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E-Newsletter: What we accomplished in 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