Several hundred new laws went into effect in Washington this week. Since the end of the 2019 session in Olympia, the 43rd District lawmakers, all Democrats, have been touting their achievements in a year in which they passed a statewide budget and wielded hefty majorities in each chamber.
The 43rd District includes Downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill, First Hill, Madison Park, and South Lake Union, and boasts three powerful lawmakers in Olympia. Sen. Jamie Pedersen chairs his chamber’s Law and Justice Committee. Rep. Nicole Macri, who continues the tradition of more than 30 years of the seat being held by an openly gay person, is vice chair of the Health Care and Wellness Committee and has been an outspoken proponent of reform in the housing sector since being elected in 2016. And this year marked Rep. Frank Chopp’s last session as Speaker of the House, a position he had held alone since 2002.
Pedersen has highlighted such disparate work as the Legislature’s move to keep firearms out of the hands of people who have a history of violent acts, which he co-sponsored, to the creation of a state LGBTQ commission and increase energy efficiency in buildings and appliances.
But in an interview, Pedersen, who lives on Capitol Hill, said the biggest accomplishment personally was a measure to, after years of stalled efforts, reform condo liability laws that allowed condo owners to easily sue builders over minor defects in construction and deterred developers from building the middle-income housing units that gave first-time homebuyers a cheaper alternative to a single-family house and gave empty nesters a smaller ownership option. Continue reading