Legislative Successes and EYA Restrictions.

Friends and neighbors 

As chair of the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee, I can report that we passed critical bills protecting consumers. Out-of-state and online “fin-techs” have been preying on Washington consumers charging interest rates up to 240%. We fixed that. Bad actors in the solar market have taken advantage of our seniors, using solar programs to encumber their property. We fixed that. 

We are taking action to ensure that insurance remains affordable and attainable, that real estate, banking, and business practices are fair, and that the challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence are addressed. Our committee works on occupational licensing, and we care about removing barriers to work, while still maintaining our state’s strong standards for consumer protection. 

As a member of the House of Representatives, my goals weren’t limited to the Consumer Protection and Business Committee. I had a number of legislative successes, and I would like to provide you with an update on these bills. 

Ending Arbitrary HOA Occupancy Limits 

Before this session, apartment or homeowners’ associations could enact arbitrary occupancy limits that don’t recognize the needs of modern families. The reality is many Washingtonians are increasingly turning to multigenerational living and unit-sharing arrangements to address housing unaffordability. 

House Bill 1054 prohibits these 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 Out-of-date policies don’t recognize modern families and ways that we can be of service to our neighbors. 

Incentivizing the Use of Existing Structures for Housing 

Long lead times for plan approval and high-interest rates are affecting our ability to build. We should adapt to the changing nature of work and the resulting vacancies in commercial space to rapidly house families. Senate Bill 6175 builds on my success last year in expanding the use of existing buildings for housing (House Bill 1042). I sponsored the House version of the bill (House Bill 2308) and worked with Senator Trudeau to get this legislation to the governor’s desk. I am excited to see how it will be used to rapidly house families. 

Making Sure Gun Dealers Secure Their Inventory 

I have long been an advocate for firearm safety. We have taken major steps over the last few years to improve gun safety. However, there is still work to do. Most stolen firearms are taken from vehicles. Gun dealers are also at risk of being robbed, or having straw purchasers buy firearms for those who cannot and should not be able to purchase them. House Bill 2118 requires dealers to keep their inventory safe and secure, maintain standardized records, report loss and theft in a timely manner, and promptly cooperate with law enforcement to share information about guns used in crimes. 

Expanding Professional License Eligibility for DREAMERS 

We have incredibly diverse communities across our state. For those without documentation status, there are barriers preventing them from obtaining professional licenses to work. I believe that if someone can pass our rigorous standards showing that they are competent, federal immigration status should not matter. I introduced House Bill 1889 to provide increased eligibility for professional and commercial licenses for various professions, and DREAMERS. 

Ending the Testing of Cosmetics on Animals 

The testing of cosmetics on animals is unnecessary and cruel. Numerous other states have banned the sale of cosmetics tested on animals and it is time Washington steps up to do the same. House Bill 1097 bans the sale of cosmetics tested on animals in Washington. The Fur Fighter caucus continues its work to create a statewide plan for animal welfare in Washington. 

Helping Seniors 

I have finally advanced a policy that assists seniors in our district. House Bill 1867 removes 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. My bill to freeze property taxes at retirement did not progress, but I will continue to pursue this policy and educate families on property tax relief programs that are available. 

Election Year Restrictions 

During an election year, there are certain restrictions on my communications to prevent the use of state resources for election purposes. Some of these restrictions include freezes on email updates, websites, and Facebook pages. This means that you will not be receiving updates from me beginning May 6, 2024, until after the general election in November. That is why this will be the last email update you’ll receive from me for a while. However, I never forget that I work for you!  You can always reach out to my office with thoughts, concerns, ideas, and questions. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Thanks again,