighbors,  

My priorities for the 2023 legislative session are addressing our housing crisis, ensuring that comprehensive supports for the developmental disability community are available, reducing barriers in key industries facing workforce shortages, and advancing behavioral health policies.  I am excited to share how I’m working on turning these priorities into policies.


Housing of every kind, for every community

We’ve heard from you that more affordable housing, stabilized rental rates, equitable housing practices, and more government-subsidized housing for low-income families would have the greatest impact on the state right now. That’s why my colleagues and I are prioritizing housing this session. We have a need for more housing of every kind, in every community. I’m proud to have sponsored HB 1474 to establish a homeownership account and program to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to groups of people that have been targeted by deliberate housing barriers in law.  

Generations of explicitly systemic, racist, and discriminatory policies and practices have prevented homeownership for Black, Indigenous, Asian, and other historically marginalized communities in Washington state. I have been working with stakeholders organized by the Black Home Initiative of the Housing Development Consortium to help Washington State right the wrongs of the past. Even our republican colleagues acknowledged that the racial disparities in homeownership exist. We can and we must do better. 

The deliberate barriers preventing Black homeownership impact wealth generation and housing security, increasing rates of homelessness, rent burdening, unsafe housing conditions, and predatory rent practices. Because this discrimination was historically targeted, the solution must also be targeted. HB 1474 identifies the groups of people that were targeted by these policies and establishes an account to help with downpayment and closing costs if they are first-time homebuyers, meet income requirements, and other program criteria.  

I’m proud to have signed on as a sponsor to HB 1343, providing local governments with options to grant relief and preserve affordable housing in their communities. This creates affordable, healthy, high-quality rental housing opportunities for very low-income households when there are insufficient options available. It incentivizes private owners of multifamily buildings to rent at rates that are affordable in exchange for a break on their property taxes.  This is a tool that can help counteract the economic pressure to gentrify neighborhoods. I’ve also signed on as a sponsor to HB 1110, which specifically addresses the missing middle housing supply, and will continue to work on housing throughout this session. Additionally, HB 1388 and HB 1389 stop excessive rent hikes, give renters stability, and empower the Attorney General to go after unscrupulous landlords who use rent increases as a mechanism to deny tenants of their legal rights. We all need a home to meet our most basic needs. Excessive rent is forcing renters from their homes, and displacing families. Renters deserve stability and legal protection. 

Here’s what else I’ve been working on:

Taylor / DD Advocacy Day

Developmental Disability Advocacy Day

Wednesday, January 25 was Developmental Disability advocacy day, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to chat with advocates about DD legislative priorities this session. I’m proud to have sponsored HB 1407, which maintains eligibility for developmental disability services: It prevents eligibility from being terminated or re-determined for a child under the age of 18, based solely on the child’s age. This helps to ensure that valuable, supportive, and necessary services are protected for kids with developmental disabilities. I also cosponsored HB 1188, which allows kids in foster care to also access Developmental Disability services. This bill addresses a huge gap in necessary support for kids.  

Better, faster healthcare  

We are facing a workforce shortage spanning across all sectors and industries. Gaps in workforce create barriers to accessing essential services. I’ve sponsored HB 1038 to establish anesthesiologist assistants as a new health profession licensed by the Washington Medical Commission: this will allow for the development and implementation of anesthesia care plans for patients under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. This will help patients access better, faster, more convenient surgical care.  

A new tax credit for Washington workers starts in 2023! 


The Working Families Tax Credit is a new program, beginning this February, that will provide payments of up to $1,200 to low-to-moderate income individuals and families. The amounts are based on income level and the number of qualifying children. 

This program will help us stimulate local economies, promote racial equity, and provide the financial stability Washington families need right now. To find more information in several available languages, and see if you qualify, visit WorkingFamililesCredit.wa.gov. 

Thank you very much for reading! Please don’t hesitate to reach out at 360-786-7898 or Jamila.Taylor@leg.wa.gov to share your feedback 


Rep. Jamila Taylor  

With Gratitude,


Rep. Jamila Taylor