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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this email finds you well! The 2024 legislative session ended on March 7. The adjournment of sine die indicates that the legislative body has ended its session without scheduling a future meeting. In the session’s last phase, we prioritized refining budget specifics and reconciling differences among bills passed by both chambers.

This brief session unfolded with remarkable speed, marked by a distinct sense of urgency. Lawmakers appeared to endeavor to accomplish as much, if not more, within the compressed 60-day timeframe we typically see during our 105-day sessions. Over 1,600 bills were introduced collectively between the House and Senate.

I want to emphasize several key legislative accomplishments from the 2024 session in this update.

Legislative accomplishments

Governor Inslee signs bipartisan House Bills 1920 and 1996 into law

I’m pleased to announce that two of my bipartisan bills have been signed into law.

House Bill 1920 reflects Washington state’s efforts to modernize its accountancy laws to conform with the Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA), which the state adopted in 2001. It aims to streamline and eliminate outdated language, aligning things with the UAA. In terms of substance, the bill updates requirements for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firms, the practice privilege, and standards of substantial equivalency. It simplifies licensing requirements for CPAs and CPA firms and consolidates prohibited and non-prohibited practices for better comprehension by both CPAs and the public.

House Bill 1996 introduces a franchise law tailored specifically for towable RVs, regulating the relationship between manufacturers and dealers. As an RV owner, I commend the collaborative effort of the industry in proposing and endorsing this standardized policy in Washington state.

As the Ranking Republican member of the Consumer Protection & Business Committee, it was my privilege to work with both industries to update and improve their business practices and ensure consumers are protected under the law.  

Both bills will become effective on June 6, 2024.

Supplemental bipartisan capital budget and funding for 31st District projects

The supplemental capital budget targets various needs, such as investments in K-12 school construction, behavioral health and substance abuse treatment facilities, housing, early learning facilities, infrastructure, and various community projects throughout the state. I supported this budget.

Together with my seatmate, House Republican Leader Drew Stokesbary, we successfully obtained funding for the following capital projects in our district.

  • $3.5 million for the Muckleshoot We Care Daily clinic.
  • $52,000 for the Buckley Foothills Trailhead & Dr. Douglas Tait Pavilion.
  • $151,000 for the City of Bonney Lake ADA-accessible playground.
  • $134,000 for the historic Wilkeson town hall renovation.
  • $1.8 million for the Rainier School commercial laundry system replacements.
  • $950,000 for the SE 432nd Street fish culvert.

Supplemental bipartisan transportation budget

As an assistant ranking member on the House Transportation Committee and a participant in the budget development process, I take pride in the final supplemental transportation budget.

The supplemental transportation budget allocates an additional $1.1 billion, building upon last year’s $13.5 billion allocation. It prioritizes investments in maintenance and preservation, emphasizes enhancing highway safety, and tackles challenges related to the recruitment and retention of Washington State Patrol troopers.

The Legislature invested in school pedestrian safety improvements for North Tapps Middle School and the path from the Riverside neighborhood to the downtown Sumner’s schools, as well as funds for the City of Buckley to begin improvements on SR 410 through the city.

Initiatives

In recent years, Washington state residents have felt the negative impacts of various public policies previously enacted by the Legislature. I opposed those policy decisions in previous years and have fought for their repeal. 

In January, citizens presented six initiatives to the Legislature, targeting some of these concerns. A notable success was realized as three of these initiatives were approved and will soon be enacted into law.  I voted YES on your behalf when the initiatives were presented to the House for a vote.

  • I-2111 prohibits further efforts to impose a state or local personal income tax.
  • I-2113 restores police authority to pursue fleeing suspects.
  • I-2081 establishes a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” in K-12 education to increase transparency and ensure public schools share with parents any records relating to their children and the instructional materials used in the classroom.

You can watch the debate highlights for I-2113 by clicking here or on the photo below.

You can watch the debate highlights for I-2081 by clicking here or on the photo below.

The three initiatives that did not pass the Legislature will advance to the November ballot, and Washington voters will decide whether to pass them.

  • I-2117 would repeal the Climate Commitment Act.
  • I-2124 would allow employees to opt out of the long-term care insurance program and payroll tax.
  • I-2109 would repeal the excise tax on capital gains income over $250,000.

Even though the Legislature has adjourned, please remember that I serve as your state representative year-round. If you have questions or thoughts about this update or about state government, please reach out to my office. My contact information is at the bottom of this email.

It’s an honor to serve you.

In your service,


Eric Robertson

State Representative Eric Robertson, 31st Legislative District
representativeericrobertson.com
465 John L. O’Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
eric.robertson@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7866 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000