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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Lawmakers return to Olympia this week for the 2018 legislation session. In even numbered years, the session is only 60-days long, including weekends and holidays. In order to finish on time, we will need to stay focused.

Here’s what I’ll be working on:

According to state law, the express toll lanes (ETL) on I-405 must meet the speed standard and collect at least enough money for operating costs, or be shut down. After two years, the ETLs are still failing to meet the legal requirement to move traffic at least 45 mph on average at peak hours, 90 percent of the time. We need to end this experiment in traffic frustration. I’ve sponsored a measure that would close the lanes (House Bill 1030).

Sound Transit 3 (ST3) is still a problem. Sound Transit is using a formula to calculate car-tab fees that is over-inflated. My proposal would ensure Sound Transit uses real-world valuations, like Kelley Blue book or the National Automobile Association, to set fees (House Bill 2132).

As it stands today, nine members of the 18-member Sound Transit board are controlled by King County. Sound Transit collects billions of dollars in taxes. We need to change how Sound Transit does business, beginning with the agency’s governing board. They need to be elected and accountable to voters, not appointed. My bill would ensure board members are elected by the people (House Bill 1029).

Because their property straddled the boundaries of the taxing district, some property owners did not get a say on ST3. They should not have to pay the fees and taxes if they were not allowed to vote. My bill to fix that problem sits in the House Rules Committee where it awaits consideration on the House floor (House Bill 1958).

Two other bills awaiting consideration by the full chamber include a measure that would expedite pedestrian improvement projects by removing unnecessary State Environmental Policy Act reviews (House Bill 1268). Another would allow car owners to apply for a registration hiatus if their vehicle is not in use (House Bill 1272).

A new measure I’m sponsoring this year would require the state Department of Licensing to remove all records of a civil traffic infraction, i.e. pictures of a driver running a red light, once the notice is dismissed (House Bill 2035). Right now, many of those records are easily accessed by online websites maintained by the courts, even after dismissal.

I’ve also co-sponsored a measure that would create a pilot program in Snohomish County to fight opioid addiction. The bill would create a criminal justice diversion program that provides treatment services, employment opportunities, temporary housing and expedited connection to other services for those who suffer from opioid addiction (House Bill 2287).

Finally, I’ll be working to ensure the westbound U.S. 2 trestle is replaced, without forcing drivers to pay hefty tolls. The idea of tolling to pay for the trestle is a bad one. Now is the time for community members and elected officials to say, “No, not this time.”

Watch my video on the trestle:

Contacting me

I work for you. Please feel free to email me at mark.harmsworth@leg.wa.gov or call my Olympia office at (360) 786-7892. Thank you for allowing me to represent you in Olympia.


Mark Harmsworth

State Representative Mark Harmsworth
44th Legislative District
466 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7892 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000