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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are just about at the halfway mark of the 2017 legislative session. We have reached policy and fiscal cutoff. Our efforts now shift to voting on the House floor. There are going to be some long days and nights in our very near future.
You may be wondering – what are these cutoffs? They are a key component of the legislative process. The past couple of months, we have spent our time in committee meetings and hearings. We have heard a large portion of the bills introduced by our fellow lawmakers. These cutoffs represent the bills that will be moving forward to the House floor, or, those bills that are 'dead' and will not see the remaining light of day in this session.
Here are some highlights from Week 7:
Our eyes were on our children and education
On Monday, the Legislature celebrated Children's Day. The halls, wings and House floor were filled with the laughter and voices of our children. I was grateful my three daughters, and my wife, had the opportunity to celebrate this time-honored occasion. My oldest daughter joined me on the House floor. She even cast her vote in favor of the resolution recognizing this special day.
Being surrounded by all their smiling faces was a reminder of the task at hand this session – to fix McCleary once and for all. On Wednesday, we voted on the House Democrats plan, House Bill 1843. Unfortunately, this plan misses the mark. House Republicans proposed seven amendments to fill in the gaps of this plan. All but one amendment was rejected. Where HB 1843 does propose amble funding, it fails to show where the money will come from to pay for this multi-billion dollar plan. We are left wondering what taxes they would create or raise to actually pay for the bill. You, our taxpayers, deserve to know how you will be impacted by our decisions. This bill only leaves you hanging. There is no room for hidden surprises.
Career and technical education (CTE) is an important component to our overall educational system. Students and parents deserve a choice in the pathway that fits their uniqueness, while opening the doors to success. One of the amendments we proposed, which was rejected, was to including additional funding toward CTE. I had the opportunity to speak of my personal success with CTE during the debate. To hear my speech, click on the photo below. There is still a lot of work to be done to find the right solution to fix McCleary. We will continue to work toward a hybrid solution of the current plans on the table.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
I have four town hall events coming up. Join me!
Saturday, March 11: Please join me around district for town hall conversations! This is your opportunity to chat about the concerns and questions you have, directly with me. I look forward to this time with you.
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
City Hall building at 2224 104th Ave. E
- Bonney Lake (joint with Rep. Drew Stokesbary)
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Justice and Municipal building at 9002 Main St. E
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Enumclaw Fire Department at 1330 Wells St.
Thursday, March 16: Join me from the comfort of your home for a community conversation and evening telephone town hall. This is similar to a call-in radio program. I will take your questions and provide my perspective on your concerns and issues on the 2017 legislative session. When: Thurs. March 16. Time: 600 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. To participate: Simply call (253) 258-3247 beginning at 6:00 p.m. You can simply call and listen in, or, if you would like to ask a question, press the star (*) key on your telephone keypad and connect with me to ask your question. This is another great opportunity for direct connection with me.
If there are any events you would like me to attend, please contact my office. I am your voice in Olympia and want to hear from you.
It's an honor to serve you.
430 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7866 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000