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

Monthly Archives: January 2020

E News – 2020 Session Ongoing Projects

January 30th, 2020|

Dear friends and neighbors,

I started this week with a heavy heart as another member of our community lost their life on the stretch of highway 18 near Tiger Mountain. I extend my sympathies to the family and friends of those close to her. We all know how dangerous this highway is. Improving safety and traffic flow on SR 18 to prevent such tragic loss has been and will continue to be my top transportation priority for our community.

As the highway 18 project remains on the top of the mind in our community, I wanted to make everyone aware of another project I am working on in North Bend.

In the Interbay area of Seattle, there are 25 acres of land currently home to the Washington National Guard Armory. This is where the National Guard deploys from during emergency situations, but the current location has a few problems. The Armory could be cut off during natural disasters, and can be difficult to access because of traffic from Downtown Seattle. This means that quick response times could be slowed down when they are needed most.

For these reasons, there have been ongoing discussions about moving the National Guard to North Bend for better access to areas around the state. I see this as a win-win for both our community and Seattle for many reasons:

  • This project will create construction jobs, and bring a great deal of economic development to our community.
  • Seattle needs more housing, and the vacated site in Interbay can be used as a site for new facilities with access to transit.
  • North Bend and many other communities will have quick access to the National Guard in case of flooding or other events, such as the extraordinary snow experienced last year.
  • The required training for the National Guard only takes place a few times a year, so there will be minimal impact on nearby residents.

While this project is still in the early stages, I think it speaks to what our community has to offer for the rest of the state, and I am excited about the possibilities it brings us.

As always, I welcome you to reach out to me with feedback on these, or any other issues.

Best regards,

E News – 2020 Legislative Session Update

January 24th, 2020|

Dear friends and neighbors,

With this year’s short legislative session already in full swing, I’ve been hard at work turning your feedback into policy that helps improve our communities. Here are a couple examples of bills before the Senate this year that resulted from conversations with constituents like you:

  • Exempting electric boat motors from sales tax: gas-powered boat motors don’t just pollute the air – they also pollute our water, so I’ve sponsored a bill to create an incentive for boat owners to switch to electric motors. Encouraging that switch benefits small businesses that produce and sell electric motors, saves taxpayer money in pollution cleanup costs, and helps the environment. This bill idea came from two constituents in North Bend who own a small electric motor business.

  • Getting vehicles carrying organs for transplant through traffic: unlike ambulances, vehicles that transport organs to be used in transplants aren’t allowed to use emergency lights or sirens to get through traffic. Transplants are extremely time-sensitive, so organs are often transported by helicopter – an expensive alternative. My bill lets organ transport vehicles use emergency lights and sirens, helping to save lives and lower health care costs. This bill came from someone who used to serve our community at the Issaquah Police Department.

My primary focus when weighing legislation is how it will impact people who live and work in our communities. I welcome feedback and ideas for legislation, so please don’t hesitate to write, call, or visit my office to share your thoughts.

Best regards,

  • Permalink Gallery

    Senate approves Mullet bill to expand access to retirement plans

Senate approves Mullet bill to expand access to retirement plans

January 17th, 2020|

OLYMPIA – The Washington Senate voted 26-20 today to approve legislation that would provide Washington State employees who have previously not had access to retirement plans an easier option going forward.

Senate Bill 5740, sponsored by Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), gives employers the opportunity to auto-enroll employees in a new state sponsored account, or to continue enrolling them in pre-existing retirement programs. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) would be offered at no additional cost to the employer.

Employers would have the option to withhold a portion of each employee’s earnings from each paycheck and invest it in an IRA available to the employee upon retirement. Employees who do not want to participate could opt out at any time. Businesses that have fewer than five employees or have been in existence for fewer than five years would be exempt.

“Right now, we are facing a societal problem where there are far too many people in our state who can’t live off of what they save from working,” said Mullet, who chairs the Senate Financial Institutions, Economic Development & Trade Committee. “This bill would give a sense of security to many Washingtonians who have not had the option to save for retirement in the past and would benefit both employees and employers.”

The bill also would allow the state to partner with Oregon, which already has a similar auto-enroll plan, to avoid spending some $10 million to develop its own program.

“I’m always on the lookout for more cost-effective ways for government to function, and this bill lets us do that in a way that will benefit all Washingtonians,” Mullet said. “Everyone in our state deserves the dignity that comes from financial security in retirement.”

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

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For information: Courtney James, Democratic Caucus Communications, (360)-786-7853

E News – 2020 Legislative Session

January 16th, 2020|

Dear friends and neighbors,

As we begin the 2020 legislative session, I want to remind people that my loyalty is with the 5th District and the people I represent in Olympia — not political parties or special-interest groups. It is my top priority that the people in our communities are represented and heard. Given the diversity of opinions in our district, I will always aim to support bipartisan legislation. Some of the top priorities I have this session include:

  • Secure Choice Retirement: Last session I sponsored a bill that would give more people access to simple and affordable options for retirement savings. Our state must do a better job of helping people save for retirement so we can ensure Washington seniors are financially secure without relying as heavily on state support. Although it didn’t pass in the House last year, this session I am working to move the bill forward quickly.
  • Highway 18 Construction Projects: The SR18/I-90 interchange project remains on schedule and an additional temporary westbound ramp is now open in Snoqualmie. Fortunately, this project was not impacted by funding losses from Initiative 976. However, several projects in the district are now in limbo pending the outcome of a court case challenging the legality of the initiative. Regardless of the outcome of that case, I plan to advocate for those projects and continue to keep pressure on my fellow lawmakers to fund the widening and completion of Highway 18 over Tiger Mountain. Fixing this deadly stretch of highway is my top transportation priority.
  • Free Dual Credit for High School Students: I am sponsoring legislation that will remove fees paid by high school students and their families for Running Start programs, College in the Classroom programs, and AP, IB and Cambridge tests. These amazing programs should be free for students to access. Removing financial barriers to academic excellence
    is a no-brainer. Many students in our district utilize these great programs and I hope I can save their families a few hundred dollars.

The most important work we do here in Olympia is writing legislation that works for everyone. In the coming weeks, I’ll be discussing construction projects in the 5th District, project budgets for the year, and many other important topics.

Best regards,