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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It was an intense 60-day legislative session as lawmakers tried to pack as many things as they could in two months, as opposed to odd-year sessions when the Legislature meets for 105 days.

When the session adjourned on Thursday, March 7, there were a total of 201 House bills (52 of them were House Republican-sponsored) and 181 Senate bills that passed the Legislature and have been signed into law or delivered to the governor. That’s after 845 House bills and 770 Senate bills were introduced since the session began on Jan. 8. Three of the bills I sponsored passed both the House and Senate with unanimous support (in committee and on the floors) and have been delivered to the governor, along with a fourth in the form of a Senate bill with my language. One of my bills was signed into law last week.

I am grateful to help make a difference with these bills and honored to serve the citizens of the 14th Legislative District!

New boundaries would displace Republican lawmakers from current districts

A decision was handed down Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Laznik that would remove me and my seatmates from the 14th Legislative District and make major changes to our legislative district boundaries, especially in Central Washington.

After the Washington State Redistricting Commission drew up new legislative boundaries in November 2021, a lawsuit was filed contending the final map, and specifically, the 15th Legislative District in the Yakima Valley, violated the federal Voting Rights Act. Plaintiffs argued the map excluded Latinos and weakened their voting strength. The judge agreed and approved new boundaries on Friday, which affect several districts, including the 14th.

Under the new boundaries, Goldendale, where I live would be within the 17th District, which goes west toward Camas along the Columbia Gorge. My current seatmates, Rep. Chris Corry, R-Yakima, and Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, would no longer represent the 14th, as the new boundaries now put them into the 15th Legislative District. This effectively would create three open seats in the 14th District.

The legal fight over the district maps is not finished yet. On Friday, an emergency notice of appeal was filed with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. So it could be some time until the final district boundaries are resolved.

Read more:

Gov. Jay Inslee signs Rep. Mosbrucker’s House Bill 2048 relating to supervision of domestic violence in criminal sentencing.

Three Mosbrucker bills on target to become law

On March 13, Gov. Inslee signed House Bill 2048 which closes a loophole in state law that has allowed felony domestic repeat offenders to go unsupervised. The bill will ensure the Department of Corrections (DOC) supervises repeat domestic violence offenders and protects survivors from being stalked and abused.

Two fentanyl-related bills I wrote are also on the governor’s desk, awaiting his signature.

House Bill 2396, also known as “Ivan’s Law,” creates an outreach educational program on the dangers of fentanyl. It also requires jails that release individuals from custody to provide information about treatment programs related to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. Plus, it has the state Department of Health compile resources on how to decontaminate fentanyl residue and other synthetic opioids from motor vehicles. The measure is named in memory of 24-year-old Ivan Howtopat, a Yakama Nation tribal member, who was suffering from fentanyl withdrawal when he committed suicide in the Klickitat County jail last May.

House Bill 1635 would create a model program in Washington for the training and certification of dogs to detect fentanyl.

Also, a fourth bill, Senate Bill 5919, concerning the sale of biogenic carbon dioxide and other co-products of biogas processing has been delivered to the governor. I originally introduced this measure as House Bill 2069. The bill would allow the Klickitat County Public Utility District to sell clean biogenic carbon dioxide gas captured from the Republic Landfill. My bill passed the House unanimously on Feb. 12 and passed out of the Senate Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee on Feb. 20. However, it was held on the consent calendar in the Senate. A companion bill with my identical language passed from the House and became the vehicle to go to the governor’s desk for consideration.

Three initiatives pass the Legislature
In every legislative session, a unique focus seems to emerge, whether its education funding, water rights, public safety, etc. This year, when citizens sent six initiatives to the Legislature, these measures emerged as this year’s major theme. Republicans tried to convince majority Democrats to hold public hearings on all six initiatives, but they waited until toward the end of the session and reluctantly scheduled public hearings on only three of the six. Those three were subsequently passed into law with strong bipartisan support. They include:

  • I-2113: Restores “reasonable suspicion” standards to allow vehicular pursuit of criminal suspects by police. You might remember that as the ranking member of the House Community Safety, Justice, and Reentry Committee, I spent many weeks, days, and hours negotiating over the past two years to restore police pursuit standards that had been changed in 2021. We gained some ground last year under Senate Bill 5352, but as I noted in this news release, that bill still did not go far enough to give law enforcement the tools they needed to capture criminals. I’m very pleased the Legislature voted this year to restore the reasonable suspicion standards. (Read my news release.)
  • I-2111: Prevents state, county, city and other local governments from establishing and collecting an income tax. 
  • I-2081: Creates a Parents’ Bill of Rights, which will increase transparency and accountability in public schools.

We fought for public hearings on the six initiatives, but the majority party decided to send the other three to the November ballot for Washington voters to decide. These include:

  • I-2117: Would repeal the Climate Commitment Act (cap-and-trade) and prohibit carbon auctions that have increased Washington’s gas prices.
  • I-2124: Would allow employees to opt out of the long-term care insurance program and payroll tax. 
  • I-2109: Would repeal the so-called “excise tax” on capital gains income greater than $250,000 imposed by the majority party in 2021.
Rep. Gina Mosbrucker delivers the morning opening prayer to the state House of Representatives.

Supplemental budgets approved

Three supplemental budgets were passed by the Legislature and sent to the governor that make mid-course corrections to the two-year spending plans we originally adopted last year.

Operating budget: The 2024 supplemental operating budget increases spending to nearly $72 billion. There are some good things in this new spending plan. It increases spending for special education, child care, and behavioral health statewide. Plus, it does not increase taxes. However, it’s disappointing that with the state collecting an additional $3.3 billion from taxpayers, this budget did not provide tax relief to families struggling with the high costs of gas, grocery, and power bills. It also continues the trend that has more than doubled state spending over the past 10 years, while leaving little in the state’s savings account. For those and other reasons, I did not support this budget.

Transportation budget: The bipartisan 2024 supplemental transportation budget provides an additional $1.1 billion for a total of $14.6 billion for statewide transportation projects. This bipartisan budget adds nearly $100 million to maintenance and preservation to fix crumbling roads, bridges, and highways. It also increases funding for the Washington State Patrol, including longevity bonuses for troopers who have worked for 26 years or more, as an incentive to keep them on a little longer. Locally, it provides just over $86 million in the 14th District for various projects, including the SR 14/Bingen underpass, 72nd/Washington improvements in Yakima, Naches River bridge repair and funding for the White Salmon/Hood River bridge replacement.

Capital budget: The 2024 supplemental capital budget spends $1.33 billion on schools, public buildings, behavioral and mental health facilities, parks, low-income housing, water infrastructure, and habitat. It also provides just over $24 million for projects in the 14th District, including $8.7 million for the YWCA Yakima’s Bringing It Home II 24-hour domestic violence shelter, and $3 million for the Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation’s assisted living facility north of White Salmon. Funding was also provided for the Yakima Valley crime lab facility, Wishram School portables, and improvements at the Mountain View Grange and the Columbia Grange #87. As a member of the House Capital Budget Committee, I was honored to be a part of securing these funds for our essential local projects.

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day – The tradition continues

Eleven years ago, the Legislature unanimously approved House Bill 1319, a measure prime-sponsored by my former seatmate, Rep. Norm Johnson, R-Yakima (seen in the photo above), that recognizes March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” It was signed into law by Gov. Inslee on March 29, 2013. The legislation is intended to finally welcome and honor our Vietnam veterans. Although I was not in office at the time, I wholeheartedly support this measure.

This year, the tradition continues. The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs will be holding a Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Event at the Vietnam Memorial on the state Capitol Campus, beginning at noon, March 30. This will include an outdoor ceremony to recognize and honor Vietnam Veterans and their spouses. Commemorative pins will also be provided to them. You can get more information about this event here.

Grateful to serve you throughout the year!

Although we are no longer in session, please note that I work for you throughout the year. Some of the best legislation has been brought to me by constituents like yourself. I am always open to ideas, questions, comments, and suggestions. It is an honor to serve and represent you. I am most grateful for the trust you have given me to be your voice at the state Capitol. Please call, write or email my office at any time.

Honored to serve you,

Gina Mosbrucker

State Representative Gina Mosbrucker, 14th Legislative District
431 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7856 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000