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

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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.

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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.

Presidio Graduate School: Mona Das brings System Thinking, Sustainability and Representation to the Washington State Senate

March 18th, 2019|

A few weeks ago, I did an interview with my graduate school about my bills, my journey to the Legislature, and more. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

Mona Das (D-Kent), is a newly elected Washington State Senator and a Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI – now Presidio Graduate School) alumna. Das brings systems thinking and a passion for sustainability and representation to the Washington State Senate. She has introduced 11 bills to the legislature so far.

Das enjoys meeting and learning from constituents. She is taking every opportunity to use her influence and lend her voice to advance their interests. Three bills she sponsored demonstrate her commitment to safeguarding the environment and supporting local communities.

Presidio Graduate School Blog

You can read the entire post here.

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    Senate passes Das bill to assist self-help housing organizations

Senate passes Das bill to assist self-help housing organizations

March 11th, 2019|

A bill passed today by the Senate would 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. The bill passed on a vote of 46 to 2 and now heads to the House for consideration.

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.

In this model, home buyers participate in the construction of their new homes.

“These organizations help Washingtonians end the cycle of generational poverty,” 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.”

“This bill is important because providers like Habitat for Humanity are struggling to develop homes that are affordable for our low-income residents due to the rising costs of materials and land,” Michone Preston, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Washington State. “The savings this bill creates go directly to the goal of affordability. Habitat affiliates and other self-help housing providers in Washington are grateful to Senator Das for her leadership and hard work to make self-help housing possible.”

We’re hosting a town hall!

March 6th, 2019|

Join Sen. Mona Das, Rep. Pat Sullivan and Rep. Debra Entenman for a town hall on Saturday, March 23, 2019!

Time: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Location: Green River Community College Main Campus

Cascade Hall (located on the first floor of the Student Affairs & Success Center)

12401 SE 320th St Auburn, WA 98092