Dear Friends and Neighbors,
After two weeks of further negotiations, budget writers in the House and Senate finally reached agreement and the special session ended late Tuesday night.
As expected, the final supplemental budget looks much more like the Senate's version, with no new taxes and without tapping into the Budget Stabilization Account (rainy day fund) for ongoing expenses. We did, however, use about $190 million from the rainy day fund to help pay for the devastating wildfires from last year. Again, this is one of the reasons we have this fund: to pay for unexpected, one-time emergencies.
The final budget agreement added about $191 million to the $38 billion operating budget lawmakers passed nine months ago. To read a statement from our budget leader, Rep. Bruce Chandler, on the compromise budget, click here. To read more detail about the two-year operating budget and the supplemental budget, click here.
The Legislature also overrode all of Gov. Jay Inslee's vetoes. If you recall, he threatened to veto bills until he had a budget to sign. His unprecedented veto of 27 bipartisan bills caused more problems for budget negotiators and again showed the kind of leadership we've come to expect from this governor. He has no concept of bringing opposing sides together and his DC-style of politics is getting old, even within his own party.
To view a quick recap of the session and some of the “wins and losses,” click here.
Turn in your unused prescription drugs
The Drug Enforcement Administration is reminding us to turn in our unused prescriptions drugs. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is April 30. To find a collection site near you, click here. As our state and nation continue to see increases in prescription drug abuse, it's important to remember to dispose of unused prescription drugs safely and timely. If you have unused prescription drugs I encourage you to click on the link above, input your zip code and find a location near you.
I want to thank you for reading my e-newsletters throughout the session. Because of election-year restrictions this will be my last e-newsletter until the fall. Please keep your 9th Legislative District legislators in mind if you need a speaker at one of your events or if you have a problem or issue with state government. We are here to serve you.
Thank you for your feedback throughout session. Your phone calls, e-mails and letters play a large role in helping me represent you in Olympia. It is an honor to serve on your behalf in the state House of Representatives.