This year is a shorter 60-day session for the Washington State Legislature to draft and pass bills to address the state’s most pressing issues.
Legislative districts in Auburn, Federal Way and Kent include Washington’s 30th, 31st and 47th districts.
Here is a look at the legislative priorities of South King County legislators based on the bills for which they are a primary sponsor.
Rep. Drew Stokesbary (R)
HB 1000: Providing sales tax relief by expanding the working families’ tax credit
The Working Families’ Tax Credit (WFTC) is a state program for low-to-moderate-income families that offers a partial credit against sales and use taxes paid in the form of a refund. To be eligible for credit payments, a person must have filed a federal tax return, must meet the requirements for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), or would meet the requirements for the EITC, but are filing with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, must be at least 25 and under 65 years of age, or have a qualifying child, and must have lived in Washington for more than 183 days or be the spouse of someone who does.
This bill would, as written, would double the maximum and minimum credit amounts for the Working Families’ Tax Credit for all applicants with at least one qualifying child and double the maximum qualifying income for the Working Families’ Tax Credit.
HB 1373: Funding the removal of illegal encampments near schools, childcare centers, parks, and courthouses
This bill, if passed would maintain that by by May 1, 2025, the county legislative authority of each county that is required or that chooses to plan under RCW 36.70A.040 must adopt an ordinance making it unlawful for any person to camp on public property within 500 feet of a public or private elementary or secondary school, a child day care center, a public park, or a court house.
It would also establish a grant program to fund encampment sweeps and clean-ups and maintains that counties would only be eligible for funding if they adopt the encampment removal ordinance.
HB 1429: Prohibiting strikes by employees covered by the educational employment relations act and authorizing interest arbitration
This bill would make it unlawful for an employee or an employee organization, directly or indirectly, to induce, instigate, encourage, authorize, ratify, or participate in a strike and would allow courts to impose a penalty of up to $10,000 for an employee organization or the employer if they instigate or participate in a strike.
Rep. Eric Robertson (R)
HB 1053: Concerning vehicular pursuits
This bill would change the police vehicle pursuit law to allow police chases when there is “there is reasonable suspicion a person in the vehicle has committed or is committing a criminal offense.”
Sen. Phil Fortunato (R)
SB 5016: Addressing homelessness through providing emergency shelter, incentivizing employment of workers experiencing homelessness, and building homes for a better future
This bill would direct the state to provide grants to local governments or nonprofit organizations to meet the individual needs of persons experiencing homelessness to facilitate their transition to permanent housing. The grants must include graduated rental assistance programs that require participants to contribute either a percentage of their income to rent or to do community service in exchange for rental assistance.
It would also maintain that every county and each city with a population over 50,000 must establish and operate at least one emergency overnight shelter site in its respective jurisdiction, and that those shelters must provide employment, mental health, and drug counseling services.
SB 6116: Concerning the organization of interscholastic athletics
This bill would make it so that student athletes have to compete amongst peers that have the same sex chromosomes as they do and would civil action to be brought against schools that do not comply with the policy.
Rep. Jamila Taylor (D)
HB 2237: Concerning limitations in parenting plans
This bill amends provisions governing limitations that may be imposed in a parenting plan on residential time with a child, decision-making authority, and dispute resolution by reorganizing language and making revisions and additions to substantive provisions.
It allows limitations and restrictions in parenting plans if a parent is a convicted sex offender or sexual abuser, or if they have a history of acts of domestic violence or an assault or sexual assault that causes grievous bodily harm.
HB 1080: Concerning body worn cameras
This bill deals with access to police body-worn cameras and modifies the list of qualifying individuals who have a right to obtain body worn camera recordings and may not be charged the costs of redacting, altering, distorting, pixelating, suppressing, or otherwise obscuring portions of the recording.
It also authorizes law enforcement and corrections agencies responding to a public records request to charge qualifying individuals for the costs of redacting, altering, distorting, pixelating, suppressing, or otherwise obscuring portions of a body worn camera recording when the requestor is a party in a criminal or civil case on file in any court concerning the recorded incident.
Rep. Kristine Reeves (D)
HB 1648: Concerning ticket sales
This bill would establish a ticket sales license that must be obtained to engage in the business of a ticket seller or ticket reseller and would require ticket sellers and ticket resellers to make several disclosures to admission tickets consumers.
It also would limit the charging of admission tickets delivery fees and use of “dynamic pricing” for admission tickets sales and prohibits people from knowingly reselling, or offering for resale, admission tickets that the person knows were obtained using software to circumvent or evade a ticket seller’s security measures on its internet website, application, phone system, or similar technology, which prohibition is enforceable under the Consumer Protection Act, while also providing for penalties for violations.
HB 2150: Concerning processes regarding the disqualification of candidates who are ineligible for office
This bill would establish that “No person shall be eligible for any state or federal office who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof; unless congress has voted by two-thirds of each house to remove this disability.”
Sen. Claire Wilson (D)
SB 5953: Concerning financial aid grants for incarcerated students
This bill allows incarcerated individuals to apply for and utilize federal and state financial aid grants for postsecondary education programs at the Department of Corrections.
SB 5135: Concerning solitary confinement
This bill would restrict the use of solitary confinement in state correctional facilities and long-term private detention facilities except when necessary for emergency purposes, medical isolation, or when the person voluntarily requests such confinement. It also would establish limits on duration, hearing processes, standards around living conditions, and access to activities outside of the cell, basic necessities, communication, personal hygiene, and medical care for persons in solitary confinement.
Rep. Debra Entenman (D)
HB 1930: Obtaining and sharing investigative information and aligning provisions with current operations and practices of the Office of Independent Investigations
This bill, as currently written, places additional limitations on the Office of Independent Investigations related to sharing information with officers and officials who are under investigation for their conduct.
The bill aims to keep investigators from sharing sensitive information with official witnesses and those under investigation, but it maintains that if information is shared, it was documented.
Rep. Chris Stearns (D)
HB 2211: Granting local taxing authority to fund criminal justice
This bill, if passed, would provide a county legislative authority until Jan. 1, 2027, to impose a criminal justice sales and use tax without voter approval. It also would provide a city within a county that has not imposed the sales and use tax at the full rate by July 1, 2024, until January 1, 2027, to legislatively impose the remainder of the tax up to the full rate.
It also includes a provision which would add co-responder and diversion treatment services to the definition of criminal justice purposes for which a second sales and use tax can be used.
HB 2135: Including federally recognized tribes as part of the Washington emergency management division emergency worker program
The Military Department, under the direction of the state’s Adjutant General, is responsible for administering a comprehensive emergency management program for the state. Each political subdivision of the state must establish or jointly create a local organization for carrying out emergency management functions in accordance with the Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.
This bill would expand the Military Department’s Emergency Worker Program to include members of federally recognized tribes. “The definition of emergency worker is expanded to include a person who is registered with a federally recognized tribe, so long as the Department receives a tribal government resolution declaring the tribal government’s intention to be a participant in the Emergency Worker Program,” the bill’s summary reads.
HB 2019: Establishing a Native American apprentice assistance program.
This if passed would establishes the Native American Apprentice Assistance Program and allow for grant funding and assistance to Native American apprentices.
Sen. Claudia Kauffman (D)
SB 6196: Creating the evergreen basic income pilot program
This bill, if passed, would establish a pilot program for the Evergreen Basic Income Pilot Program, providing 24 monthly payments to up to 7500 qualifying participants in an amount equal to 100 percent of the fair market rent for a two-bedroom dwelling unit in the county in which a participant resides.
Basic income programs are programs that provide unrestricted and unconditional cash benefits to program participants.
SSB 5506: Establishing an enhanced behavior support homes model
This bill is aimed at retooling how our state addresses behavioral healthcare by establishing the Enhanced Behavior Support Homes Program to provide enhanced behavioral services and support to individuals in a community setting rather than in an institution.
It would direct DSHS to license enhanced behavior support homes that meet the minimum standards including 24-hour supervision of residents, providing an appropriate response to the acuity of the residents, establishing resident rights, and establishing program standards, design requirements, staffing structure, and staff qualifications.
As currently written, it would also maintain that behavioral support homes train and implement de-escalation and conflict resolution techniques to prevent injury and maintain safety, provide support and coaching services to be provided by the office of the developmental disability ombuds, train in concepts in functional communication, sensory needs, relationship-based intervention, and behavioral interpretation, and provide consultation with occupational and speech therapy specialists who have experience working with populations living with complex behavioral support needs.