Rep. Morgan plants $200k for incorporation study in State budget again

Rep. Melanie Morgan of the 29th Legislative district is trying again. She had a proposal to get $200,000 incorporation study money from the Washington State budget for the area Pierce County just rezoned called “Centers and Corridors.” The idea is to make it one big city. (Larger than Tacoma I might add.) You will not find it in a bill that has to go through committee and have public testimony. No, this slick tidbit was slipped straight into the budget. In the last legislative session the line item was struck down (vetoed) by Governor Inslee. We shall see what this year brings. You may want to write to the Governor on this one.
If you are interested in hearing about what your elected officials are doing, start getting their e-newsletters. Then you will know if you want to continue voting for the kind of legislation they propose.

Here is content for Rep. Morgan’s newsletter:

Welcome to the 2022 Legislative Session! Learn about the policies and funding I would like to bring back to the district

February 3, 2022

Dear friends and neighbors,

Welcome to the 2022 Legislative Session! We have 60 days to complete the People’s business. There will be a lot of work that will need to get over the finish line before Sine Die on March 10. As we continue to put people first, we want to continue to minimize the spread of COVID and its variants; the State House of Representatives has begun the session in a full remote session. I have confidence that the pandemic will not hinder the people’s work.

One positive that came out of working virtually is that more of you could engage through testimonies and meetings. I am delighted that our community is committed to having their voices heard and coming along with me to ensure that we, in the 29th, receive the policies and resources that will keep us safe, equitable, and prosperous.

I look forward to hearing from all of you, whether through virtual committee hearings and meetings, emails, or phone calls. I encourage you to track my bills at leg.wa.gov and sign up to testify or submit written testimony. Your voice is essential in ensuring that the policies and resources reflect the issues in our district. All committee hearings and floor debates are streamed live on TVW.org.

This year will be another robust session in terms of the bills I will be introducing; to include two bills that I will re-introduce that did not make it through the last session:

  • HB 1067 Designating the Suciasaurus Rex as the Official Dinosaur of the State of Washington – This bill was brought to me several years ago by a fourth-grade class from Elmhurst Elementary in the Franklin Pierce School District. I am still committed to making the Suciasaurus Rex the state’s official dinosaur. You can watch my testimony on this bill here.
  • HB 1210 Replacing the Term “Marijuana” with the term “Cannabis” throughout the Revised Code of Washington – “Marijuana” has a long, racist history of demonizing black/brown people. The scientific name of Cannabis is both accurate and known across cultures and continents. Last year, I testified on this bill in the Commerce & Gaming Committee, and you can watch my testimony on TVW here.
  • HB 1617 Aligning State and School Holidays – This is a trailer bill that will bring parity in the celebration of Juneteenth. View my testimony on HB 1617 on TVW here. This legislation will align state and school holidays. In 2021, some districts and schools were unable to celebrate or acknowledge Juneteenth due to scheduling, an issue Jennifer Ramella raised in the News Tribune last year.
  • HB 1827 Concerning the Community Re-Investment Account – As the chair of the Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force, since its inception in 2020, I have facilitated public testimony from different communities. The common theme was a strong interest in reinvesting a portion of the cannabis revenue sales into disproportionately impacted areas that have been wronged by the war on drugs. HB 1827 is a Governor requested bill. $125 million has been earmarked in his budget that will be annually deposited into the community re-investment account to fund four areas: economic development, civil and criminal legal services, violence intervention and prevention, and reentry services for formerly incarcerated individuals. I testified on HB 1827 last month, which you can watch here.
  • HB 1951 Concerning Seller Disclosure Statements – This bill is about giving homebuyers the maximum buying power of making a well-informed decision on possibly the most significant purchase in their lives. Damage from animals can potentially cause unsuspecting new homeowners thousands of dollars in surprise costs. HB 1951 will require that sellers disclose any damage that has been caused by animals, i.e., urine, feces, digging, chewed wire/siding, etc. It is the right thing to do in making a fair and just sale. This bill was heard in the Consumer Protection & Business Committee on January 27. You can view my testimony here.

Budget Provisos:

  • $200,000 – Incorporation Study of Parkland, Midland, Summit Waller, Spanaway, and Frederickson as one city.
  • A study for the Alfred C. Davis Hospital that will service historically underrepresented individuals, especially in disproportionately impacted areas.
  • $125,000 – Community Investment Account that will allow the Department of Commerce to make expenditures for economic development, civil and legal assistance, community-based violence intervention and prevention, reentry services, and 911 system support.

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