Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2016 legislative session began last week. The short, 60-day legislative session is a supplemental budget year. The supplemental operating budget is for addressing caseload forecasts and emergency appropriations such as covering wildfire costs and providing funds for future wildfire suppression efforts. I do not expect the Legislature to enter a special session after last year's three special sessions.
Last Monday's opening ceremonies reminded me of the privilege of the public service to which I am called. Even as I begin my sixth year in the Legislature, the significance of working in the Capitol on behalf of the 25th District is still the same as when I took office the first day.
As session gets underway, the state Supreme Court McCleary ruling is still at the forefront of budget discussions. A bipartisan, bicameral group has been working on the issue. In fact, they have introduced legislation, House Bill 2366 and Senate Bill 6195, which outlines the next steps for addressing K-12 funding reforms.
We will also be looking at legislation surrounding the state Supreme Court ruling on public charter schools. In September, the Court ruled our state's public charter schools unconstitutional. Legislation has already been introduced to address the ruling. There is bipartisan support for a solution, but the governor has not indicated he is in support of legislation or supporting the public charter schools for that matter.
This session I will continue to serve as the ranking Republican on the Higher Education Committee and assistant ranking Republican on the Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee, and the Rules Committee, which determines the bills to be considered on the House floor. I look forward to talking with you in the coming weeks about issues before these committees and before the full House.
Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas.
468 John L.O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7968 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000