Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It has been a very busy first few weeks in the Legislature. As always, it's an honor to serve you, and to share a brief update with you about recent happenings in the Legislature.
Please mark your calendars and join our telephone town hall Feb. 23! Invite others to join also!
I want to call your attention to an upcoming telephone town hall I'm doing with Rep. Larry Haler and Sen. Sharon Brown. Your voice has been, and will continue to be, the most important way for me to ensure I vote in ways reflective of the 8th District. This is why we are hosting an hour-long telephone town hall on Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. To take part in the call, just dial 509-590-4711. The phone line will open shortly before the call begins. To ask me questions directly during the call, just press star (*) on your telephone keypad.
The legislative session is moving quickly along as we begin to pass bills out of committees. This week, we also began to vote on bills on the House floor. All of this work is leading up to writing a budget and passing it within the 105 days of the 2015 legislative session.
While budget writing is not an easy task, we have a couple things working in our favor this year. Budget writers are already at work negotiating the details. This is earlier than in previous budget years. Additionally, and most importantly, Washington state has collected more revenue this year than in any other year in our history. As our economy stabilizes, revenue has risen.
This session I am proud to work on making our schools and communities safer, and providing support to our veterans. Recently, a bill I sponsored to help members of our military with temporary lodging was unanimously passed out of the House this week! House Bill 1277 would allow the Adjutant General of the Washington National Guard to permit temporary housing for military personnel during nonemergency situations. This will greatly benefit members of the Guard who typically drill at state armories and have to pay for lodging offsite. I am grateful for my colleagues' support of this bill and especially our military service members.
Finally, I encourage you to contact me to share your comments and concerns, or if you have questions about state government. There are many important issues being discussed in Olympia, and your voice is important to me as I weigh the decisions before us. If you are planning to visit the Capitol, or would like more information on testifying on a bill in committee, please let me know, I am always pleased to be of assistance and look forward to seeing and or talking with YOU!
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you! May God richly bless you! Have a great Washington day!