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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
During the 5th week of the legislative session, the majority party unveiled its transportation proposal, we passed an important bill deadline, and several bills I've been working on are moving through the process.
The majority's transportation proposal: 'Move Ahead Washington'
On Tuesday, the majority party in the House and Senate unveiled their 16-year, $16.8 billion transportation proposal.
In a break with tradition, there was no bipartisan effort in crafting this proposal, which will burden Washington families with new taxes and fees, does not seriously address existing infrastructure needs, and prioritizes urban areas over rural parts of our state. The proposal also came on day 30 of the 60-day session.
In contrast, the Republican transportation plan, the REAL Act – which would realistically address our state's transportation needs – was released in November. Most of the components of that plan have yet to receive a hearing.
Your participation is critical to the process. Here are some links to information about the majority's transportation proposal:
- Senate Bill 5974 (Resources bill)
- Senate Bill 5975 (Spending bill)
- Spending Summary – Climate Commitment Act Spending Summary (LEAP 2022-A)
- Spending Summary – 18th Amendment & Other
- Revenue Summary
- Highway and Other Capital Projects (LEAP NL-1) – 2/8/2022
- Pedestrian and Bike Project List (LEAP NL-2) – 2/8/2022
- Transit Project List (LEAP NL-3) – 2/8/2022
A public hearing for Senate Bill 5974 was held in the Senate Transportation Committee earlier today. Executive action on the bill is scheduled in the same committee for Monday, Feb. 14.
Monday, Feb. 7, was the last day to pass House bills out of the House fiscal committees.
Tuesday, Feb.15, at 5 p.m., is the deadline to pass House bills out of the House. Expect a flurry of activity on the floor next week.
I am happy to report that several bills I am sponsoring are moving through the process.
Cottage food industry sales cap
House Bill 1685 would double the annual limit on gross sales for cottage food products from $25,000 to $50,000. The cottage food industry is a great source of supplemental income for Washington families, and it's been particularly helpful during the pandemic.
A nearly identical bill I sponsored passed the House in 2020, but it failed to get through the Senate. I am hopeful that we can get it done this year.
The bill is currently in the House Rules Committee, where bills are scheduled for the floor for a final vote.
Expanding commercial vehicle parking
House Bill 1839 would expand the parking options for truck drivers by allowing them to park in chain-up and chain-off areas along highways between May and November for up to an hour.
According to a national study by the American Transportation Research Institute, 84% of truck drivers park in an unauthorized place at least once a week due to the lack of available parking (Bloomberg report).
The lack of available parking is a serious safety issue and has exacerbated the supply chain crisis. This legislation is one commonsense way to alleviate the problem.
This bill is also in the House Rules Committee.
Improving delivery of information about behavioral healthcare
House Bill 1800 would improve Washington families' access to state behavioral health resources and information.
Our state provides significant resources to help young people who struggle with mental health and addiction problems. Despite the serious challenges we face with these issues, many Washington families do not know these support services exist due to a lack of information from the state.
This legislation will direct the resources necessary to ensure our residents can access these services.
House Bill 1800 is on the House floor calendar, which means it could be voted on soon. If the bill passes, it will then head over to the Senate for consideration.
More helpful information about the Legislature
House Floor Activity Report | A list of all the bills on the House Floor calendar, their current status, and any action taken on the bills.
Overview of the Legislative Process | A broad overview of the legislative process, including bill prefiling, first and second readings, enrollment and governor's actions.
Glossary of Legislative Terms | All the terms you'll ever need and more to understand the legislative process.
How a Bill Becomes a Law | A step-by-step guide of how a bill becomes a law.
Virtual town hall meeting
On Saturday, Feb. 19, at 10:30 a.m., I'll be joining Sen. Keith Wagoner for a virtual town hall meeting over Zoom. This is another opportunity for you to ask us questions directly and tell us what you think about the issues facing our state and community.
If you would like to participate, you can register here: https://tinyurl.com/5622dsf3 I look forward to hearing from you!
Tracking a bill?
Click here to find information on specific bills. In addition, when you visit my website, you can easily view the legislation I'm sponsoring or co-sponsoring by clicking “Sponsored Bills.”
Here is a quick set of “bill tracking” instructions
Go to leg.wa.gov
- On the left-hand panel, click “Bill Information.”
- If you know the bill number, enter it in the search field and hit enter.
- Don't have a bill number? Under the section “Standard Reports,” you'll find alternative tracking tools. You can search based on topic, legislative digests, cross-references and or within a specific biennium.
- If you click on the House Floor Calendar, this helpful tool gives you a detailed list of all bills scheduled to be heard on the House floor each day.
Here's how you can stay connected
My legislative website | Here you will find my contact information, bio, news releases, email updates, videos, opinion pieces, bills, and other information.
The Capitol Buzz | A weekday roundup of online news stories. Click on the link to subscribe.
The Current | An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans. Click on the link to subscribe.
TVW | The state's own version of C-SPAN, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online.
The Ledger | A legislative news aggregator.
Legislature's website | View bill reports, committee agendas, and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature here.
State agencies | You can find a list of all state agencies, boards, and commissions here.
Want to testify on a bill or other important public policy? Click here to learn about how you can make your voice heard throughout session
Please contact me if you have questions about bills being introduced, bills that are scheduled for a hearing, or other state government-related issues.
During session, especially in this virtual environment, my office receives hundreds of emails per week. I will do my best to answer the ones I receive from constituents first, so please be sure to include your home address and phone number in your correspondence.
It's an honor to serve you!
436 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7816 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000