Issues & Accomplishments
Safe & Affordable Communities
We are facing a housing crisis in our district. Rental costs are out of reach for many near workplaces and schools, and buying a house is becoming harder and harder, especially for young people who want to live in the communities where they grew up.
Every Washingtonian deserves a safe place to live. As a Member of the Public Safety Committee, Bill is proud to have worked with colleagues to secure over $2 billion to begin to tackle this problem by investing in utility and rental assistance, landlord cost mitigation, homeless service and shelter providers, and a record transfer of $500 million to bolster the Housing Trust Fund. Bill also secured funding this session for the Snoqualmie Valley Senior Center, an affordable housing project to support families here in the 5th LD.
We also need to provide services for diverse homeless populations: those suffering from addiction or mental-health challenges, along with those who lost a job and found themselves unable to pay the high cost of housing. The opioid crisis is inextricably linked to homelessness – we must bring a multi-faceted, comprehensive approach to get people the treatment they need where they need it, as well as ensure that we have the resources necessary to keep folks safe. Responding to homelessness in this way is the right thing to do, and it will help restore vitality to our communities.
This session, Bill helped pass a measure to invest nearly $800 million in substance-use and mental-health providers, recovery and treatment; housing and employment; and funding for crisis, outreach, and diversion programs.
Transportation Solutions At Home & Across Our State
Since he served on the Issaquah City Council, Bill has been finding solutions to improve our traffic congestion in this district. He has worked to secure funding for added lanes on Highway 18 from Tiger Mountain to I-90, and to make a massive investment to fix the clogged interchange of I-90 and Highway 18 in Snoqualmie.
As Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee, Bill has built on his experience in the legislature and on the Issaquah City Council to develop and pass Move Ahead Washington this session — a transformational investment of $16 billion over 16 years — that will create a better future for our transportation sector. This legislation was created after more than 90 listening sessions to hear the top transportation priorities from communities across the state. This package addresses the concerns he heard and reflects his focus on meeting the needs of every community.
Move Ahead Washington includes many specific investments in a greener, safer, more efficient, and more equitable transportation system across our state, including:
$4 billion to fix our existing infrastructure.
$5.4 billion to improve access and transportation options and reduce the carbon footprint from the transportation sector.
$3.1 billion to expand reliable transit service.
$50 million to create bike and pedestrian routes and to increase opportunities for good jobs in the transportation sector.
Full Funding for Our Schools
Bill has a proven track record of working across the aisle to get education funding for all school districts in the 5th District.
In every community, Bill is fighting for quality childcare that parents can afford and kids can enjoy while learning. Bill has also worked to provide affordable college to all working and first-generation families, and he will make sure that college is an option for all who will work for it.
Bill will continue to work to add mental-health counselors and nurses in schools and keep class sizes small so that no child falls through the cracks. He’ll also ensure that teachers have the resources and tools they need to teach the next generation of students.
We must also continue to promote trade schools, work with unions to develop broad options for apprenticeships, and make sure these alternatives are accessible in all our high schools and community colleges.
Equitable Access to Healthcare
We must continue to expand health coverage for all as fast as possible. Bill will fight for accessible, affordable healthcare, as well as safe staffing for healthcare providers. He will ensure that public-health professionals are given a seat at the table so that we can create effective solutions when it comes to budget and policy.
Bill will always defend the right to comprehensive reproductive health.
Conservation and Climate
Many of us moved to this district for the open green spaces and the beautiful outdoors. Like so many of you, protecting the environment is an absolute priority. Bill has worked to create policy that requires state agencies to recognize and support the timber industry’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions through replanting forests, planting new forests, and planting forested buffers near rivers.
Bill brings an innovative and collaborative approach to the legislature. On the Natural Resources Committee, he is working with colleagues across the aisle to find creative solutions to help rural communities while also tackling climate change. When we work together and listen to the specific needs of communities across the state, we can have both.
Bill also was the prime sponsor of a bill that recognizes forests as a significant net sequester of carbon. It establishes the Urban Forestry Program under the management of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This is significant because half of the work must be done in working-class neighborhoods and communities that suffer from environmental injustice.
Investing in Opportunity
& a Healthy WA
During the 2022 session, Bill collaborated with his colleagues to put together a supplemental state budget centered around jobs, economic growth, and supporting Washington families. Bill is fighting in the legislature to ensure that, having survived years of pandemic-related hardship, small businesses and families have the resources they need to thrive.
In our state budget:
For small businesses and economic recovery, we expanded Business and Occupation tax credits and allocated $100 million for restaurants and hospitality businesses, $75 million for disaster response, and $25 million for arts programs.
For K-12 education, we allocated $2.3 billion in 2021 and $808 billion in 2022 for student transportation, nutrition, outdoor education, teacher salaries; counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers.
For children, youth and families, we allocated $827 million in 2021 and $245 million in 2022 to increase funding for childcare and providers and to give stipends to youth who aged out of extended foster care during the pandemic.
For homelessness and housing, we allocated $1.7 billion in 2021and $318 million in 2022 for utility and rental assistance, landlord cost mitigation, homeless service and shelter providers, and a record transfer of $500 million to bolster the Housing Trust Fund.
For public health and healthcare, we allocated $1.3 billion in 2021 and $837 million in 2022 to fund Washington’s COVID response and vaccination efforts, Medicaid dental services, and community health centers.
For behavioral health, we allocated $520 million in 2021 and $277 million in 2022 to invest in substance-use treatment and mental-health providers, recovery and treatment, housing and employment, and funding for crisis, outreach, and diversion programs.
For long-term care and developmental disabilities, we allocated $1.2 billion in 2021 and $1.2 billion in 2022 to fund provider rate increases and wages; employment and community services for people who have developmental disabilities; and increases in personal-needs allowances.
For college and workforce development, we allocated $158 million in 2021 and $283 million in 2022 to create the Washington Student Loan Program; expand the Washington College Grant; and increase funding for healthcare and nursing education, training, and tuition assistance.
For public safety, legal aid, and corrections, we allocated $189 million in 2021 and $215 million in 2022 to strengthen our response to domestic terrorism, fund the Office of Independent Investigations, domestic-violence and sexual-assault response, and legal aid for civil litigation.
For natural resources, we allocated $342 million in 2021 and $620 million in 2022 to increase funding for salmon habitat and recovery, recreational-lands maintenance, wildfire suppression and recovery, solar incentives, and invasive species control.