Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Before I get into a brief legislative update, please remember your 47th District legislators will host a town hall meeting tomorrow, Saturday. The details are below. We hope to see you there!
We are now at the 68th day of the 105-day session and we still have a lot of work to do on the state budget, transportation spending and the many other issues impacting the state. In addition to the town hall meeting information, there are brief updates on legislation I have sponsored, the transportation tax package and reforms and the recent state revenue forecast.
Please contact me with any questions or comments on these or other issues – or, bring them to the town hall meeting Saturday.
Sen. Joe Fain, Rep. Pat Sullivan and I will be at the Golden Steer Steak n' Rib House in Kent from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. this Saturday, March 23, for an in-person town hall meeting. The restaurant is located at 12826 104th Avenue S.E. in Kent.
Bring your questions, comments and feedback on state issues. We'll give a brief update on issues we are debating and leave the rest of the time to hear from you! If you cannot make it to the event, you can e-mail us your thoughts at Joe.Fain@leg.wa.gov, Mark.Hargrove@leg.wa.gov and Pat.Sullivan@leg.wa.gov or by calling Sen. Fain's office toll-free at 1-866-786-0598. The toll-free hotline for the House of Representatives is 1-800-562-6000.
As many of you know, I do not introduce many bills. It costs taxpayers roughly $5,000 or more to draft a single bill. And there are more than enough bills each session to accomplish what should be the priorities of our government. However, I have put forward a few ideas this year, all of which were brought to me by constituents.
The one thing I do want to share is that there are more ways to solve problems than just creating new state laws. The legislation I introduced at the request of constituents that would help solve an issue with the state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) died in committee. I then offered an amendment to a Senate bill to accomplish the same thing. But it did not get a vote on the Senate floor. But the hearing in the House committee did get the attention of L&I, who finally agreed to meet with my constituents to discuss their concerns. If those talks don't achieve the desired results, I'll continue to work on other remedies to assist these constituents.
Also, my bill to allow private schools to offer online coursework, House Bill 1304, did not pass out of the House. However, earlier in the session I worked with Sen. John Braun to author an identical bill in the Senate, which passed out of that body unanimously and had a hearing in the House Education Committee March 21. So, despite my bill not passing this year, I think we're going to get this important legislation passed anyway!
Some good news is that the latest revenue forecast that many expected to be down turned out to be fairly flat. So we won't have to solve the additional budget problem that a poor forecast would have meant. I'll talk about this more in my next update.
Watch my video for a transportation update (just click on the picture to start the video):
Singing at the governor's mansion:
This week, I had the honor of singing with a quartet that I, and three other Republican House members created, at the governor's mansion. It was nice of the governor to call and invite us to sing. Here is a photo of the four of us with Gov. Jay Inslee and his wife Trudi.
If you have questions, concerns or thoughts, please feel free to contact my legislative office at (360) 786-7918 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.