Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The first two weeks of the 2015 legislative session have been very busy here in Olympia, as I and my colleagues in the House and Senate took the oath of office. The opening ceremonies highlighted the rich traditions of the Legislature and Washington state and signified the start of our race to do the people's business over the next 105 days. It is an honor to serve as your voice in the House of Representatives!
For the first several weeks of session committee time will be spent receiving updates from state agencies and other groups, and learning more about the legislative proposals we will be debating in the weeks to come. I am serving on the Transportation and Public Safety committees. As session moves forward, I will keep you updated on the bills that come before these and other House committees.
The budget writing process is well underway, and last week Gov. Inslee addressed a joint session of the Legislature to share his priorities for the 2015 session. I was disappointed to hear the governor propose $1.5 billion in new taxes, especially since revenue collections are up over 8 percent for this budget cycle. This means we will have the money to fund our constitutional obligations, and we must prioritize spending to create a balanced, sustainable, and responsible budget – without the need for new or additional tax increases. Many across the state, including in the 17th District, have not fully recovered from the Great Recession. I am committed to ensuring they are not forgotten in the budget writing process.
Last week I was appointed to serve as Assistant Whip for the House Republican Caucus. As a freshman member of the House, I appreciate the confidence leadership has shown in me with this appointment. In this role I will assist the Minority Whip in a variety of duties including counting votes, checking attendance, and answering procedural questions. I look forward to serving my colleagues in the House in this role, and being a voice for the 17th District among House leaders.
It was an honor to stand with the many March for Life participants who came to Olympia this week, in what is traditionally the largest annual gathering on the capitol steps each session.
I also had the opportunity to meet with a group of Clark County residents participating in the leadership Clark County program. Leadership Clark County helps prepare local citizens to get more involved in their community. I appreciate that they all took the time to be civically involved and meet with me and other Clark County legislators.
Throughout session, I will be sharing video updates with you in addition to my e-mail updates. In my first video, which you can view below, I talk about my committee assignments and priorities for the 2015 session.
Finally, the most important part of my job is to be a voice for you. As bills are introduced and issues arise during the legislative session, I encourage you to contact my office to share your thoughts with me. You play a critical role in the legislative process and I am always happy to meet with you on issues important to our communities. I also encourage you to come to Olympia to testify on bills that impact you, your business, or your family. My Legislative Assistant, Amber York, will also be happy to assist you with making an appointment, answering questions, or helping you navigate interactions with a state agency.
Thank you for entrusting me with the responsibility of representing you in here in Olympia!
Yours in service,
418 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7994 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000