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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We have finished week four of the legislative session. Thank you for your feedback and ideas about forthcoming legislation and the budget.
Last Friday we voted on the rules that govern our budgeting process. The public expects budget negotiations and deliberations to be done in an open, transparent fashion. That's why House Republicans put forward a proposal on the House floor that would require the final budget document to sit for a full 72 hours before we vote on it. We believe allowing citizens and lawmakers time to review where $30 billion will be spent is critical to rebuilding trust in government.
While the majority party rejected this solution, we also offered another amendment to the rules that would allow 48 hours for the public and members to review the budget before a vote. Unfortunately, the majority party decided that anything more than 24-hours notice was too difficult. It's better than nothing, but in our view it is not nearly enough time for you, us or anyone else to review such complex documents as the state operating, transportation and capital budgets.
In the coming days, the Legislature will be considering important reforms to workers' compensation insurance and unemployment insurance. I will continue to work in the Transportation, Higher Education, and Capital Budget Committees to make responsible choices in tough times.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with your ideas or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you as we move through the legislative session.
468 John L.O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7968 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000