Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Well, despite knowing about our $5.1 budget shortfall since November, majority Democrats in the House and Senate failed to agree upon a budget solution. This is a sad day for taxpayers. We knew coming into session that solving our state's budget problem would be the number one issue of session. And you know what? Nothing's changed. Solving our budget problem remains the number one issue heading into this next session – a special one – scheduled to start on Tuesday, April 26.
If you'd like to read the short statement that I sent to the press, click here.
Save the Date for Drug Take-Back Day
Do you have unwanted and unused medications in your medicine cabinets at home? Are you looking for a safe way to dispose of these medications properly? The DEA's Second National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, April 30, from 10:00am to 2:00pm. This is a day where anyone can drop off expired, unused and unwanted prescriptions at no charge and no questions asked.
The DEA is partnering with local law enforcement to have collection sites available if you wish to dispose of the medications you no longer need. Law enforcement professionals will monitor the sites to ensure the drugs are disposed of properly.
Prescription drug abuse and misuse is the nation's fastest growing drug problem. It is a rapidly growing public health and safety crisis. Based on CDC trend data from 1999-2006, fatal drug poisoning is the second leading cause of injury death overall.
The largest portion of the poisoning burden is drug poisonings. Deaths related to prescription opioids are increasing the fastest overall. Washington State ranks in the top tier of states that have the most alarming trends.
The DEA is committed to reducing this threat by working with law enforcement, the medical community, public health coalitions, concerned public, and many others to raise awareness and provide a means of drug disposal.
For more information, visit the DEA's website.
I had two bills signed by the governor this week. The first, HB 1477, authorizes Eastern Washington University to offer educational specialist degrees. The second one was sponsored by my seatmate, Rep. Susan Fagan (I was the co-sponsor). HB 1024 extends the Highway 27 Scenic Byway through the town of Tekoa and through Rockford's Highway 278. If you want to read our press release, click here.
I also had a visit from a very special guest this week. Sgt. Brad Hudson, from the Washington State Patrol Colfax detachment, visited us in Olympia. Thanks, Sgt. Hudson. It was great to meet you!
As we move through the special session, I'll continue to keep you updated on the budget and other issues that come up. Again, thanks for the honor of serving you in Olympia.