Week 7 Legislative Update: Bills in the Senate, Rent Stabilization, & Supporting Refugees

Hi friends and neighbors,

The 2024 legislative session is nearing its finish line, but momentum remains strong! With just fifteen days remaining, we have already passed over 270 bills, tackling some of Washington’s most pressing issues. Here’s a closer look at what we’ve accomplished together:

  • Housing affordability: Recognizing the growing burden of housing costs, several bills aim to increase housing options, provide renters stability, and subsidize affordable housing.
  • Childcare access: Addressing the critical need for accessible and affordable childcare, we are focusing on increasing capacity, supporting providers, and making childcare more financially feasible for families.
  • Fentanyl crisis: To combat the deadly opioid epidemic, we have passed bills aimed at restricting access to fentanyl, expanding access to treatment and naloxone, and educating both children and adults about the dangers of opioid and fentanyl use. To hear more about my thoughts on this issue, click here or on the video below.

But the work isn’t over. Numerous crucial bills are still awaiting consideration, spanning topics like climate change, reproductive healthcare, and tax justice. In this newsletter, I’d like to share an update on some of these issues and my bills progressing through the Senate. I hope you find it informative.

Bill Update:

House Bill 1895 streamlines administrative functions such as simplifying income verification and eliminating unnecessary delays for the Working Families’ Tax Credit (WFTC) program. This makes it more efficient for the Department of Revenue to administer the WFTC. The legislation passed the House on January 29th with a unanimous vote and passed the Senate Ways and Means Committee on February 1st. It has already been pulled from the Senate Rules Committee and I am hoping it will receive a vote soon that sends it to the Governor’s desk! To learn more, click here.

House Bill 2209 establishes the Lunar New Year as a legislatively recognized holiday. Celebrating Lunar New Year asks us to acknowledge the dark historical of exclusion and serves as an impetus for greater understanding and inclusion. The legislation passed the House with a near unanimous vote and passed the Senate State Government and Elections Committee earlier this week. You can learn more about Lunar New Year as a time for inclusion and healing in my recent op-ed in the Northwest Asian Weekly and watch my recent interview on Meet the Press NOW.

House Bill 2115 recognizes that legal abortion is under increasing threat across the nation, and Washington must do everything it can to ensure access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including protecting those who provide abortion medication. HB 2115 offers a common-sense solution by allowing the use of a clinic’s name on medication labels in place of the prescribers’ name. This legislation adds a layer of anonymity, reduces the risk of targeted harassment and intimidation, and help providers feel safer. On February 9th, my colleagues voted to pass this bill with strong bipartisan support. The Senate Health & Long-Term Care Committee voted to pass the legislation out of committee last week. To learn more, click here or on the video above.

Rent Stabilization

Last year the legislature took action to increase our housing supply, which means we’re building more houses in Washington state. This is a critical part of solving our housing crisis, but we still need to create some immediate relief for tenants while housing supply catches up to demand.

Rent stabilization gives tenants and landlords a steady and predictable plan. House Bill 2114 will cap rent increases at 7% a year for existing tenants. It ensures landlords cannot raise rent for 12 months and must give 180 days of notice for increases of 3% or more. Additionally, it will keep the combined cost of move-in fees and security deposits at or below one month’s rent.

Supporting Immigrants & Refugees

My colleague and friend, Rep. Gregerson (D-SeaTac), recently introduced and passed House Bill 2368 to the Senate. This legislation is aimed at bolstering support for immigrants and refugees arriving in the state. As the first refugee elected to the Washington legislature, I am beyond proud of this meaningful legislation.

House Bill 2368 modernizes and enhance programs addressing immigrant and refugee economic and social integration, as well as essential needs. By solidifying the role of the Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance (ORIA), Washington can better leverage federal funds to assist eligible individuals.


Rep. My-Linh Thai

41st Legislative District