Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are approaching the end of the second special session. I expect an operating budget agreement to be reached very soon. Budget negotiators are working on the final pieces of the spending plan.
I have heard from some constituents who are frustrated with how long it has taken us to finish our work. I share these frustrations. On the plus side, I expect we will have a strong bipartisan outcome.
That is good news for the people of Washington. Our state government can live within their means with the additional $3.2 billion in tax revenue coming in for the upcoming biennium – that is more than a 9 percent increase in revenue. We should able to pass a fiscally responsible budget that makes historic investments in K-12 education, reduces college tuition, improves our mental health system and more — all without tax increases.
Yesterday I attended the Washington State Department of Transportation ribbon cutting for the new Meridian Street Puyallup River Bridge. So many of our neighbors who use the bridge are excited to have this project complete. The work crews did a fantastic job on this project. The bridge will be Puyallup's connection to the world–and the world's connection to us. The old 1925 span was structurally deficient, like many of the bridges in our state. We can address more deficient bridges in Washington in a more timely manner if we streamline contracting and permitting to expedite the process of their replacement. I will continue to work on my bipartisan legislation that would allow that to happen. It is critical we continue to address our transportation infrastructure.
Remembering WSU President Dr. Elson Floyd
The state of Washington recently lost a great leader in higher education. Washington State University President Dr. Elson Floyd passed away on June 20. You can read the statement I issued on his passing here. In addition to being a strong advocate of higher education, the personal stories of his acts of kindness and caring are endless. You can also read editorials from The Seattle Times and The Spokesman-Review about his legacy.
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