Legislative Update: The 2024 Legislative Session Concludes Today

Dear friends and neighbors, 

We are now just hours away from concluding the 2024 legislative session and soon I’ll be back in our communities working on issues important to you. 

Have you ever been curious about how a bill becomes law? The graphic below depicts the typical life cycle each bill goes through in the legislature. While there are exceptions, this road map outlines the common path most bills are likely to follow. For those seeking a deeper understanding, I recommend watching this accompanying video, which provides a comprehensive exploration of the legislative process.   

Below is a brief update on bills I’ve introduced this biennium (the current two-year cycle in the legislature, which includes 2023 and 2024). 

Bills of Mine Becoming Law

Five of my bills have passed both chambers and once these pieces of legislation are signed by the governor, they will soon become law. These include: 

House Bill 1054: Prevents apartment or homeowners associations from limiting the number of unrelated people who can live in a home. Out-of-date policies don’t recognize modern families and ways that we can be of service to our neighbors. 

House Bill 1097:  Prohibits the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals. This policy aligns Washington with national standards.  We have come too far to still be testing cosmetic products on helpless animals. 

House Bill 1867: I have finally advanced a policy that assists seniors in our district but removing the need to file an estate tax return when no estate tax is owed.  In our most difficult moments, we should not be required to complete unnecessary forms or processes. 

House Bill 1889: Removes immigration status as a consideration for granting professional licenses in Washington. We have stringent requirements for attaining an occupational license in our state. Immigration status should not be one of them. Every member of our community should be able to contribute. 

House Bill 2118: Updates the responsibilities of gun dealers to improve safety and security, prevent theft, and improve the ability of law enforcement to solve crimes.

Companion Bills Becoming Law

Four Senate versions of some of my House bills—called a companion bill—have also passed the legislature and will become law soon after the governor signs these pieces of legislation. These include: 

Senate Bill 5897: Modifies provisions of the business licensing service program. The Department of Revenue maintains a portal to the state’s business licensing program, referred to as the business licensing service. The system allows a business customer to file a business license application, file an annual renewal, check on the status of a business account, view and pay any outstanding fees, and update account information. 

Senate Bill 6025: Protects consumers from predatory loans and regulates consumer loans in our state by providing various requirements for lenders and protections for borrowers.  Washington consumers will now be protected even if they borrow through out of state banks or online “FinTechs.” 

Senate Bill 6105: Creates safer working conditions in adult entertainment establishments, commonly being referred to in the media as a “stripper’s bill of rights.”  This bill also clarifies that the Liquor & Cannabis board may not conduct “raids” of LGBTQ+ clubs without clear and present harm to health and safety. 

Senate Bill 6173: Encourages investments in affordable homeownership unit development in our cities and counties by expanding the potential usage of a tax credit for working families.   

Why are companion bills—often having identical or similar language—introduced? It’s as simple as House and Senate lawmakers who share similar views on legislation. Having a companion bill also provides simultaneous consideration of the measure—and can boost the chances of a piece of legislation passing and becoming law. Typically, if I introduce a House companion bill (as I have in the Senate bills listed above) and they don’t move in the House, I am happy to advocate the Senate version in the House once it reaches our chamber for committee hearings; and ultimately, for floor votes.

Stay in Touch!

Once this year’s 60-day legislative session wraps up later today, I’ll be back in our communities working for you. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime. I’m happy to take your questions and provide answers or work on your concerns. 

In service,    

Rep. Amy Walen