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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Last night the Legislature adjourned, sine die, which is Latin for no more meetings to follow. These days, however, sine die doesn't quite mean that. We'll be back in special session on Monday. It will be the third special session this biennium, the fifth in the past two years. And so, as legislators stood waiting for the gavel to fall just after midnight, I thought about what someone had said earlier in the day: “Sine die—that's Latin for 'see you on Monday.'”
The House and Senate failed to agree on an operating budget. While the Senate budget was sustainable, the House version kicked the can down the road by delaying school apportionments into the next budgeting period. It was not based on priorities. It sets the stage for a potential $2 billion shortfall that will confront legislators next year.
All along, I have been clear that my top budget priorities are education, public safety, and care for the most vulnerable. My caucus proposed a balanced budget that was organized according to these priorities, and while there was bipartisan support for this plan, it was not adopted.
I hope the Legislature is able to come together next week to pass a bipartisan compromise budget that is within our means, establishes clear priorities, and avoids gimmicks.
One model for bipartisan cooperation is the Transportation Budget that passed the Legislature in the final hours on Thursday. It includes several projects in the 25th District, including $1.1 million for the 31st Avenue SW overpass behind the South Hill Mall, $3 million for planning the completion of Highway 167 to the Port of Tacoma, and new funding for the replacement of the Meridian Puyallup River Bridge. To read my press release click here. As a member of the House Transportation Committee, I look forward to continuing the work we've begun on these projects.
As always, please send your input.
468 John L.O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7968 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000