Dear Friends and Neighbors,
With budget negotiators unable to bridge the gap between living within our means or raising taxes, the Legislature is once again heading to a special session.
Governor Jay Inslee called an immediate 30-day special session after the 60-day session ended last Thursday. For now, most legislators are back home for a few days while budget leaders from all four caucuses and the governor's office continue exchanging proposals. Once an agreement is eminent, the rest of the Legislature will be called back to Olympia to vote on the compromise.
Also, the governor made good on his threat to veto legislation until he sees a budget on his desk. Last week he vetoed 27 bills that received broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. It's unfortunate he felt he needed to make this threat a reality as most folks don't really believe it's helped at all. In some ways, it's made matters worse with members of his own party expressing frustration.
I'm also pleased to report back to you that legislation to save charter schools passed both the House and Senate. Here are some other successes from this year's short session:
- Created a framework for K-12 education funding solutions for next year;
- Took steps to address the teacher shortage;
- Prioritized vision screening for students;
- Held the WSDOT secretary accountable;
- Provided Washington State Patrol with pay raises;
- Restricted the use of toxic flame retardant chemicals;
- Passed the Washington Cybercrime Act; and
- Created the Parent to Parent Program that connects parents of individuals with developmental disabilities with support and resources.
As a reminder, please let me know if you need a guest speaker for your civic organization, church or community group. I'm happy to touch base with you to help keep you informed on your state government. And thank you for reading my e-newsletter and for staying involved.