Rep. Orwall’s 1/26/18 Update: National Guard Day / Mental Health for College Students / Car Tab Relief / Equal Pay
January 26, 2018 | By Washington House Democrats
We’re three weeks into this short 2018 session and, as always, things move very quickly. There’s never a dull moment.
As you probably heard, we passed the Capital Budget, which includes almost $37 million for our district. For the list of projects, please see this press release. And you can also watch my Ask Tina video for more detailed information on some of these projects.
I also encourage you to watch this week’s Legislative Video Update, in which I give an update on the status of sexual assault kits testing, as well as other bills dealing with the issue of sexual assault and ensuring policies are in place to support survivors.
National Guard Day
Mental Health for College Students
The mental health of students and student veterans is a primary concern of colleges and universities nationwide. Washington state loses 2-3 young adults between the ages of 14-24 every week.
I am deeply saddened by the loss of another precious life in the recent death of WSU student Tyler Hilinski. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the WSU community.
Read more about my bill in this Spokesman-Review story.
Veteran students are at a higher risk of suicide and mental health concerns. As of 2016, there were over 16,000 student veterans enrolled in Washington State colleges and universities. Studies show that half of the veterans on campuses have contemplated suicide and 20 percent had formed plans of how they would end their lives. HB 2513 includes enhanced services for student veterans.
HB 2513 passed out of the House Higher Education Committee and will have a public hearing in the House Appropriations Committee next week.
National Suicide Prevention hotline for those who need support: 1-800-373-8255
Car Tab Relief Passes House
After ST3 passed to expand light rail north to Everett, south to Federal Way and Tacoma, east to downtown Redmond, south Kirkland, and Issaquah and west to Ballard and West Seattle, many of you reached out to me, shocked about the increased cost of car tabs. For many working families, that increase is a major burden.
Our region needs to move forward with light rail and it is important we uphold the projects that voters approved when ST3 passed. But, we shouldn’t be taxing people unfairly. ST3 uses what is called the “1996 MVET” to assess car value and it is widely seen as unfair because it overvalues vehicles. We have a better valuation schedule, called the “2006 MVET” that is more fair and accurate, and closely tracks with Kelley Blue Book values.
I voted to pass legislation (HB 2201) that moves to the 2006 MVET and if the bill passes, drivers will see corrected car tab taxes this year.
This bill was the only bill to have bipartisan support and also keep light rail projects on track, while still returning $780 million to tax payers.
Equal Pay bill in the Senate
Last week we passed the Equal Pay Opportunity Act on a 69-28 vote! This is the fourth year in a row that the House sent an Equal Pay bill to the Senate. This historic measure updates the Washington State Equal Pay Act for the first time since its passage in 1943.
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