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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We have less than a week left in the 2015 legislative session and budget negotiations are ongoing. Some around Olympia believe a special session is unavoidable, but I continue to work hard to try to bridge some of the gaps between the House Democrat and Senate Majority Coalition Caucus budget proposals.
Here is a quick graph that shows some of the main differences between the two budgets:
The Legislature still has five major things to negotiate:
1) Operating budget
2) Capital budget
3) Transportation budget
4) I-1351 solution
5) Possible levy swap ideas
Should lawmakers raise taxes? What do you think?
While there are many differences in the two spending plans, the main sticking point seems to be taxes. If a special session is needed, it will be over this main question: Should we raise taxes on Washington families and employers? What do you think? Click here to let me know if you think we should raise taxes and then let me know your thoughts by leaving comments in the comment section.
Capital budget funding secured for Fairchild APZ
I am very pleased to tell you that Rep. Jeff Holy and I have worked to secure funding in the House capital budget for the purchase of mobile home parks within the Accident Potential Zone near Fairchild Air Force Base. To read an article I wrote for The Spokesman-Review on this issue, click here. To read my press release with Rep. Holy on this issue, click here.
Online survey results
In a previous Legislative Brief, I created an online survey for your to participate in. I appreciate your involvement letting me know where you stand on the issues. As promised, here are the results:
1) What issue is most important to you?
State spending = 35.78%
Jobs/The economy = 33.94%
Transportation = 9.17%
K-12 Education = 8.26%
Health Care = 7.34%
Environment = 3.67%
Other = 1.83%
2) The governor is proposing a carbon tax on certain employers and energy companies to pay for transportation and education. Knowing this will most likely raise the price of certain goods and services as well as energy prices, would you support the governor's plan?
YES = 12.84%
NO = 76.15%
Not sure. Need more information = 11.01%
3) A proposal to increase the state gas tax by 11.7 cents-per-gallon passed the state Senate. Are you in favor of this gas tax increase to pay for new transportation projects?
YES = 26.36%
NO = 55.45%
Maybe, but only if the 6th LD received its fair share of projects and significant reforms are made to DOT. = 18.18%
I want to thank all of you who have contacted me this session to offer your opinions, thoughts and concerns. It is so important for me to hear from you. Many of you have asked about certain bills – whether they're alive or dead. While not a completely exhaustive list, you can click here to see some of the main bills that are dead or alive.
I also want to thank my family. It is such an honor and privilege to serve you in the Legislature, but I couldn't do it without the support of my best friend and closest adviser, my wife Kerry. She keeps the family and the business running smoothly while I'm in Olympia and continues to offer sage advice, encouragement and even the occasional kick in the backside when needed! It was such a pleasure to have them visit me at the Capitol recently. Kerry and the kids, Emelia, Ross and Eve, join me at the House rostrum in this picture. Thank you, guys, for visiting and for allowing me to serve the citizens of the 6th District!
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000