Update from Olympia

Friends and Neighbors,

We are nearing the halfway point of the 2021 legislative session. Monday is what is called the policy cutoff. This means that all bills in the Senate must be approved in their respective committee to continue in the process and then we will begin voting on bills to send to the House of Representatives for their consideration. March 9 is the last day to vote on bills that originated in the Senate. If you’re following legislation that is in the House, I won’t get an opportunity to really see it until after then.

Since the Legislature’s business is being conducted remotely, I’ve gathered resources to stay involved in the process. Click here to find more information on how to provide input on bills during the committee hearings, track legislation and more.

This coming Wednesday, I’ll be holding a virtual town hall again to discuss what’s happening in the Legislature and ask for your perspective on bills that are moving. You can register for the town hall by clicking here. Information on how to participate is also available on my website.

Click here to register

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

BridgeStark contrasts revealed in approach to state’s transportation needs 

Transportation policy leaders have been working to address Washington’s ailing infrastructure since the passage of the last 11.9 cent gat tax increase, known as “Connecting Washington,” in 2015. Despite record increases in the state gas tax and other transportation-related fees and charges, the state’s transportation needs have remained woefully underfunded.

I’m continuing my 20-plus-year push to fund transportation with existing revenue rather than raise taxes and I’m pleased that my proposal has been adopted as part of the recently unveiled Republican budget.  What is being discussed right now won’t ensure safe bridges or less congested roads. We are just putting an expensive Band-Aid when the state should be looking at creative ways that address the main cost-driver… Find out more

SFCAnnouncing the formation of the ‘Freedom Caucus’

Freedom is the watchword for the new Senate Freedom Caucus. Lawmakers will advocate for lower taxes, responsible state spending, individual liberties and a government that gets out of the people’s way.

Learn more about this effort…


Constitutional amendment expanding protections for citizens’ right to bear arms

While many policies coming from Olympia concerning the right to bear arms focus on restricting Second Amendment protections, I’m pushing to expand them. Senate Joint Resolution 8205 would amend Article 1, Section 24 of the Washington Constitution by adding, “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state includes the right to possess firearm magazines and firearm loading devices of any size.”

Read more…

SeniorsContinuing tax-relief efforts for seniors

Seniors and disabled people are particularly affected by rising property taxes and health-care costs – and that was before the economic uncertainty related to COVID-19. This issue is one that I hear about at almost every town hall. I’ve sponsored a slate of bills that are awaiting hearings in the Senate’s budget committee to provide needed relief.

The focus of my three property tax reduction bills are to help expand access to existing state programs for those most in need. The ‘age wave’ is here and its effects are going to be significant. See what I’m working on…

It is an honor to serve you and my office is here to help you with any questions you may have about your state government.


Fortunato Signature

Phil Fortunato,

Your 31st District State Senator