Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2015 legislative session is underway. For the next few months, I’ll be working in my new role as the assistant ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee to help keep tuition costs down, fund education and make sure our most vulnerable are cared for. I’ve been removed from most of my other committee duties as I’m usually in three to five budget meetings a day. It’s a lot of work but also fun to be a part of. I feel like my background as a small business owner and having taught college level economics has well prepared me for this next challenge.
Earlier this session, the House passed an early action supplemental budget that tapped into our state’s rainy day fund (requires a 60 percent vote) to help get some relief to the communities devastated by the Oso landslide and the Carlton Complex wildfires. This is exactly what our rainy day fund was designed for: urgent, unforeseen economic emergencies that must be addressed but are difficult if not impossible to plan for. Click here to read my statement to the press.
I had the opportunity to see the wildfire devastation firsthand when I was able to take several cases of water and around 20 generators to the communities in need. It was heartbreaking to see the loss, but heartwarming to see the people come together and help each other out.
This early action supplemental budget also paid for a lawsuit against the state which saves taxpayers about $20,000 per day in interest by paying it now rather than later. The proposal is now in the Senate awaiting further action.
House Bill 2024 – This bill would allow the governing boards of colleges and universities to authorize low-income homeless students attending college to use the facilities that aren’t otherwise being used. It is currently in the House Higher Education Committee.
The Inaugural Citizen Hall of Fame Breakfast is coming up on April 2 from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. in the Grand Pennington Ballroom at the Davenport Hotel. Nominations are currently open now through Feb. 16th and can be made by going to www.spokanelibraryfoundation.org This is a partnership between the Spokane Public Library Foundation and the City of Spokane to raise awareness of private citizens and honor their contributions to our communities.
It was great to visit with Ryan Kerrigan, executive director from Peak7 Adventures in Spokane. They are doing great work serving area underprivileged youth and getting them outdoors to experience new adventures.
I recently had the opportunity to join Michael Cathcart from the Spokane Homebuilders Association on the Freedom Foundation’s radio program. Click here to listen.
Thank you for reading my legislative update and for allowing me the opportunity to serve you in Olympia. Please feel free to contact my Olympia office with thoughts, questions or concerns about state government.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000