It continues to be an honor and privilege to serve as your state representative. This 60-day legislative session began Jan. 11, and is scheduled to end March 10. This is a “supplemental budget year,” which means our task is making minor adjustments to the budgets we passed last year, as well as prioritizing policy changes where needed. If you would like to learn more about the budget process, here is a good outline developed by the Office of Financial Management.
Things have been moving rapidly this session, and the first policy cutoff date is almost upon us. As of Friday, any bills that haven't made it out of their respective committees will be considered “dead” for the year.
Next week, I will share more about the bills I've introduced, as well as about capital budget developments underway. For now, here are links to some of my bills:
House Bill 2875 would establish an Office of Privacy and Data Protection within the Office of the Chief Information Officer.
House Bill 2309 would modify the maximum term for Clean Water State Revolving Fund loans to be the lesser of 30 years or the useful life of the project.
House Bill 2493 would extend the expiration date of the Habitat and Recreation Lands Coordinating Group by 10 years.
I continue to serve as the ranking member on the House Technology and Economic Development Committee, as well as the assistant ranking member on the House Capital Budget Committee. I was recently appointed to serve on the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee, as well. That appointment will take effect this week, and I look forward to taking on this new challenge.
So what does a typical day in Olympia look like during the short session? Here's an example: On Wednesday, Jan. 27, my day began with a 7:30 a.m. briefing, then a two-hour meeting of the House Technology and Economic Development Committee. Following that meeting, all 98 members of the House of Representatives came together for floor action to vote on bills. After floor action, I spent the remainder of the day hosting 14 sit-down meetings with concerned citizens to discuss issues important to them. Topics during these meetings included the Model Toxics Control Act, the health of our shellfish beds and industry, community and technical education legislation, wildfire and earthquake response, small business regulation, and K-12 education funding.
I am grateful for those who have made the trek to Olympia to sit down with me, including several groups of students. It is always encouraging to see people from our communities getting involved in the process and sharing their insights and perspective with me.
I realize with busy lives, work, family, and the distance between the 10th District and Olympia, it's not possible for everyone to visit during session. That's why I'm hosting a telephone town hall next Tuesday, where people can call-in and ask me questions, or just listen in to questions and comments from others. If you would like to participate, the information you need to know is below:
I've received hundreds of emails, phone calls and letters this session from constituents interested in a variety of issues before the Legislature. As I work to respond to folks individually, I just want to thank you for your continued input, as it is always helpful in guiding my decisions as a legislator. I encourage you to stay in touch with me throughout session.
Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to serve you in Olympia.