Dear Friends and Neighbors,
There is some grumbling from House and Senate Democrats that multiple special sessions will be needed to come to an agreement on our state's next two-year operating budget. This could not be further from the truth. Yes, the budget will once again be an issue that takes up a lot of hours of discussion, debate and compromise. But in the end, we have a responsibility and duty to the people of Washington to get our work done on time.
While much is being made of the potential budget shortfall for the 2015-17 biennium, the fact is, our state is expecting about $3 billion more in tax revenues than the last time we wrote a two-year budget. That's an increase of over 8 percent! I know many of you back home have not seen that kind of increase in your family's budget over the last year. I believe families and individuals are still recovering from the recession and taking more money from taxpayers is not the right solution.
Over the next 14 weeks or so, I'll send out weekly updates that highlight upcoming events, legislation I'm supporting or sponsoring, and important issues I think you might want to know about.
I always like to remind subscribers to my e-newsletter about the many different ways you can 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.
You can also join me for my telephone town hall on Wednesday, Feb. 4 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. To join in, just call (509) 590-4692. If you have a question for me during the “community conversation,” just press the star (*) key on your telephone keypad. I hope you're able to participate.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you in Olympia and for reading my e-newsletter. If I can ever be of service to you, please don't hesitate to contact me.