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

Monthly Archives: May 2019

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    Governor signs bill updating Washington Trust Institutions Act

Governor signs bill updating Washington Trust Institutions Act

May 14th, 2019|

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill yesterday that updates the Washington Trust Institutions Act.

“It’s so important to provide trust beneficiaries with the protections they deserve. Senate bill sponsor Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent) of the 47th Legislative District said, “It’s also critical to have a modern regulatory environment if we are going to continue attracting new business to our state.”

“I am pleased with the passing of this legislation,” DFI Director of Banks Roberta Hollinshead said. “It introduces important protections for consumers who rely on trust companies operating in Washington State. It gives DFI the ability to intervene if other companies doing business with a trust institution act in a manner that may pose a threat to its consumers, and provides a clear process for liquidating a trust should that become necessary. It also provides clear, concise and comprehensive laws for existing and future trust company businesses providing services to consumers in Washington State. It is another step in the process of ensuring the laws governing financial service providers are modern and up to date.”

The following is a summary of changes the legislation puts in place:

  • Modernizes the definition for “doing business in Washington state,” which recognizes the increasing prominence of online and global business;
  • Clarifies who can obtain a trust company charter and the activities they can perform;
  • Defines third-party service providers as they relate to trust businesses and provides authority to the DFI to examine them under certain conditions;
  • Clearly defines prudential standards and corporate governance requirements for trust companies by which they will be examined for safety and soundness;
  • Incorporates a comprehensive approach to corrective action measures including supervisory direction, corrective action orders, and conservatorship; and
  • Amends and clarifies the procedures pertaining to life cycle events of a company including the chartering of a new business, voluntary and involuntary liquidation and changes in control of a trust company.

“This policy change is good for both consumers and businesses – a true win-win,” House bill sponsor Rep. Amy Walen (D-Olympia) of the 48th Legislative District added. “It is a recognition that doing business in Washington means something totally different today as so much business activity is done online without physical branches or locations.”

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    Governor signs Das bill to help organizations provide affordable housing

Governor signs Das bill to help organizations provide affordable housing

May 13th, 2019|

A bill signed today by Gov. Jay Inslee will help limit the costs of affordable housing by exempting self-help housing organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, from the state’s real estate excise tax.

Senate Bill 5025, sponsored by Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), would affect about 30 self-help housing organizations that operate throughout Washington. Annually, these organizations help produce 150 homes.

“We’ve all seen examples of these wonderful self-help programs making a difference in our communities, and we want that excellent work to continue,” Das said. “We have a growing homelessness crisis in our state. And while this bill won’t solve the whole problem, it will help hard-working people own their own homes and end the cycle of generational poverty.”

In this model, home buyers participate in the construction of their new homes. But in recent years, with the rising cost of land, materials and labor, these organizations have struggled to provide affordable housing for people in need.

“This is one of the most significant wins for affordable home ownership in the state of Washington in the last 20 years,” said Michone Preston, director of Habitat for Humanity of Washington State. “We look forward to putting this legislation to work and making the dream of affordable home ownership a reality for more members of our community.”

“We had a unique opportunity to empower non-profits who are helping working families realize their dream of home ownership this year and lawmakers acted,” said Rep. Mari Leavitt, who sponsored a similar bill in the state House of Representatives. “Exempting materials and third-party labor is an important tool to give more families the chance to own a home and I am grateful to Senator Das and the Legislature for passing this important measure.”

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    Bill prepping Washington for natural disasters signed by governor

Bill prepping Washington for natural disasters signed by governor

May 13th, 2019|

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill today that will help Washington prepare for the inevitable: natural disasters.

Senate Bill 5106, sponsored by Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), creates a work group to study and make recommendations regarding natural disaster resiliency activities. This work group would review how other states and the federal government prepare for natural disasters — in particular, the California Earthquake Authority.

“We’ve all heard that our next big earthquake, or ‘The Big One,’ is on the horizon,” said Das. “We must do everything we can to prepare, and make sure our state is resilient.”

The work group will consist of 24 members, from various state agencies, local public utility districts, tribes and stakeholders. A preliminary report from this group is due in November of 2019, and the final report is due in December of 2020.

The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

“Washington state is prone to natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, landslides, and wildfires,” Das said. “We’ve seen an increase in these events because of climate change. We need to act now to ensure we’re fully prepared.”

Sen. Das featured in NW Asian Weekly

May 6th, 2019|

Sen. Mona Das was featured on May 3 in Northwest Asian Weekly. She told the publication about her dream of holding elected office, and how she made that dream a reality.

“We have those crazy dreams that come to us and sometimes we put those dreams on a shelf and sometimes we bring them down, dust them off, and take a look at them again. That was one of those dreams for me.”

Sen. Mona Das, Northwest Asian Weekly

You can find the whole article here.

E-Newsletter: What we accomplished in 2019!

May 1st, 2019|

The bill signing for HB 1543, a recycling bill I worked on with Rep. Jared Mead.

Hello everyone,

I’m so proud to have wrapped up a successful, progressive 2019 Legislative Session! This was my first year serving as the senator for the 47th District, and I could not be more proud of the progress we made this year.

We made amazing progress this year for equity, the environment and more. We ended on time, which is significant because the last time the Legislature ended on time during a budget year was 2009.

I had a lot of success this year with my legislation, including bills to help alleviate homelessness, improve the environment and consumer protections.

In this newsletter, I’ll tell you about these wins from the incredibly successful 2019 legislative session.

In gratitude,

Mona

My bills that passed in 2019

  • SB 5025: Washington is facing a homelessness crisis. This bill helps self-help housing organizations (for example, Habitat for Humanity) house folks efficiently by exempting them from real estate excise taxes taxes. With the creation of the Housing Stability & Affordability Committee this session, the Senate is working hard to find solutions to our statewide homelessness crisis. This is just one of the ways we can help.
  • HB 1543/SB 5545: We’ve all read the headlines about China no longer taking many of our recyclable materials. Rep. Jared Mead, the state Department of Ecology and I worked hard on a bill to help solve that problem bring Washington state to the forefront of recycling policy. 
  • SR 8639: In the United States, about 500,000 people identify as Sikh. About 20,000 of those people live in the greater Seattle area. Our Sikh neighbors haven’t always been treated fairly in Washington state, so I introduced a resolution to honor this community’s achievements, and the benefits they bring to Washington state and our nation.
  • SB 5124: This bill protect consumers from inflated home values by increasing transparency in Washington’s appraisal management companies, and ensuring that the state’s appraisal management program remains in compliance with federal regulations.
  • SB 5106: This bill will help make Washington a safer, more resilient place by creating a work group to study disaster mitigation and resiliency activities. Washington is prone to natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, wildfires, etc. We must take these events seriously and come up with strategies to recover should they occur.
  • SB 5107: This bill clarifies the definition of trust business to accommodate new business practices. Our goal was to make sure that financial service businesses can innovate and operate in Washington, while making sure consumers are protected.
  • SB 5503: Washington has many rural areas that depend on on-site sewage systems (otherwise known as septic systems). For those areas, residents’ health and safety depends on those systems being properly inspected and maintained. A healthy environment depends on that maintenance, too. This bill helps establish best practices for septic system maintenance and inspection.
We hosted Washington’s Sikh community at the Capitol when we passed our Sikh resolution.

Budget Wins

  • Warehousing and Manufacturing: A proviso in the 2019-20 operating budget will help the areas of Washington that were negatively impacted by end of the streamlined sales tax mitigation program. Kent was one of the areas hardest hit by this change. The Legislature allocated $16.4 million over the next two years to mitigate sales tax losses.
  • Seattle Education Access: The budget allocates $500,000 over two years for Seattle Education Access, which provides assistance to students who face profound barriers — such as homelessness. This program doesn’t just serve Seattle and King County. Its impacts stretch into Snohomish and Pierce counties, too. Fittingly, the name of this program will change to Northwest Education Access.
  • Deterring street racing: Many of you know that Kent has a significant problem with street racing. Thanks to the transportation budget, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission will oversee a pilot project implementing noise enforcement cameras in areas that have been designated by ordinance as “stay out of areas of racing.”
  • Washington Main Street Program: This program has been helping downtown communities revitalize their appearance and economy since 1984. New funding ($120,000) in the operating budget will allow the program to add a new full-time staff member. This budget proviso is supported by the Kent Downtown Partnership.
  • 2020 census: The operating budget allocates $15 million to help the state prep for the 2020 census. The goal of this funding is to help the census reach populations that are traditionally hard to count through outreach, use of multiple languages, etc. This proviso is supported by the Senate’s Members of Color Caucus.
  • 224th Street Project: The transportation budget includes $1.5 million for phase two of improvements to 224th
47th District. Soos Creek Hatchery. Auburn, WA.

Capital Budget

The two-year capital budget makes great investments in the 47th District, and the rest of Washington state. Here are the investments for our district:

  • Aquatic and Recreation Center: $1.05 million
  • Auburn Arts & Culture Center: $500,000
  • Health Point Behavioral Health Expansion: $1.03 million
  • Mixed Use Psychiatric Care Facility (Auburn): $20 million
  • Green River Park property development: $500,000
  • Service Club Park drainage: $350,000
  • Soos Creek Hatchery: $1.17 million