Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2014 legislative session has begun. For the next 60 days, I'll be in Olympia attending committee hearings, meeting with constituents, debating issues on the House floor and voting on solutions that will help continue to make our state the best place in the nation to live, work and raise a family. I'm hopeful that lawmakers will be able to finish their work on time and adjourn in about seven weeks, WITHOUT going into another special session.
I am honored to serve you in the state Legislature and want to again extend an invitation to Olympia to see your state government in action firsthand. Contact my office and we will do everything we can to assist you and make your journey from the 9th District the best it can be.
I also want to make sure you have every opportunity to be involved in what goes on in Olympia. This is YOUR government. Accessibility to the legislative information and action is paramount to being an involved citizenry. Here are a few ways you can stay connected this year:
- Capitol Buzz – A daily electronic clip service of House Republicans. Click here to subscribe.
- The Current – An online publication from House Republicans to include you in the legislative process. Click here to subscribe.
- Capitol Report – A three-minute weekly radio program (aired on KZBG in Clarkston and KHTR/KQQQ in Pullman) that discusses current issues of the 9th District and the state. Click here to sign up for my RSS podcast. You can also get all of the Washington House Republican Capitol Report programs on your iPhone and iPad through the iTunes store by clicking here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/capitol-report-washington/id579017734.
- Check out my Web site – www.representativejoeschmick.com. From this link, you can get more information about me, the bills I've sponsored and view my news releases.
- Photos – Access my photo gallery here.
- TVW – The state's own version of C-Span, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live. You can also watch on your computer, smartphone or tablet: www.tvw.org
- Legislature's Web site – You can get bill reports, committee agendas and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature at: www.leg.wa.gov
Please share this e-newsletter with everyone you know and encourage them to sign up for it from my Web site at: www.representativejoeschmick.com.
Unlike the last several years, the Legislature enters session WITHOUT a significant budget shortfall. In fact, the latest information about our state's 2013-15 biennial budget shows that we're projected to have an ending fund balance of around $377 million. This is just enough “in the black” to make the statutory changes needed in the 2014 supplemental budget. The supplemental budget is used to make the small adjustments necessary so that we stay within current revenues and we continue to meet our obligations.
On the other hand, if any of you watched Gov. Jay Insee's State of the State Address this week, you know that he's proposed a litany of new programs and new spending. While some of his ideas might be good, now is not the time to enact such large spending increases. As I serve on the House Appropriations Committee, I'll continue to work towards smart, efficient solutions that don't extend or increase your taxes.
If you want more information on the three budgets – operating, transportation and capital – click here for a quick summary on each.
I will be hosting a telephone town hall for all 9th District residents on Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Just call toll-free 1-800-761-6268 and you can participate with your neighbors in this “Community Conversation.” These events have been very successful in the past and help me keep in touch with you. You can ask me questions, take my survey or just listen in from the comfort of your own home. I hope you're able to join me.
Thank you again for reading my e-newsletter. Please contact me if you have questions or concerns about state government or issues impacting our local communities. It is a privilege to serve you in Olympia.