Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 30-day special session ended late last night. Here are a few highlights on what we accomplished and how it will impact our communities.
- New medical school coming to Spokane | The capital budget includes $35 million for a new medical school in Spokane. I worked across the aisle and with the Senate to help ensure funding for this important project. The school is expected to generate more than 9,200 new jobs and have a sustainable economic impact of $1.6 billion over time. It was an honor to work with so many great community leaders to make this a reality.
- Workers' compensation reform | House Bill 2123 will protect workers, improve our business climate and create jobs. As a small business owner, I support this reform because it is a step in the right direction. It will save $1.1 billion in our system over the next four years and prevent another double-digit rate increase to our state's businesses. The Legislature also passed significant unemployment insurance reforms in February that will help employers.
- Preserving private-sector jobs through state government reform | When the state's correctional industries continued to expand, it threatened to decimate a part of our manufacturing/retail industry. House Bill 1663, which I sponsored, will remove the requirement that state colleges and universities purchase furniture from correctional industries. This will preserve more than 500 private-sector jobs and save state tax dollars in the process.
- Supporting local law enforcement | I was able to work with Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Kenezovich to pass legislation that will lead to more law enforcement training locally and around our state. House Bill 1473 will allow excess fees collected for a traffic school to be used for law enforcement training and other public safety areas, which ensures two more police officers will be patrolling our streets in Spokane.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you – it is one of the most meaningful honors of my life. While the legislative session is over, I'm your state representative throughout the year. I will continue to keep in touch.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend. I'd like to thank all of the men and women of our armed services – past and present – for their sacrifices for our country.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000