Dear Friends and Neighbors,
At last the Legislature finished its work at 7:28 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Legislators pulled an all-nighter and passed the budget in the early hours on Wednesday.
I voted against the budget. While I commend budget negotiators for coming to a compromise between House and Senate versions of the budget, I was disappointed that the Legislature failed to fundamentally reform state government and set it on a sustainable course for the future. Constituents have asked me time and again to stand for a budget that is within our means, establishes clear priorities, and cuts unnecessary spending. The budget passed on Wednesday morning fell short. With a reserve fund of just $319 million that relies mostly on an accounting maneuver, there is a good chance the Legislature will be back for yet another special session before 2012 is over.
Just before adjourning sine die, the Legislature passed the capital budget. The capital budget includes some projects of interest to our community: $4.8 million for the next phase of the Pierce County Skills Center in Frederickson, funding for Low Impact Development projects in Puyallup and Fife, and stormwater retrofits around Clark's Creek. To learn more about these projects, visit this Web site and select the 25th Legislative District from the drop-down.
Now it's a beautiful Friday morning in downtown Puyallup. As I sit here in a coffee shop I am reminded of the goodness of our community. I think of 13-year old Jeremy Wuitschick of Milton who took the wheel of a school bus and steered it to the curb after the driver passed out, then did chest compressions on the driver.
Tomorrow is the Daffodil Festival, a celebration of our neighbors and the wonderful place we share. It will be a happy occasion, but there is sadness too because of the tragic death of Alexandria Tyler Cole, the Daffodil princess of Chief Leschi High School. I had the honor of meeting Alexandria in February when she and the rest of the Daffodil court came to visit the state capitol. Our prayers go out to the Chief Leschi community.
There could be fewer privileges higher than that of representing this community in the Legislature. I hope that you will join me for a telephone town hall on Tuesday, April 17 at 6:30 p.m. to review the budget and other recent legislation. You can listen in to the forum and ask me questions by calling toll-free 1-877-229-8493 and entering 17545. Please contact my district office at (253) 840-4526 with any questions.
468 John L.O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7968 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000