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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I am sending this email update to inform you of three pieces of legislation that could use your assistance or support to get through the legislative process. Below is a description of the three bills and how you can show your support or testify on the bills.

Addressing the child care shortage

I introduced House Bill 2300 this session, which would delay some of the requirements for child care providers related to certification and training qualifications. This bill was brought to me by those in the child care industry. They were instrumental in drafting the legislation. We lost many child care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic and are facing a child care crisis in Washington state.

  • 63% of children under age five do not have access to a nearby childcare provider, which reduces the state workforce by 133,000 (Commerce Report)
  • #9 for most expensive infant childcare (Economic Policy Institute)
  • The average family spends over 35% of their income to send two children to childcare (Economic Policy Institute)

The bill has been referred to the House Human Services, Youth and Early Learning Committee, but has not been scheduled for a public hearing. This would incentivize for folks to return to the child care business or entice others to get into a struggling industry.

If you would like to see House Bill 2300 get a hearing, I urge you to reach out to the committee members, especially the chair, vice chairs, and ranking minority member. You can find a list of the committee members here. Click on their name, and it will take you to a page with an “email” option for them. To send a comment to your legislators on this bill, click here.

Better oversight needed at Department of Children, Youth, and Families

My legislation, House Bill 2185, which would move the Oversight Board for the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) from the executive branch of our government to the legislative branch has had a public hearing. Unfortunately, it has not been scheduled for a vote in the committee. Again, if you would like to see this legislation move forward, contact the chair, vice chairs, and ranking minority member on the committee and request a vote on the bill. Click here for a list of the committee members. To send a comment to your legislators on this bill, click here.

I have worked hard without much luck to improve the oversight at DCYF. We continue to see problems in many areas of their management and services. We must get an oversight board willing to take some action and address the problems we are witnessing in this agency.

Tax exemptions for unleaded aircraft fuel

My House Bill 2393, which would establish tax exemptions for unleaded aircraft fuel, has been scheduled for a public hearing. It is scheduled in the House Transportation Committee on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 4 p.m.

This is an important bill to ensure there are lead-free fuel aviation fuel options for the aircraft that need it as environmental agencies and organizations look to eliminate lead emissions from aircraft. This is critical for our aviation industry.

Since this bill is scheduled for a public hearing, you can sign up to testify and/or submit written testimony. Use the links below.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I appreciate your questions, comments and feedback.

It is an honor to serve the great folks of the 13th Legislative District!


Tom Dent

State Representative Tom Dent, 13th Legislative District
437 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(509) 941-2346 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000