I chair the Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee. With the new Democratic majority in the Senate, we were able to pass several bills that will chip away at the housing affordability and homelessness crisis. Surplus Public Property for Public Benefit (HB 2382): The high cost of land is a major factor in shortage of housing units. Even with funding, buildable parcels are hard to find. HB 2382 which I introduced, is an innovative tool: It requires certain agencies to identify surplus property that is suitable for affordable housing, and it allows agencies and local government to discount or donate surplus land for affordable housing public benefits.
We finished our work on time and passed a balanced budget that fully fund public schools with $1B in new funding for K-12. We have $2.4B in rainy day funds in reserve. While we went into triple overtime after the Senate Republicans refused to pass a state construction budget and insisted on raising property taxes, this year, with Democrats taking back the Senate, we broke the political gridlock and passed the Capital Budget that puts a record $1B toward building schools and $800M for colleges and universities.