Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are running the final stretch in this 105-day session. The hurdle in front of us is passing balanced and sustainable operating, capital and transportation budgets for the 2017-19 biennium.
Important traffic study for Highway 410 | Transportation Budget
As so many of you know firsthand, Highway 410 between Bonney Lake and Enumclaw is a traffic nightmare. This two-lane stretch is the second highest volume two-lane highway in our region. For those of you who drive this every day, you don't need to be reminded of the high volume of use, and the massive congestion it causes.
There is big news to share! You've been asking for relief – and relief could be on its way. As a component to the House Transportation budget proposal, I've requested funding for a traffic study. This is a huge project with a major impact on our regional commuters. This study will identify the problems to current travel and bring solutions to fixing these problems. This is a step in the right direction to improving this crucial roadway. A huge thank you to the City Councils of Enumclaw and Buckley for their help in bringing this idea forward. It took a lot of work, but this is exactly the project we need for some overdue congestion relief. I will keep you posted as this budget moves through the legislative process.
Two bills I have worked hard on this session have unanimously passed both chambers of the Legislature. The next step – the governor's desk for signature into law.
Under the Prescription Drug Donation Program, a doctor, pharmacist, medical facility, drug manufacturer or drug wholesaler may donate prescription drugs and supplies to a pharmacy for redistribution without compensation. Generally, these prescription are given to patients who are uninsured or low income. The problem is a drug can only be donated if it was properly stored under required temperature conditions using the drug's time/temperature indicator. I sponsored a bill that would make it possible to donate medications not equipped with a time/temperature indicator at the point of manufacture, as long as the prescription includes an attestation that the drugs have been properly stored prior to donation.
The Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Statewide Coordinating Committee addresses critical issues to combat the scourge of sex trafficking of children and youth. A statewide protocol was developed for improving the response to victims of child sex trafficking. The committee examines the practices of local and regional entities involved in addressing these critical issues, and makes recommendations on statewide laws and practices. The committee expires on June 30, 2017. I co-sponsored a bill that would extend the work of this committee to June 30, 2023.
Guests at the Capitol
Rep. Drew Stokesbary and I had the opportunity to meet with the students of the Muckleshoot Tribal School. It was great to spend some time with these kids and I hope they enjoyed their visit to the Capitol.
Town Hall – Thank you! | Senator Phil Fortunato
I just wanted to thank everyone who joined me, and Sen. Phil Fortunato, at a recent town hall meeting in Enumclaw. We had the opportunity to talk about taxes, regulations, and provide a legislative update. We can't be effective leaders for you in Olympia if we don't hear the issues directly from you. Thank you for taking time out of your busy evening to spend time with us. If there are any other events or meetings you would like me to speak at, please contact my office.
It's an honor to serve you.