Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is end of week three of the 60-day legislative session. This week was filled with public hearings, caucus meetings and constituent appointments.
This week a few of my prime-sponsored bills had public hearings in their respective legislative committees. I sponsored House Bill 2477, which would expand the Amber Alert system to include endangered persons – currently it only requires alerts about missing children. This legislation came about due to the tragic death of Kimmie Daily, a 16-year-old, developmentally disabled Puyallup resident who was missing for days before she was found murdered. You can read my news release here. You may also view the public hearing here.
House Bill 2545, which would allow fuel standards for local governments to include compressed natural gas, was passed by the House Technology, Energy and Communications Committee today. This bill came to me at the request of Pierce Transit.
Of course, the Legislature's primary responsibility is to balance the state budget; we currently face a $1.5 billion shortfall. In my caucus, we are working on a budget proposal that funds education first. Education is our top priority; we can fully fund it within current revenues. Next Tuesday, the House Education Appropriations and Oversight Committee will have a hearing on House Bill 2533, a bipartisan bill to fund education first.
House and Senate leaders announced proposals this week to make new capital investments across the state. There will be more to come on this, and I will be involved in these discussions in my role on the Capital Budget Committee. There was also discussion in the House Transportation Committee about a revenue package, consisting of almost $3 billion in new fees, to fund transportation maintenance and preservation. The Transportation Committee also heard a report on the need for serious investment in transportation infrastructure around Puyallup and the Port of Tacoma, including the full extension of Highway 167 to the Port of Tacoma.
I will write more in the coming days about where I stand on the issue of same-sex marriage. It will be the most significant vote that I have yet taken in the Legislature. A number of people from the 25th Legislative District were here for the House and Senate hearings on Monday to convey their opinions on the issue. More constituents have written to me on this issue than any other in my first term. I welcome your continued e-mails and phone calls about marriage.
In case you missed it, click here to watch my video update from last week. Feel free to call on me anytime at 360-786-7968 or send an e-mail to email@example.com. It would great to see you in Olympia.
468 John L.O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7968 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000