Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Please stay in touch!
Your input is important to me. If you have questions, concerns, or ideas, let me know. And of course I welcome visitors to the state Capitol – simply contact my office to make an appointment.
Here's how you can get in touch with me:
Phone: (360) 786-7890
Mail: PO Box 40600, Olympia WA 98504-0600
The state Legislature started the 2015 session Monday. To keep you up-to-date, I'll be sending you email updates every other week.
The Big Issues:
Education funding, passing a state budget and transportation are the three big issues we're facing this year.
For decades the state hasn't adequately funded K-12 education. Now, we have a 2018 deadline to fulfill our constitutional duty to fund public schools.
We achieved a lot in the last two years, adding $1 billion more for schools and reducing class size. In this budget cycle we have to keep the momentum going.
While transportation funding is always a priority, transportation reforms are equally important.
The state transportation department (WSDOT) is beset by problems on its two biggest projects: “Bertha,” the tunneling machine stuck for more than a year on the Seattle Viaduct replacement, and hundreds of millions of dollars of cost-overruns on the Seattle-Bellevue 520 bridge project. People want congestion relief, but they also expect their tax dollars to be well-spent.
Additionally, the governor has proposed a huge new carbon tax to pay for transportation. People in the 28th District have told me they don't want this new tax.
Every other year the Legislature passes a two-year state budget. This year, we're in much better shape financially than at any other point since the Great Recession.
We have $3 billion more in revenues, an 8 percent increase over the previous budget. I think about two-thirds of that should go to education.
Military & Veterans
As always, this session I'll devote a good deal of my time to military and veterans' issues because they are so important to the people of the 28th District. In my next email update I'll discuss the bills I'm working on this session.