(360) 786-7667|Joe.Nguyen@leg.wa.gov

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Response to developing coronavirus concerns in the 34th District

March 4th, 2020|

Neighbors in the 34th Legislative District,

As many of you are aware by now, King County has chosen to place a quarantine facility for those ill with the novel coronavirus in White Center. This decision was made following an increasing number of confirmed cases of the illness in the region throughout the week.

Being someone with family and history in White Center, I understand the concern that many of us feel regarding the placement of this facility. It is important during this time of uncertainty, however, to understand that a quarantine facility will not necessarily mean the surrounding area is more prone to infections. These sites are a vital part of the statewide response to the virus, and provide an opportunity for those who have become sick to recover without posing a risk to their surrounding population. Our issue is not that this decision puts the public at additional risk, but rather ensuring that the community is consulted before such a decision is made.

Additional quarantine facilities will be introduced throughout the County in the coming weeks on top of the one in White Center and the preexisting Department of Health facility in Shoreline. I have been in contact with King County throughout the day to discuss the logistics of this decision, and will be working with them even more as the situation continues to play out. Additionally, the County has been reaching out to members of the White Center community to ensure this process has as minimal of an impact on the neighborhood as possible.

Considering the severity and constantly developing nature of this health crisis, communication between varying levels of government can be difficult. However, we are all working to ensure a coordinated response to the crisis.

While there are still many unknowns with this virus, what we do know is that our government is working overtime to provide the resources we need going forward. Here in Olympia, we passed a $100 million funding package to ensure a comprehensive response from state and local public health organizations. Governor Inslee has declared a state of emergency as well, and I’m sure we can expect more precautionary measures at every level as this situation develops.

Though many of us are understandably nervous about this situation, we need to be sure we’re reducing stigma as much as possible. Only share information you know to be true, such as from the Seattle & King County Public Health website, the Washington Department of Health twitter, and the Centers for Disease Control website.

Seattle & King County Public Health have updated their recommendations to slow the spread of coronavirus in our community and reduce the number of people infected. These include:

  • Working from home if you’re able to.
  • Considering postponing large gatherings and group events.
  • Staying home and out of the public when sick.
  • Frequently washing your hands with warm soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Calling the King County novel coronavirus call center at 206-477-3977 if you are in the county and believe you were exposed to a confirmed case, or if you are a health care provider with questions about the outbreak.

We must work together as a community in our response to this health crisis. Testing will be amped up in the coming weeks in order to provide those who have been diagnosed with the proper care they need to both recover and prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

Sincerely,

Sen. Joe Nguyen

34th Legislative District.

Town Hall in the 34th LD!

February 14th, 2020|

  • Permalink Gallery

    Nguyen: House excise tax bill ‘one step closer’ to much-needed tax reform

Nguyen: House excise tax bill ‘one step closer’ to much-needed tax reform

January 29th, 2020|

OLYMPIA — A bill introduced today in the House which would allow counties with populations of more than 2 million to impose an excise tax on business is a valuable step in reforming the state’s upside-down tax system, Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center) said.

“In one of the richest cities in the richest country in the world, we shouldn’t be seeing our communities struggle so much,” Nguyen said. “Washington State has the most regressive tax code in the entire country, and it’s unacceptable that our laws trap those with the smallest incomes at the bottom while the richest keep moving up.”

House Bill 2907 would impose a 0.1% to 0.2% tax on companies that pay their employees more than $150,000 per year. Seattle city officials estimate that the tax could raise up to $120 million a year to be used to address the homelessness crisis in King County. The money would be used to build more affordable housing and fund programs that aim to prevent homelessness.

“This is one step closer to the progressive tax reform we need in Washington,” said Nguyen. “We aren’t all the way there yet, but I’m optimistic to see the pathway forward that this bill offers.”

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

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    Senate passes real estate excise tax reform, reducing rates for majority of Washingtonians

Senate passes real estate excise tax reform, reducing rates for majority of Washingtonians

April 26th, 2019|

Eighty percent of Washingtonians would receive a tax cut on the sale of real estate thanks to legislation passed Thursday by the state Senate. Senate Bill 5998 would reform real estate excise taxes (REET) to a graduated scale, in which property sales under $500,000 are reduced to a 1.1 percent rate while the highest tier of properties, those sold for more than $3 million, would be taxed at three percent.

Anyone who sells a house for less than $1.5 million would receive a tax cut on that sale.

“You’ve heard it a million times before: Washington state’s tax code is completely upside down, favoring those at the top end while punishing those struggling to get by,” said bill sponsor Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center). “With this legislation, we are taking a major step toward fixing our broken tax code. The simple truth is that no one selling a property for $3 million is struggling to make ends meet.”

The current rate on Washington’s REET is a flat 1.28 percent. The new graduated rates would bring in an additional $600 million dollars over the next four years, all of which would be dedicated to the Education Legacy Trust Account.

“Making our tax code fairer while dedicating additional funds to education are mutually attainable goals that we achieve through this bill,” said Nguyen. “Only about two-percent of sellers, the wealthiest among us, would see their taxes increased. It’s time we ask those wealthy few to pay their fair share to build a Washington that works for all.”

The graduated REET scale under SB 5998 would implement the following:

  • 1.1-percent if the selling price is equal to or less than $500,000
  • 1.28-percent on the portion of the selling price that is greater than $500,000 but equal to or less than $1,500,000
  • 2.75-percent on the portion of the selling price that is greater than the $1,500,000 but equal to or less than $3,000,000
  • 3-percent on the portion of the selling price that is greater than $3,000,000

SB 5998 passed the Senate on a vote of 26-22 and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Prepaid postage on ballots passes Senate

March 5th, 2019|

The Washington State Senate voted today to increase access to democracy by requiring prepaid postage for ballot envelopes during all elections. Sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center), Senate Bill 5063 is the latest effort to eliminate barriers to participation in Washington elections.

“This bill is a huge step forward in making Washington elections fairer and more accessible for everyone in the state,” said Nguyen. “For most people, the idea that you would have to pay to return your ballot, even if that only means a stamp, just doesn’t sit right. Passing this legislation removes that question and brings everyone to the table.”

While both ballot drop boxes and prepaid postage are crucial to voter participation, an analysis by the King County Elections department found that more voters took advantage of prepaid postage in 2018. The digital age has dramatically reduced, and even eliminated, the need for postage stamps for many Washingtonians.

By removing this barrier to democracy, prepaid postage will allow everyone an equal and easy means of submitting their vote by Election Day.

Washington authorized prepaid postage on a one time basis for the 2018 midterm elections and Nguyen is optimistic that expanding the practice statewide on a permanent basis will increase participation

“I think we are stronger as individuals and communities when we all have access to voting and are a part of the process,” Nguyen said. “I also want to thank Sen. Bob Hasegawa for his years championing this legislation. We could not have accomplished this without his leadership and vision.”

Having passed the Senate on a 42-3 vote, the bill moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.  

Nguyen sworn in, will bring new perspectives to Senate

January 14th, 2019|

Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center) was sworn in today to serve Washington’s 34th Legislative District, which includes West Seattle, White Center, Vashon Island and parts of Burien.

As the Senate’s first member of Vietnamese descent and part of a wave of new millennial leadership, Nguyen is intent on elevating voices and ideas that have, in the past, been left out of the conversation.

“The constituents of the 34th district sent me to Olympia because we have grown weary of seeing our families, our communities, and our fellow Washingtonians left out or left behind despite the strength of our state’s economy,” said Nguyen. “My constituents are working harder and for longer hours just to get by, so I will be working just as hard to ensure their vision for an inclusive and just Washington becomes a reality.”

Nguyen was selected by his colleagues in the Senate Democratic Caucus to serve as Vice Chair of the Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation Committee and as a member of the Energy, Environment & Technology, Transportation, and Rules committees. He will bring expertise as a job trainer in the tech sector, as a community advocate for individuals experiencing homelessness, and as a father of two young children, to help guide policy making toward compassion and accountability.

“We’re going to push the difficult conversations and work tirelessly, because that is what our political moment requires,” said Nguyen.  “Washington is changing. It’s time for our government to do the same.”

Sen. Nguyen can be reached by phone at 360-786-7667 or by email at joe.nguyen@leg.wa.gov.