It’s hard to believe that we are halfway through this year’s legislative session. While things continue to be mostly virtual, there was a recent rule change allowing more Senate members on the floor of the chamber when voting on legislation. This update comes at the point during session when lawmakers spend most of their time debating and voting bills out of the Senate. Bills that pass this chamber will be delivered to the House of Representatives and must go through the same process in that body to become law. Likewise, the Senate will consider bills that have passed out of the House and vote on them next.
Good, Interesting, and Controversial bills
Now that we’ve hit the midpoint of the session, I hope you will enjoy my annual list of some of good bills, interesting bills and controversial bills that are being considered by the Senate this year. Here we go!
- Homelessness is a complex issue that has drastically increased in our state over the last decade. I introduced a largely ambitious bill this year to address some of the issues surrounding homelessness. Senate Bill 5954 has eight separate components and attempts to fund programs that help people successfully get off the streets, incentivize employers to hire hard to place jobseekers, provide some emergency rental assistance, and to keep our communities safer by prohibiting unauthorized camping near schools, parks, and courts.
- Tax Relief and Reform Act of 2022 (Senate Bill 5769). This bill would provide relief from property taxes on your primary residence and eliminate some taxes on manufacturing businesses to bring back some of the good paying jobs we’ve lost. It would also repeal the capital gains income tax and the Long-Term Care Payroll Tax. With about $10,000,000,000.00 in surplus funds, we can fully fund government and provide you with some tax relief!
- Pickle ball was invented right here in Washington state! It started in the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island at the home of Joel Pritchard, who later served in Congress and as lieutenant governor. This year, Senate Bill 5615 was introduced to designate pickle ball as Washington state’s official sport.
- You could soon see J.P. Patches on license plates across our state if Senate Bill 5741 is enacted. What will they think of next? Perhaps a Sasquatch license plate?
- SB 5756 is called Establishing the Semiquincentennial Committee – aka the “Let’s form a committee to plan a party for the 250th birthday of the United States” bill. If you are a planner, this takes place on July 4, 2026, so get it on the calendar now!
- Senate Bill 5036 passed the Senate along party lines and effectively removes life without parole in our state. There are currently 128 inmates serving time for aggravated murder or first-degree murder that immediately become eligible to apply for commutation. Another 68 would be eligible in the next five years.
- By request of the governor, Senate Bill 5843 was introduced this session and seeks to make it a gross misdemeanor for a public official or candidate for public office to lie about elections.
Join us for a 25th LD town hall!
I’d like to invite you to join me and Representatives Chambers and Jacobsen for our virtual town hall on Thursday, February 24, at 6:30 p.m. We will provide a short legislative update and answer your questions. Click on the here for more details and to register for this event. I Hope to see you there!
I do hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the bills that normally don’t garner the headlines. Keep in mind, not all these bills will make it to the governor’s desk.
If there are bills of concern to you, please reach out to my office by phone at (253) 840-4523 or by email at Chris.Gildon@leg.wa.gov.
It is an honor serving you!
Senator, 25 LD
Deputy Floor Leader