Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As I mentioned last week, the House Appropriations saw a lot of bills during the public hearing process that seemed more about politics and expanding government, and less about good policy.
This week, as the full House of Representatives voted on bills to be sent to the Senate, it seemed to be more of the same. Click on the photo below to watch my video – part two of “The Theatre of the Absurd.”
With less than three weeks left in the session, the budget talks will be heating up. We should see a proposed operating budget in the next week to 10 days. Another factor to keep in mind is the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council's state revenue forecast was released this week. The revenue forecast has decreased by $67 million for the current 2015-17 biennium. The 2017-19 biennium is projected to be lower by $442 million compared to the November 2015 forecast. As I have stated, we need to be very cautious with our spending as the revenues are leveling off.
We are very fortunate to have many special people come through our doors and visit us in caucus. On a day where we honored the 8,000 men and women of the Washington National Guard we had the privilege of recognizing the widow of fallen hero Staff Sgt. Matthew McClintock who was killed in Afghanistan on Jan. 5. You can learn more about Mr. McClintock's life and legacy in this article.
Mr. McClintock's widow, Alexandra, and Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, commander of the Washington National Guard, joined us in our caucus room following the House ceremony.
Recently Seattle Seahawk wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was also in Olympia and spent some time with our caucus. He wasn't talking football – he discussed his foundation that supports and inspires youth in military families, including kids who have lost parents in service.
We have also had many visitors from the 12th District this session – constituents, local elected officials and many representing organizations and agencies from North Central Washington. This week the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership class of 2016 was in town.
It is an honor and a privilege to represent you in Olympia. While we only have a few weeks left in the session, I welcome you to come visit if you have an opportunity to do so. It is always great to meet with the folks from the 12th District.
If you have questions, comments or concerns about the budget or pending legislation the next couple weeks, please do not hesitate to contact me. Your feedback is appreciated.