Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope this email finds you and your families well! We are about 20 percent of the way through the scheduled 105 day session as we begin Week 4.
Most of our time is spent in committee hearings discussing and voting on policies. However, because our time together is limited, legislation will be brought before the House chamber at any time. We have already had our first round of floor votes with more scheduled this week.
It is starting to get busier and busier each day. You can learn more about my committee work, my priorities, and how to visit my office under the dome by watching my first Barkis Breakdown of 2023. You can watch by clicking here or on the photo below.
Priorities | Housing
Washington state is producing the fewest housing units per household of any state in the country due to unnecessary regulatory costs and fees, permit delays, restrictive zoning laws, and an antiquated Growth Management Act.
I have consistently introduced legislation to address our affordable housing crisis for the past six years. There are many regulations and hurdles for builders that need to be addressed to increase our supply.
The bills I have introduced this session include the following:
- House Bill 1245 – Increasing housing options through lot splitting. The bill was heard in the House Housing Committee on Thursday, Jan. 26. It is scheduled for an executive session – or a full vote by the committee on whether it will continue through the legislative process – on Thursday, Feb. 2.
- House Bill 1467 – Concerning infill for properties uniquely situated between boundaries and existing development. I will keep you posted on its status in the House Local Government Committee.
- House Bill 1519 – Concerning local project review. I will keep you posted on its status in the House Local Government Committee.
In my last email update, I discussed the bipartisan housing bills I have cosponsored. You can read more about those by clicking here.
Even with the good bipartisan housing policies we are working on, two flawed ideological bills have been introduced – House Bills 1388 and 1389 – on rent control. I will continue to do all I can to protect our housing providers and provide better solutions in this space.
I also want to thank everyone who came to the Capitol to voice your opinion, thoughts, and concerns on these two bad landlord-tenant bills during the hearing in the House Housing Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Your involvement in the legislative process matters! Please continue to be engaged as session moves forward. Your voice does make a difference!
Stay tuned for more information on the bipartisan, bicameral housing work the Legislature is considering. I invite you to watch our housing press conference held on Tuesday, Jan. 31. You can watch my speech during the press event here.
Priorities | Transportation
I know one of your top transportation priorities for our district is the issue surrounding the siting process of a new mega airport. Again, I want to thank everyone who came to the Capitol campus last week to voice your concerns. It was great to see everyone.
I have also put together a short video on my thoughts and solutions for the future.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to participate in a bipartisan, bicameral transportation safety press conference.
Fatalities on our highways continue to increase annually. In fact, Washington state is experiencing the highest rate of fatalities since 1990. We also lead the nation in year-over-year fatality rates. We need to do better. We can do better.
We can work together on many solutions to provide better safety on our highways, which will save lives. A few of these priorities include:
- There is a correlation between unsafe streets and the need for more state troopers and law enforcement officers on our highways, roadways, and community streets. My colleagues and I have been fighting for additional funding to recruit, retain, and hire troopers and officers. I am hopeful we can make progress this year.
- Cameras in work zones to protect our highway workers.
- Protecting our tow truck drivers with additional lighting on their vehicles.
- Cleaning right of ways of encampments for the safety of everyone.
You can watch my remarks during the press conference by clicking here or on the photo below.
As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas regarding your state government or any of the topics and issues mentioned in this update, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My contact information can be found at the bottom of this email.
It is an honor to serve you.