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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It's time to put the interim months in the rear-view mirror, as the 105-day legislation session takes center stage in the windshield. With only a couple of days to go, I'm gearing up for what looks to be a tough session ahead. Work officially begins on Monday.
As we prepare to address the issues facing our district and state, my legislative priorities remain the same: ensuring our communities and families are safe, our children receive a quality and equitable education, and our failing transportation system and infrastructure is repaired.
A glimpse into what lies ahead | Gov. Inslee's budget proposal
Recently, Gov. Inslee brought his budget proposal to the table. There are some good ideas, and some not-so-good ideas. It's a massive budget with an expensive price tag on the backs of you – the taxpayers of our state. Here are some key components from his proposal:
- $3.7 billion in new taxes despite record state revenue.
- Nine percent capital gains tax; the first step toward a state income tax.
- One percent raise in Business and Occupation (B&O) taxes; hitting our small and service businesses the hardest.
- $1.1 billion toward saving the Southern Resident orcas and salmon protection.
- $400 million toward addressing the state's mental health system.
- $30 million toward combating the state's opioid crisis.
- Modifications to the K-12 education levy cap system.
This session, the Legislature will write the biennial budget. There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure this budget benefits, not cripples, the taxpayers of this state, and keeps our 4-year balanced budget in check.
Transportation concerns | 241st Ave SE at Hwy 410 restrictions
I have heard from many of you voicing your concerns and frustrations over the scheduled right turn closure at 241st Ave SE and Hwy 410 in early 2019. This is a major intersection in our district. We have all felt the congestion restraints during rush-hour traffic in this particular spot. This closure will make the problem even worse. I'm working closely with King County Councilman Reagan Dunn's office to find a solution as soon as possible. I will keep everyone updated as new information becomes available.
Telephone town hall recap
I wanted to thank everyone who joined me, and Rep. Drew Stokesbary, for our telephone town hall recently. Here are a few of the issues you feel are of the upmost importance to you, your family, and/or your business:
- Property tax relief.
- Protecting small businesses.
- Gov. Inslee's budget proposal and the need for new taxes when the state is experiencing a surplus of revenue.
- Failing mental health system, including Western State Hospital.
- Sound Transit 3.
- McCleary and education funding, including funding for special needs programs.
- Housing crisis and homelessness.
- Gov. Inslee's new proposal on public/universal health care.
If we didn't get the opportunity to answer your question, or you would like to further discuss any of these issues, please contact my office.
Stay in touch with me!
Please feel free to contact my office with any questions, issues or concerns. I'm your voice in Olympia, and I want to hear from you. My Legislative Assistant is Meagan Hillier, and she's happy to assist 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