Legislative Update: We’re two-thirds of the way through session

Dear Friends & Neighbors,
We’re over two-thirds of the way through session so I wanted to update you on all that we’ve accomplished in these three months. My colleagues and I sent several pieces of legislation to the Senate tackling our most pressing issues.  

Addressing the housing crisis 

The house passed many bills to increase our housing supply, provide housing stability, and support first time home buyers.  

Supply: HB 1110 and HB 1137 allow for the construction of familiar housing options like accessory dwelling units (ADUs), townhomes, duplexes, and triplexes to diversify the housing options available in our state. In addition to increasing available housing, this type of construction has traditionally been more affordable and will allow more people to become homeowners.  

Stability:  My HB 1355 expands qualification for the senior citizens disabled individuals, and qualifying veterans tax relief program by increasing the calculation of income thresholds, providing stability to three of our most vulnerable groups through tax relief.  

Support: HB 1447 creates a covenant home ownership to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to first time home buyers who are facing income limitations and other challenges. This will help many people enjoy home ownership while also addressing issues like discrimination and systematic racism in the real estate industry.  

Keeping kids safe 

Gun violence is the number one cause of death for young people in America. Children are marching in the street about not being safe in schools and other public spaces. My colleagues and I listened and passed two common sense gun safety bills out of our chamber.  

HB 1143 protects the traditions of hunting and self-defense while making common sense safety improvements. Safe storage will keep guns out of kids’ hands. A 10 day waiting period provides time for reflection for someone in crisis and a cooling off period for those who may commit a crime of passion. The universal safety training, which is available for free online, expands on what voters passed by initiative a few years ago.  

HB 1240 no longer allows for assault weapons listed to be imported or sold in Washington anymore. Assault weapons are the number one choice for school shooters — you remember last May in Texas where hundreds of police officers stood outside while kids were shot and killed. This happened because the police were afraid to take on one man with an assault rifle. Doing nothing to address this would fail our students, teachers, and officers. If you already have a weapon like this in your gun safe you will be able to keep it and pass it on to your children. If this law passes, the assault weapons listed in the bill simply couldn’t be imported or sold in WA anymore.  

In addition to addressing gun violence, we have also worked to crack down on retailers selling tobacco, cannabis, and alcohol to minors. As Co-Chair of the Regulated Substances and Gaming committee I think it’s important that we don’t turn kids into criminals for things that will be legal for them when they’re adults. However, it’s harmful for them now and we must continue to address the issue.  

Join us at our next tele-townhall 

We accomplished so much but there’s still much to be done. Please let your Senator know that you support the bills we passed out of the house. Also, please join us at our next tele-townhall taking place on March 29 at 6:30pm.