Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2011 Legislative Session has begun. The next 105 days will be filled with committee hearings, budget briefs, caucus meetings, constituent meetings, floor debates, policy briefs, staff meetings, and press conferences. And somewhere in there, I get to eat and sleep!
But seriously, I'm not complaining. It is such an honor and a joy to represent you in Olympia. Even though this year promises to be one filled with difficult decisions, I relish the opportunity to be your voice in the Legislature and help set our state on a new course.
This year, my colleagues have chosen me to be the ranking Republican on the House Health Care and Wellness Committee and the assistant ranking Republican on the Health and Human Services Committee. This will give me the opportunity to have input into our state's health care policy for employers and citizens while delving deeper into the services our state currently provides.
I'll also be serving on the budget-writing House Ways and Means as well as the Rules Committee, which is where we decide (well, mostly Speaker of the House Frank Chopp decides) which bills make it to the House floor for further debate and final passage.
As you know, the state budget will once again be the hot topic in Olympia. I'll go into more details throughout the session, and will continue to update you on the various budget proposals and negotiations as they come up.
If you do make the trek to Olympia, please stop by my office out in the parking lot. Yes, my office is out among the portable offices in the parking lot. Anybody who drives this far to Olympia is a priority for me to see and I always look forward to visiting folks from home.
In fact, this year, I'm trying something that I call “Open Office Thursday.” Because my schedule is so hectic throughout the week, we're setting aside 5:30-6:30 Thursday nights to give additional time for anyone who would like to meet with me. It will be more of an informal get together with folks and I'd invite you to stop by if you're ever in Olympia.
Again, thank you for the privilege of representing you in Olympia. I look forward to hearing your thoughts this session as we put forth common-sense solutions to the critical problems our state is facing.