April 18, 2024 1:26 pm

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Ryu and Davis share new successes at 32nd LD Virtual Town Hall

OLYMPIA—Washington State House Democrats held a virtual town hall Wednesday, February 14, featuring Representatives Lauren Davis and Cindy Ryu, who both represent Washington’s 32nd Legislative District that encompasses portions of King and Snohomish Counties and including the cities of Edmonds, Lynnwood, and Shoreline. The purpose of the town hall was to update the public on current legislation each Representative has introduced this session and each bill’s status. 

Cindy Ryu

Representative Cindy Ryu, who chairs the House Innovation, Economic Development, and Veterans Committees as well as serves on the Consumer Protection and Business and Appropriations Committee with Representative Davis, has introduced a couple bills that have progressed this session including HB 1997 – concerning gubernatorial appointments for state parks.

Ryu noted Washington State has been practicing a diverse appointment process to State Parks for some time and recently, for the first time ever, appointed a female Parks Director.

“We will continue to pay more attention to, not only people of diverse backgrounds outdoors, but also leading in the profession of outdoors,” said Rep. Ryu.

Another bill that has progressed this session Rep. Ryu introduced is HB 2153—deterring the theft of catalytic converters—which Ryu has been working on for the last three years and unanimously passed the House on February 13.

“I believe [this bill] will be one of the foundational pillars of increasing public safety as well as protecting consumers,” said Ryu.

Another bill introduced by Ryu,which did not progress, but she plans to work on through the interim, is HB 2057—dealing with incarcerated veterans.

“Every year about 140 or so veterans who are incarcerated are rereleased back into society after paying for their crimes,” said Ryu. “Fortunately, Edmonds College has a program that connects with them, I believe, six months before they’re released so they are getting the help they need to make sure they continue education as well as access housing. I wanted to make sure this program continues and, hopefully, expands.”

Another bill Rep. Ryu introduced, HB 2109, did not progress, but she has been working on for the last seven years, deals with cosmetic artist licensing. Ryu explained she has been working closely with the Department of Licensing and believes they have finally figured out a formula that would save $1 million from the fiscal note. She continued she looks forward to fine-tuning it so that it can be reintroduced next legislative session.

The most expensive bill Rep. Ryu ever worked on, HB 1990, was a $32 million statewide arial imagery program which she believes she can cut down to $15 million every two years.

Ryu informed the Lynnwood Times of some other bills she was proud progressed this legislative session, one specifically concerning disaster preparedness and resiliency.

Representative Lauren Davis, who serves on the Appropriations (House Budget), Health Care, and House Community Safety Committee.

Lauren Davis
Lauren Davis

HB 2320, that Rep. Davis introduced, passed the House and is now in the Senate, deals with high-potency cannabis with the intent to tackle some public health concerns related to high THC products—namely psychosis and psychotic disorder. However, her bill, HB 2319, relates to substance use disorder treatment. It would make it easier for individuals to enter, and stay in, inpatient treatment programs by eradicating some insurance barriers and address issues related to addiction treatment providers who kick people out of treatment.

Lastly Rep. Davis had HB 2311 progress recently that relates to first responder wellness, to ensure the state provides mental health and addiction support for law enforcement officers, fire fighters, EMS, and other first responders.

Rep. Davis mentioned she keeps adding items to her interim to-do list and, as it stands, there are about 50 items that will be keeping her busy after the session ends.

Notable selections from this list involve HB 2469 relating to civil commitment or involuntary treatment—which is the state’s provision for getting individuals who are too sick or too willing to seek help, either because of mental, behavioral, or substance abuse disorders.

Another bill, HB 2457, relates to housing for domestic violence survivors which, if passed, would purchase units, out of the capitol budget, where victims of domestic violence can seek temporary shelter for their family.

“Our domestic violence shelters in this state are virtually always full so survivors who are in grave danger have nowhere to go” said Rep. Davis.

The bill, if passed, would also consider a housing voucher program.

“We have many housing voucher programs in this state for all sorts of populations – people with mental health challenges, people with substance use disorder, people with developmental disabilities – but we don’t have any voucher programs for survivors of domestic violence,” said Rep. Davis.

Rep. Davisinformed the Lynnwood Timesshe’s also especially proud of some budget proposals, related to domestic violence intervention treatment (also known as perpetrator treatment), and twelve budget provisos related to substance use disorder and the fentanyl crises.

After the brief on current, and forthcoming, legislation both representatives have introduced and are currently working on,the virtualtown hall was open to community comments and questions.

Questions varied in topics from expensive ambulance costs; to reducing CO2 with Cap and Invest; to tackling car prowler incidents; to controlling rent costs and unaffordable taxes; to cooperating with both sides of the aisle.

The Lynnwood Times asked if there were any appropriations for projects or programs in the cities of Lynnwood or Edmonds.

Rep. Ryu mentioned she has submitted, and will hopefully secure, a request for $400,000 for the Lynnwood Event Center to assist in the redevelopment of the Lynnwood Public Facilities District’s (now the District) 13-acres surrounding the event center in preparation for the upcoming Lynnwood Light Rail station and the projected growth and tourism that would bring. If approved, the money would go towards the planning costs of the multi-million-dollar project.


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