(360) 786-7692|Mona.Das@leg.wa.gov

Monthly Archives: April 2019

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    Governor signs Das bill to protect consumers from inflated home values

Governor signs Das bill to protect consumers from inflated home values

April 20th, 2019|

Gov. Jay Inslee today signed a bill into law that will increase transparency in Washington’s appraisal management companies and ensure the state’s appraisal management program remains in compliance with federal regulations.

Senate Bill 5124 was first-year Sen. Mona Das’ first bill to be passed by the Senate on Jan. 30. The House of Representatives passed the bill April 11.

The measure draws upon Das’ experience in the mortgage industry, where appraisal management companies provide a buffer between lenders and appraisers, with the goal of preventing lenders from basing mortgages on inflated appraisal values.

“This bill is truly about protecting homebuyers,” Das said. “Inflated appraisal values are one of the causes of the housing bubble and the recession that sent our economy into freefall a decade ago. We must act now to prevent that from happening again.”

This bill specifically changes the license period for appraisal management companies from two years to one year, allowing the collection of a new federal fee in the year 2020. There are no increases to state fees as part of this process.

The bill also raises the standards for people who can have an ownership interest in appraisal management companies. No one who has had an appraiser license denied, cancelled or revoked in any jurisdiction may have an ownership interest in one of these companies.

“For the health of our economy, we must ensure that this industry receives proper oversight,” Das said. “The steps we take today will determine what our economy will look like in the years to come.”

Senate passes resolution honoring Sikh community

April 12th, 2019|

The Washington State Senate honored Washington’s Sikh communities Wednesday with a resolution sponsored by Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent).

In the United States, about 500,000 people identify as Sikh — and about 20,000 of those people live in the greater Seattle area. In a speech on the Senate floor, Das said she sponsored the resolution to promote “diversity, inclusion and kindness in Washington state.”

“Despite a long history of hate, fear and intolerance toward them, Sikhs have played a large and unforgettable role in shaping our state and our country,” Das said. “Our Sikh neighbors haven’t always been treated fairly in Washington state. In fact, 300 Sikhs were run out of Bellingham in 1907.”

As recently as 2017, a Sikh man was shot in his Kent driveway and told to go back to his own country.

The resolution also honored notable Sikhs in Washington state — including Kent Councilmember Satwinder Kaur and resolution cosponsor Sen. Manka Dhingra. Whatcom County Councilman Satpal Sidhu also attended the event.

“Sikh-Americans have made significant contributions to every aspect of American life, and I am proud that the Senate took the time to honor our community this week,” said Sen. Manka Dhingra. “There is more that brings us together than tears us apart — we must continue to uplift the voices of all the diverse populations in our state.”

“I would ask members of the Senate and all Washingtonians to use this resolution as a reminder to stop and reflect on the ways we can promote inclusion, diversity and kindness in our modern society — for Sikhs, certainly, but also for others,” Das said.

Abbygail Mena serves as page in Washington State Senate

April 6th, 2019|

Abbygail Mena, 14, served as a page in the Washington State Senate during the week of April 1.

Pages are sponsored by the senator from their legislative district. Senator Mona Das (D-Kent) sponsored Mena’s week at the Legislature.

“It was so great to host Abbygail at the Capitol this week,” Das said. “I hope that she enjoyed her time with the Legislature, and learned a lot about the Legislative Branch.”

The page program offers a hands-on opportunity for students to find out how state government works. The educational experience is furthered by guest speakers. It also includes classes with topics such as budget writing and how a bill becomes a law — which culminates in pages creating their own bills in a mock committee setting.

Mena and her partners worked on a bill that would allow later school start times. This bill would allow high school start times to be pushed back so that children could get more time to rest before the day starts. Mena and her partners found that this would increase productivity in teenagers and allow them to have more time to study.

“I enjoyed listening to the many guest speakers,” Mena said. “They had a lot of great information and taught me about the many different jobs that you could have in state government.”

Pages also have the opportunity to work on the Senate floor. Their maroon coats and credentials allow them access to all parts of the Capitol Campus. Mena is in the 9th grade at Auburn High School. In her free time her she loves playing basketball for her high school team. She is excited to see what the rest of high school holds for her.

E-Newsletter: Less than 25 days to go!

April 5th, 2019|

Hello everyone,

I can’t believe we’re already 82 days into the 2019 Legislative Session — and that we only have 23 days left!

The next few weeks will be busy. Both the House and the Senate will spend a lot of time on the floor passing bills, and we’ll be finalizing our transportation, capital and operating budgets.

I’m pleased to say that many of my bills — including the plastic bag ban and the self-help housing bill — are still working their way through the process.

In this newsletter, I’ll tell you about some of the other things we’ve been up to.

In gratitude,

Mona

We met so many amazing members of our community at the town hall meeting!

Town Hall

As many of you already know, members of the 47th Legislative District delegation hosted a town hall meeting on March 23. We enjoyed meeting so many engaged constituents.

A lot of you had questions about transportation, homelessness, health care and behavioral health. I can assure you that I’m doing my best to ensure that our community’s needs are met through our budgets and the bills we pass of the Senate floor.

Thank you to everyone who attended. And to those who couldn’t make it, I look forward to meeting you next time!

Washington Environmental Council

I had the great honor of speaking at the Washington Environmental Council gala last weekend — an event attended by more than 500 people.

It warmed my heart to meet so many people who are invested in preserving and protecting Washington’s environment. The success we’ve had so far this year with environmental legislation is the result of advocacy and partnerships.

If you’re passionate about the environment, as I am, I urge you to get out and participate! You never know who you might inspire.

LEAP Students

Last week, I met with some of my most inspiring visitors of the 2019 Legislative Session: representatives from LEAP.

LEAP is a program by SeaMar Community Health Centers, designed to promote civic engagement, community involvement, advocacy and educational opportunities for youth. Their one-year leadership program prepares young people to be agents of change.

On March 29, more than 40 students representing four high schools (Kentlake, Kent-Meridian, Kentwood and Kent Phoenix Academy) visited the Capitol Campus. I’m so proud to have such bright young people in my district!

To watch the full work session, click on the image above.

Homelessness, Substance Abuse Disorder and Behavioral Health

This session, I’m serving as the vice chair of the Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Committee with the goal of helping Washington state end our homelessness crisis.

Last week, my committee and the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee held a joint work session exploring the connection between homelessness, substance abuse disorders, and behavioral health. We also discussed efforts state and local governments are making to alleviate homelessness.

We heard a lot of compelling testimony from six knowledgeable speakers. I urge you to listen for yourself by clicking on the image above.

Which Bills are Still Alive?

I have several bills that are still making their way through the Legislature. Here’s a list of the bills I’m still working on: