Reviewing the 2024 Legislative Session

Dear Neighbors,

I hope this letter finds you well and filled with the same sense of gratitude and pride that fills my heart as I reflect on the past legislative session. Your engagement and support have been instrumental in making the 2024 session one of remarkable progress and achievement, despite its brevity of sixty days compared to the previous year’s 105. Together, we tackled a myriad of pressing issues with bipartisan cooperation, advancing our shared vision of a stronger, more equitable community and state.

Governor Inslee Signs House Bill 2209, establishing Lunar New Year as a legislative recognized holiday. Courtesy of Legislative Support Services

We advanced on issues such as healthcare affordability, housing, reproductive justice, tax fairness, and community safety. The legislature continued to uplift all communities by utilizing the Climate Commitment Act and Capital Gains Excise Tax to ensure crucial funding for environmental equity, public education, and early learning. Below are additionally key accomplishments I’d like to share with you that demonstrate my commitment to supporting our community.

Long-Term Care & Disability Services: This year, we made substantial strides in supporting families caring for their loved ones who are ill or living with disabilities. Legislation was passed to expand access to paid sick leave for non-traditional caregiver relationships, implement the Family Connections program, and address the caregiver gap in the unemployment insurance program. Moreover, significant investments totaling $77 million were allocated to enhance access to long-term care and developmental disabilities programs through increased caregiver and provider rates.

Healthcare for All: Ensuring healthcare access for all Washingtonians, regardless of immigration status, remained a top priority. Through targeted investments totaling $28.4 million, essential healthcare services were extended to undocumented individuals, reaffirming the dignity of every community member. Legislative successes included preserving coverage of preventive services, supporting post-behavioral health treatment for young adults, and enhancing access to long-term care benefits. Additionally, legislative measures such as House Bill 2115, which I introduced, were enacted to protect abortion medication providers amidst escalating threats.

Rep. Thai speaking to House passage of House Bill 2115. Courtesy of Legislative Support Services.

Housing Affordability: Recognizing housing as a fundamental need for healthy communities, we took proactive steps to address the persistent housing shortage in our state. Legislation was passed to streamline the construction of small condominium buildings, explore potential changes to building codes to facilitate the development of smaller housing units, and empower cities to permit “co-living” or “micro-housing” arrangements. Furthermore, affordable housing options were expanded by allowing cities to defer sales and use taxes for repurposing commercial buildings into affordable housing units.

Tax Fairness: Ensuring fairness in our tax system remained paramount, leading to the passage of my legislation to streamline and improve access to the Working Families Tax Credit. Additionally, property tax exemptions were granted to nonprofits providing affordable housing and adult family homes for individuals with disabilities, further expanding access to crucial services.

Community Safety and Fentanyl Crisis: Combatting the fentanyl crisis and enhancing community safety were central to my legislative goals. Significant investments were made to address risks associated with synthetic opioids, including funding for prevention education, naloxone distribution, and support for individuals with substance use disorders. Efforts were also undertaken to enhance child safety and family support.

2024 Supplemental Budgets: The 2024 Supplemental Budgets reflect our commitment to addressing key challenges and supporting economic development and community well-being. Major investments were made in areas such as school construction, behavioral health facilities, affordable housing via the Housing Trust Fund, early learning facilities, workforce housing, and broadband connectivity. We further prioritized climate action through projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions and promoting clean transportation. Specifically, the budget allocates funds for electric school buses, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, public transit enhancements, and pedestrian safety measures like sidewalks and bike lanes. Underserved and tribal communities are targeted for assistance, ensuring equitable access to climate friendly solutions.

Looking Ahead Together

From May 6th until the certification of the 2024 election, my website and Facebook will experience an “election year activity freeze.” During this period, I won’t be sharing any new content via state resources, including email updates. However, rest assured that I remain available to support legislative inquiries. My office is standing by ready to direct discussions on legislation, connect you with state agencies and services, and schedule meetings with me. For more information on election year restrictions, please refer to video below or click here.

As we move forward, I want to remind you that I am back in our community, listening to our partners and neighbors about the issues that matter most, and working collaboratively to overcome the challenges that lie ahead. Together, we can build a brighter future for all members of our community.



Rep. My-Linh Thai