Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I'm in Olympia now working on your behalf for the scheduled 60-day 2016 legislative session. As I walk the marbled halls or look up to see the towering Capitol Dome I'm reminded of the extreme honor and privilege that it is to serve you in the Washington State House of Representatives. As in years past, I will send out periodic e-mail updates to keep you informed of what's happening. Please feel free to send these along to family and friends.
This year is a supplemental budget, meaning there should be no major policy additions or increased spending. A supplemental budget is for small tweaks to the budget covering unexpected expenditures like increased caseloads or bad wildfire seasons.
The governor released his supplemental budget, which unfortunately contained significant increases in policy spending and new programs, along with increased taxes. We have to remember that every dollar new dollar we allocate this year translates into a two-dollar bow wave during the next two-year budget cycle. I'm working with my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee to release our supplemental budget plan.
Johnathan and Becky Van Keulen came to me with an idea to create a Charitable Pharmacy Program where expensive and unused drugs can be given back to the prescribing pharmacy to help those who need the same medications but can't afford the drugs or have no insurance. John was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer, and wants to help others who may be going through some of the same things he is.
My bill, HB 2458, passed the House Health Care and Wellness Committee this week! I'm so proud of John and Becky's courage and grace through this ordeal. This is a great idea to help out those who need – but can't afford – expensive cancer treatment drugs.
Congratulations to the Whitworth Men's Basketball Team for their incredible start to the season. The 17-0 Pirates are ranked number one in the nation in Division III. It's been a fun ride so far and I'm excited for the rest of the journey. Nicely done, gentlemen.
If you'd like to listen to my recent conversation with Rick Rydell on KXLY Radio, click here.
Please feel free to contact with questions or concerns about your state government. Together we can continue to make Washington state and the Inland Northwest the best place to live, work and raise a family.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000