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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

With just a few days remaining, we are in the final stretch of the 2024 legislative session. Several deadlines have passed, including Friday’s opposite house cutoff, marking the last day to approve bills from the opposite chamber. Bills not meeting this cutoff, unless necessary for budget implementation, likely won’t go any further this session.

The good news is that several concerning bills failed to pass, such as House Bill 2030, which sought to grant felons, including convicted serial murderers and rapists, the right to serve as jurors, vote, and run for elected office while in prison.

Stay tuned! After the conclusion of the 2024 session, I plan to share a list of bad bills that did not pass, as well as a list of both good and bad bills that were approved.

Five of my bills headed to the governor’s desk for signature

I’m delighted to announce that both the Senate and House chambers overwhelmingly approved five of my bills, which are now on their way to the governor for signature ― a significant achievement. My bills cover topics that include improving the election process, reducing barriers to employment, and enhancing our state’s court system.

Each measure received broad bipartisan support, highlighting its significance in shaping Washington state’s future. These bills were collaborative endeavors; I couldn’t have achieved their passage solo. I credit these victories to the collective effort of numerous 18th District community members, several legislative colleagues—on both sides of the aisle—and various local and state officials, reflecting our shared priorities.

Improving our democratic processes

In my role as the ranking member of the State Government and Tribal Relations Committee, I review and prioritize proposals aimed at ensuring clarity, simplicity, and fairness in our election process for the people we represent. My bills concerning our state’s elections are pragmatic, commonsense enhancements to electoral procedures.

House Bill 2032, improves election transparency by requiring “paid for by” disclosures on large yard signs. Under my bill, any sign larger than the standard yard sign (24’’ x 18’’) must disclose the candidate or committee that paid for the signs. This bill bolsters transparency by mandating these advertising disclosures, ensuring voters have comprehensive information about those spending money on political advertising.

Additionally, I co-sponsored House Bill 1962, which streamlines the voter registration process for individuals moving within Washington state. By mandating swift updates to the statewide voter rolls, my bill reduces the risk of sending ballots to incorrect addresses or issuing duplicate ballots. Importantly, this bill acknowledges people relocate and simplifies their registration transfer process, thus facilitating broader participation in our elections.

Other bills approved this session include:

House Bill 2034 requires counties and cities to notify the Administrative Office of the Courts regarding court reorganizations. This legislation serves as a step towards improving the efficiency of our legal system. Ensuring that all stakeholders, including the state judiciary, are informed of changes affecting court operations promotes accountability and prevents unforeseen disruptions. This approach enhances coordination between local and state entities, improving collaboration.

House Bill 2213 is an act relating to defects and omissions in the laws that the Washington Supreme Court and superior court judges have identified. “Defects and omissions” is a Washington state law. It is a constitutional obligation from the courts to report statutes requiring modifications, corrections, amendments, or omissions. My bill ensures the statutes align with the current law, rectifying legal inconsistencies and gaps identified by the judiciary.

Substitute House Bill 2216 aims to reduce barriers to state employment by eliminating unnecessary two-year and four-year degree requirements. My bill seeks to broaden access to employment opportunities by removing unnecessary degree requirements. The bill opens doors for individuals with relevant skills and experience who may not have pursued traditional higher education paths. The bill aligns with efforts to recruit and retain a competent workforce at a time of workforce shortages.

Joint committees approve three citizen-driven initiatives

Last week, lawmakers held three public hearings on three citizen-driven initiatives. The first hearing addressed Initiative 2111, which seeks to ban new income taxes. The remaining two hearings focused on Initiative 2081, advocating for a parental bill of rights, and Initiative 2113, which aims to ease restrictions on police pursuits of fleeing criminals.

Last Friday, joint House and Senate committees voted on and approved all three initiatives. Today, they were approved in both chambers. Notably, these initiatives are immune to modification by lawmakers, and the governor lacks the authority to veto them. With approval by both chambers, each initiative becomes state law in ninety days.

Three remaining initiatives heading to the ballot

Regrettably, three of the initiatives did not receive public hearings. As a result, these initiatives will be placed on the November ballot. They are:

To learn more about all six initiatives, click here.

Visitors in Olympia

I’m incredibly grateful for the many visitors who have made their way to the state Capitol this year. Welcoming constituents from our district is always a pleasure. Traveling to Olympia, with its miles of distance to and from home, is no easy task.

These visits provide invaluable insights into the perspectives and concerns of the people of the 18th District. If you didn’t get the chance to visit this session but have a concern or issue you’d like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office. You can find my office location and contact information by clicking here.

Thank you!

Your input is truly appreciated! Together, we’re shaping a brighter future for the 18th District and Washington state.

Greg Cheney

State Representative Greg Cheney, 18th Legislative District
406 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7812 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000