Dear Friends and Neighbors,
After a 105-day regular session, and a 30-day special session, budget negotiators are still at it as we're now into a second special session. I am currently back home working in district but have travelled to Olympia for various health care meetings, budget negotiations and floor votes. For the most part, only a handful of legislators are in Olympia full time negotiating the budget.
We're hearing that the education task force members are close to finalizing an agreement. But the main sticking point continues to be whether or not to raise taxes. I remain steadfast in my belief that our education obligations can be met without raising taxes on hardworking families and I continue to remind my colleagues the state is expected to receive around $3 billion more in tax revenues for the 2017-19 budget cycle.
Two of my bills signed into law
Last month, Gov. Jay Inslee signed two of my bills into law. House Bill 1547 temporarily suspends the certificate of need requirements for hospitals adding new psychiatric beds, allowing local community hospitals the opportunity to treat more mental health patients locally. House Bill 1548 will help expand our staffing levels for behavioral and mental health services. For more information on these two important bills, click here.
It's been good to see many of you these past few weeks as I've travelled around to different parades and community days in district. Your questions, comments and encouragement are much appreciated. As always, please feel free to contact me with your ideas on how to make Washington a better place to live, work and raise a family.