(360) 786-7608|mark.mullet@leg.wa.gov

Monthly Archives: March 2017

E News- Update on crucial projects for our community

March 30th, 2017|

Dear friends and neighbors,

At the end of every legislative session, I begin the process of gathering community input for projects that I will submit for funding consideration the next year. I’m ecstatic to announce that every one of the projects I sought funding for this year will be fully funded in the proposed budget. The budget passed the Senate this morning on a 49-0 vote. It now advances to the House for further consideration.

I was able to secure funding for a downtown revitalization project for Carnation with the goal of transforming downtown Carnation and supporting local businesses.

The budget proposal also includes additional funding to replace the old and undersized Black Diamond Elementary School with a new, state-of-the-art building. This project will get students and teachers out of portables and into a warm and secure building.

North Bend will benefit from funding provided to finish rehabilitation of the historic Tollgate Farmhouse operated by Si View Metropolitan Parks District.

In addition to these projects, the proposed budget includes funding for several park and trail projects throughout the district.

I will be working hard to ensure that these projects are fully funded when our work here in Olympia is done. After all, these are proposed budgets and not final agreements.

UPDATE: At the beginning of this session, I said that my top priority was to keep traffic moving. That is why I am thrilled that this year’s House Transportation Budget accelerates the timing and funding for a new interchange at Highway 18 and I-90. The project was initially set to begin in 2023 but with these proposed changes, it will begin this year.

Thank you for your engagement,

  • Permalink Gallery

    Mullet: House transportation proposal smartly prioritizes SR 18/ I-90 interchange improvements

Mullet: House transportation proposal smartly prioritizes SR 18/ I-90 interchange improvements

March 27th, 2017|

OLYMPIA- Sen. Mark Mullet, D- Issaquah, issued this statement following the introduction of House Bill 1147, the House proposed supplemental transportation budget. HB 1147 accelerates the timing and funding for a new interchange at State Route 18 and Interstate 90. The project was initially set to begin in 2023 but with these proposed changes, it will begin this year.

“Moving the timing up on this project was my top priority this session. I pushed hard for its inclusion in the budget, and I’m grateful that the chair of the House Transportation Committee recognized the need for urgent action.

“Anyone who travels this section of I-90 knows how maddening the gridlock and traffic can be. It’s more than just a nuisance. It’s flat out dangerous. Frustrated motorists are illegally cutting lines and making risky U-turns. The traffic volume in this area is only going to get worse as the population continues to grow.

“All of these problems require action now, not six years down the road.

“Accelerating this project will not only relieve congestion and make our roads safer, it saves our state money because we will be able to take advantage of lower interest rates that are available right now.

“I also want to thank my fellow seatmates in the 5th Legislative District who worked across the aisle to ensure this project was included in the proposed budget.

“With this said, I recognize that this is only a proposal and a lot of work still has to be done before the House and Senate can come to an agreement on a final transportation budget. As these negotiations continue, I will be fighting to ensure that funding for this important project is maintained in whatever that final agreement may be.”

E News- Free to fly!

March 23rd, 2017|

Dear friends and neighbors,

Have you been to the airport lately? If so, you may have noticed signs popping up at Sea-Tac informing you that beginning in 2018 your Washington state driver’s license will no longer be considered valid identification for air travel.

This is because our state is noncompliant with federal identification regulations established by the 2005 REAL ID Act. This law requires proof of U.S. citizenship in order for a state-issued driver’s license to be valid to go through airport security or to enter a federal facility. This includes access to military bases.

The problem is that Washington state is the only state in the nation that does not require proof of U.S. citizenship to obtain a driver’s license.

To bring our state into compliance, I cosponsored Senate Bill 5008. SB 5008 allows travelers to use Washington’s enhanced driver’s license for federal identification purposes. The legislation also reduces the cost of these enhanced licenses, making them more affordable. Standard driver’s licenses will still be available to those who choose not to fly or who would rather use their passports when they travel.

I am confident that this legislation will bring us into compliance with federal regulations. Having passed the Senate, the bill now heads to the House for consideration by that chamber.

Thank you for your engagement,

E News- How much is your car actually worth?

March 15th, 2017|

Dear friends and neighbors,

We all know that the second you drive your brand new car off the lot, it begins to lose its value – rapidly. According to the Kelley Blue Book, a two-year-old car is only worth 59 percent of its original sticker price.

Taxes and fees to fund Sound Transit began taking affect this month and many people are noticing the agency is using an outdated formula for calculating vehicle value. As a result, a two-year-old car is valued at 89 percent of its original value under their formula.

For most of the 5th Legislative District, this information will not have an impact because the district is mostly outside Sound Transit’s taxing authority. However, for those of us in Issaquah, Klahanie and the Renton Highlands, Sound Transit’s outdated methods for calculating a vehicle’s value have led to a massive hike in licensing fees.

Many of you know that I am a strong supporter of public transit. One of my past legislative priorities was to get Issaquah on Sound Transit’s light rail map. Moreover, voters in the 5th District supported Sound Transit on the ballot. But just because we supported public transportation doesn’t mean we think families should be unfairly charged for car tabs to get the job done.

I’m calling on Sound Transit to use a more reliable and updated formula so we can accurately gauge a car’s worth. I’m hopeful they will take action. If not, there is legislation in both the House and the Senate that I support to replace the Sound Transit formula and instead use data from the National Automobile Dealers Association or the Kelley Blue Book to assess a vehicle’s true value.

Thank you for your engagement,

  • Permalink Gallery

    Mullet on levy cliff bill: A much-needed insurance policy for schools as they plan their budgets

Mullet on levy cliff bill: A much-needed insurance policy for schools as they plan their budgets

March 8th, 2017|

OLYMPIA- Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, issued this statement following the passage of Senate Bill 5023, commonly known as the levy cliff bill.

“Allowing local communities to maintain their current school levy rates for at least one more year was a top priority of mine this legislative session.

“Extending this deadline out another year is an insurance policy for school districts so they can budget for the coming school year with some certainty while we in the Legislature negotiate a solution to the McCleary ruling.

“Now that the levy cliff problem has been settled, I am eager to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to resolve our state’s school funding crisis once and for all. And I will be fighting to make sure that local control and local levies are included as a part of that final solution.”

 

E News- Court ruling creates need for legislative action

March 8th, 2017|

Dear friends and neighbors,

When you think about King County, you think about skyscrapers, traffic jams and a booming tech industry. However, King County also contains large swaths of rural land, and much of that rural land lies within the borders of the 5th Legislative District. As I represent this unique district, I have an obligation to stand up for not only city dwellers and suburbanites but rural homeowners too.

This summer, the state Supreme Court issued a ruling that has caused major headaches for people who have recently decided to purchase rural land. This ruling, known as the Hirst Decision, has prompted some counties to ban landowners from digging a well on their property.

In the past, property owners could dig certain types of small wells without water rights as long as the owner drew fewer than 5,000 gallons of water per day. But because of the Hirst ruling, this is now prohibited – leaving some people who have recently purchased land but have not dug their wells stuck in development limbo.

As so often happens around here, a Supreme Court ruling now warrants the need for legislative action. While I am sympathetic to concerns that we need to do our best to preserve our water resources, I don’t think people who have recently purchased rural property should be prevented from living their dreams.

That’s why I voted in favor of Senate Bill 5239, which would allow rural homeowners to retain the ability to dig small wells on their property.

The measure narrowly passed the Senate and now heads to the House for further consideration. I’m confident we can negotiate a solution that allows people to live the lives they choose while at the same time includes provisions to protect our state’s water supply for generations to come.

Best regards,

E News- Leveling the playing field for small retailers

March 1st, 2017|

Dear friends and neighbors,

As the owner of a pizza restaurant and ice cream parlor, I see firsthand the impact that small businesses have on their communities. Small mom-and-pop shops provide jobs, sponsor little league teams and provide places to gather. These shops truly define a community’s character. After all, what would Snoqualmie’s historic downtown be like without its unique small retailers?

Unfortunately, these small mom-and-pop shops that we love are having a difficult time competing with internet retailers located out of state.

Right now, out-of-state internet retailers selling to Washingtonians have a competitive advantage because they don’t have to collect sales tax. To address this inequity, I am co-sponsoring Senate Bill 5855 to ensure that internet-based businesses are subject to the same taxes paid by small brick-and-mortars operating in Washington state.

This bill levels the playing field so that our small corner shops and businesses can remain competitive and continue to do what they do best – drive our local economies.

Better yet, this bill kills two birds with one stone. It not only supports the small businesses that define our communities, it has the potential to raise enough money to fully-fund our schools and work in concert with the K-12 funding proposal I introduced last month.

Best regards,