The 2020 session is underway

Greetings from Olympia,

It has been a busy three weeks in Olympia. Early on, the Senate took to the floor to push through legislation that was left over from last session. Unfortunately, not much of what was passed will help address the pressing issues of homelessness, rising costs of health care, or public safety. In fact, a couple of notable pieces of legislation that passed along party-lines would do the opposite.

I’m concerned about finding solutions to real-world problems, not pandering to special interests.

Expanded protections for criminals?

Consider that in the first week of the legislative session, one of the priorities of the majority (I used that term very loosely) was to expand protections for people in the country illegally. You may recall that last year Washington became a sanctuary state. Since then, we’ve seen horrendous crimes committed by those who should have been deported, but because police cannot communicate with immigration officials, they are set free. The legislation approved by the Senate makes citizenship status a protected class against discrimination. Watch my short video by clicking here.

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More than just money

We all know that homelessness and affordable housing are a serious problem in our state. That is why last week I announced my comprehensive plan to deal with this. The current majority has done little to move our state forward besides proposing that we take $300 million from the state’s rainy-day fund to ‘fight’ homelessness. The state spends $625 million already and we aren’t getting results you deserve. I don’t think throwing more money at the problem will actually solve it. What do we need to do? Watch my news conference to find out more.

Watch my news conference to find out more.

Keeping our communities safe

My heart goes out to the victims of the recent shootings in Seattle. It is a sad commentary on policies at the state level and a local criminal justice system that is failing the city’s residents. The simple fact is that we are too soft on crime. Prosecutors aren’t pursuing charges when they should, and result is that two criminals who had 65 arrests between them were free to engage in a gun battle on a crowded downtown street. I say no more.

The answer isn’t more gun control on law-abiding citizens, but that’s exactly the response from many in Olympia. I’m sure that these two criminals who were illegally in possession of those firearms really cared about the concealed-carry class requirements or magazine-capacity ban. Watch my video on how I think we should address this problem and keep our communities safe.

Standing up for property rights

Some people just don’t get that we have a right to control property that we own. That is especially lost on some with the Seattle City council. A committee recently approved an arguably unconstitutional ban on evictions during the winter.

Don’t get me wrong, eviction is a terrible thing for people. But, in perspective, that proposal is a ‘solution’ in search of a problem. Evictions are costly, take a long time, and are rare. In addition, there are numerous resources to help those going through that process to prevent them from becoming homeless that doesn’t require stripping people’s private property rights.

The consequence of this policy is to allow people to live rent free in the winter and move out in the spring, while the landlord runs the risk of foreclosure. That is why I introduced legislation that would prevent local jurisdictions from messing with the state’s carefully crafted landlord tenant laws that we just enhanced last legislative session.

Read my news release here.

It is an honor serving as your state Senator.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any concerns you have about your state government.


Fortunato Signature

Phil Fortunato,

Your 31st District State Senator