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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The 2024 Legislature adjourned on March 7. Like any session, there were some successes and disappointments. I break them down in this email update. Keep in mind that the three initiatives we passed last week – Initiative 2113, restoring vehicular pursuits; Initiative 2111, prohibiting state and local personal income taxes; and Initiative 2081, establishing a Parents’ Bill of Rights – were big wins for the citizens of Washington state. The other three initiatives will be on the November ballot. They are:

  • I-2117: Repealing the Climate Commitment Act, or carbon tax.
  • I-2124: Opting out of the state long-term care insurance program/payroll tax. 
  • I-2109: Repealing the capital gains tax.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Operating budget

The operating budget passed on a party-line vote in the House, with Republicans voting “no.” Very little changed from the spending plan we passed a few weeks ago. The spending is still unsustainable and fiscally irresponsible. There is no relief for middle-class families, and it spreads spending too thin instead of focusing on priorities. The budget has more than doubled over the last decade.

Capital budget

The state House of Representatives and Senate unanimously passed a supplemental capital budget on the last day of the session. Although it is only a supplemental spending plan, it includes infrastructure projects and improvements throughout the communities in the 15th Legislative District and Washington state.

House capital budget projects for the 15th District include:

  • Energy Northwest, $25 million;
  • Ringold Hatchery replacement ponds, $10 million;
  • Yakima Dental Clinic, $4.4 million;
  • Adams County evidence processing and public safety improvements, $1 million;
  • Othello water supply, $400,000;
  • Yakima County Justice Center (for multiple districts), $275,000;
  • Roza drought funding, $200,000;
  • Yakima Trolley Carbarn fire suppression system, $197,000;
  • Aquatic Center at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, $75,000;
  • Granger community electric sign, $31,000; and
  • Sunnyside Safe Haven Baby Box, $16,000.

Successes and disappointments

There were some successes this session. Some of those include:

  • House Bill 1899 would help qualifying property owners and local governments that had buildings damaged or destroyed by wildfires rebuild.
  • House Bill 2357 establishes a longevity bonus for Washington State Patrol troopers with 26 years or more of service. This will help to provide an incentive to keep our most experienced officers on the highways.
  • House Bill 2153 establishes new felony and gross misdemeanor crimes for trafficking in, possessing, selling, or offering to sell catalytic converters.
  • House Bill 1987 allows rural public facilities sales and use tax to be used for affordable workforce housing.
  • House Bill 2375 extends the senior property tax exemption and deferral programs to detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
  • House Bill 1982 – Makes the Community Economic Revitalization Board’s (CERB) Rural Broadband Program permanent.
  • House Bill 2003 – Creates a leasehold excise tax exemption when public lands are used for affordable housing.

Some of the disappointments or bad bills that made it through this session include:

  • House Bill 1589 requires Puget Sound Energy to stop connecting new customers to gas and direct them to blend the gas and electric lines into one rate base. This will drive up energy costs for many people.
  • Senate Bill 6058 amends the Climate Commitment Act to facilitate a linkage of carbon markets with California and Quebec. 
  • House Bill 1903 requires a person who suffers a loss or theft of a firearm to report the loss or theft to local law enforcement within 24 hours.
  • House Bill 2331 restricts local control of school board authority regarding instructional materials and school library materials.
  • Senate Bill 5462 requires the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into all new or revised state learning standards in every subject for every grade level. It also requires school districts to adopt inclusive curricula that study various groups.
  • House Bill 1282 requires contractors on covered projects to provide certain environmental, health, labor, and human resource data about construction materials used. 

Stay in touch

While the Legislature has adjourned, please keep in mind I am your state representative year-round. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need assistance with a state government issue. I look forward to seeing you around the 15th District.

It is an honor to serve you!


Bryan Sandlin

State Representative Bryan Sandlin, 15th Legislative District
representativebryansandlin.com
405 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
bryan.sandlin@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7874 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000