Friends and Neighbors,
Budgets are written, bills are becoming law, and the legislative session is officially done. This has been a challenging time at the capitol, but I am happy to say the Legislature completed its 2016 business. I served as one of the chief negotiators on the operating and capital budgets. After a 20-day special session and many long evenings, we found ways to address urgent needs while still having responsible state finances going forward.
Our supplemental budget will recruit more teachers for schools, help combat homelessness, and assist recovery from last year’s devastating wildfires. It also funds capital projects that impact Pierce County, including more than $3 million for improved mental health services at Western State Hospital and $5.5 million for K-3 classroom size reduction. This isn’t a perfect budget, and it leaves a lot of work for the Legislature next year, especially when it comes to education. But it’s a solid compromise and keeps us moving in the right direction. KOMO News did a nice budget summary.
I’m also proud of my colleagues’ dedication to enact much-needed legislation. We rescued charter schools, created a new savings program for our disabled citizens, and protected children from vapor products throughout the state. I fought hard for these bills and am thankful we got the job done.
With legislative work finished, it’s full focus on the campaign and earning your support. We’re off to the races!